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A Nice Accent

Wood Project Inspiration

Smaller furniture can have a big impact

In describing the ingredients of successful house design, a famous architect once said, “The devil’s in the details.” He could just as well have been talking about furnishing a room, where creating the right scheme often depends on how well the smaller elements work. Sure, the big sofa and the grand console set the scene, but the occasional tables, side chairs and other “lesser” pieces complete the picture by giving it texture and style.

Smaller pieces also have the versatility to play different roles. The accent table used in these projects came from an unfinished furniture store and, when it’s used by itself or paired with other pieces, could end up in a number of different rooms. As a stand-alone table, it could be placed next to a bed or sofa. Hang a mirror above it and you’d have a combination perfect for a foyer, an upstairs hallway or stair landing or as a mini-focal point in a living room. Add a matching bookcase and now you have a somewhat grander, but still compact piece that adds style and function to a den, home office or a master bedroom. And besides its handsome design, the “other” beauty of unfinished furniture is the ability to coordinate the staining and finishing with other furniture and your overall décor. That’s a nice, helpful detail.

Wood Project Inspiration1. Buying unfinished furniture not only saves money but also gives you complete freedom in choosing both the stain color and type of topcoat. The stain and finish used on this table – Minwax® Wood Finish™ Red Mahogany and Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane in a semi-gloss sheen – gave the oak a look that’s sure to be noticed.

Wood Project Inspiration2. Using the same stain and topcoat on both the mirror frame and the table helps to make them a unified pair. Minwax® Wood Finish™ Ebony provided rich color while Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish Semi-Gloss gave them just the right sheen.
Wood Project Inspiration 3. To add richness to the oak, this table was stained with Minwax® Wood Finish™ Golden Oak and topcoated with Minwax® Wipe-On Poly in a semi-gloss sheen.
Wood Project Inspiration 4. In order to make short work of finishing two pieces, the table and the bookcase – both made of pine – were stained and finished in one step with Minwax® PolyShades® Pecan in a satin sheen.

Project Pointers

Besides allowing you to choose the stain and finish you want, unfinished furniture also comes in different types of wood, giving you another way to match it to furniture you already have or to introduce something different. You can usually find unfinished pieces in oak, which has bold grain, and maple and pine, both of which have much more subtle grain patterns.

There’s a lot of variety in the way these tables were stained and finished, but they all benefited from the same surface prep: a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to ensure even absorption of the stain.