Wife's Early 1900's Bakers Table

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Project by flcopper169 posted 06-08-2009 04:11 PM 10079 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am writing this under my husbands name. We purchased this table off Craigslist. It was in rough shape as evidenced by the pictures. After stripping and much sanding with various grits it was apparant that the table was made up of a variety of woods. I’m assuming that it was built out of whatever was available at the time. The people we brought it from said it was in their parents garage for as long as they could remember and their grandparents home prior to that. I think they were in the midwest.

I tried a number of different stain combinations but the wood didn’t “pop” as I hoped it would. It just didn’thave a real beautiful grain. Therefore, I decided to paint. Again, I went through 5 different paint techniques/colors till I achieved the look I wanted. Of course, all this staining/ painting required me to restain/sand each time. I used a flat oil paint, brushed on, and a paste wax hand rubbed top coat. I sanded between each coat which helped raise the grain and the texture came through in the finished product; which is what i hoped for. hand rubbiing the finish gave it a really nice light sheen, richened the color, and a great patina. I finished with a polish sand, all done by hand.

The end result as pictured. We’ll be putting a marble top on it when we get ready to build the kitchen around it. Since I bake, it’ll be used as orginally intended..a bakers and prep table.

Hope you enjoy,


PS … The large drawer bottoms and original top are zinc

-- Happy and safe woodworking, [email protected]

9 comments so far

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4714 days

#1 posted 06-08-2009 04:21 PM

I like the painted version. I feel like it takes the piece back to it’s original look, especially the light sheen and texture. The color and sheen remind me of milk paints. I live and grew up in the mid-west and have seen many originals in different versions. This piece brings back a lot of memories from grandparents, various family members and neighbors homes. Thanks for posting, you did a wonderful job on this table. OBTW, I think a marble top would not only be functional but historically accurate for a top end model.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 4737 days

#2 posted 06-08-2009 05:53 PM

I agree with the BTKS. The color is great, very authentic. I do believe that marble tops would’ve been the topper of choice but if it’s out of your price range than butcher block might be really nice too. Great job…you must have the patience of a saint! All that staining and sanding! Whew!

-- Robbinscabin,

View johnpoole's profile


74 posts in 4715 days

#3 posted 06-08-2009 06:03 PM

not a big fan of painted wood, but in your case, great save. your vision paid off. looks like it was built prior to any power tools. mortise and tennon and hide glue. original paint would have been either lead based or white wash. good looking project

-- it's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime i want

View bookworm's profile


39 posts in 4571 days

#4 posted 06-10-2009 10:24 PM

Great job! I think the paint is wonderful and entirely appropriate. After all, this was a work piece, not necessarily fine furniture.

-- "I asked my wife if I look dorky in the video below where I'm planing that long piece of wood. Her reply: "It's all dorky."" - Mitch Roberson from his blog Furnitude

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4835 days

#5 posted 06-10-2009 11:16 PM

Wow what a difference you brought an old boy back to life and made it as new well done ten out of ten.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 4691 days

#6 posted 06-11-2009 12:39 AM

The paint looks great, and a if not a marble top then why not granite? Any chance of a pic showing the flour bins open, I wouldn,t mind something like this myself.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View flcopper169's profile


187 posts in 4589 days

#7 posted 06-12-2009 06:23 AM

Thanks for all your encouraging comments. I tried everything to get around painting the wood since I’m typically not a huge fan of painted wood. Though in some applications it looks great and is entirely appropriate. I think this is one case where that’s true. I even tried to add some faux graining but it just didn’t look right. I did the faux graining on a cheap island we picked up on craigslist for $70. It had a maple edge grain BB top and I just kept playing with stain and paint combinations to get the look I wanted. It now looks like a rich deep wood and is the bath vanity in our guest bath. I”m not “old furniture” knowledgable but am drawn toward the lines of a piece more then anything else. I absolutely LOVE re-purposing pieces in my home. For me, that process allows each piece to tell a story. My wonderful and prudent husband won’t let me work with his power tools as I tend to dive into things and he’s appropriately cautious. I thoroughly enjoy browsing with him through many of the amazing projects you all post. What a talented and supportive board!

-- Happy and safe woodworking, [email protected]

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 4645 days

#8 posted 10-24-2012 10:58 AM

I had a similar renovation project with the same sort of bin in the bottom, originally designed for flour storage.
Since flour doesn’t keep well in such bins we keep potatoes in it.

This is a copy of a page in Sears’ 1918 catalog.

This is how it looked when finished. We did choose a granite top for it.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View flcopper169's profile


187 posts in 4589 days

#9 posted 10-26-2012 03:05 AM

Hi Don…

Nice pics of your project… a great piece … We had fun doing ours and used soap stone for the top.. I’ll have to update these pics it looks much different with the top and handles on, in the new kitchen setting… when I get home from this hunting trip I’ll be sure to give you the complete look, finished with updated pics… Yours came out beautiful .. I’ll be sure to show Elyse … she’ll love it… Thanks for the note and happy woodworking…


-- Happy and safe woodworking, [email protected]

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