Solid oak coffee table before and after...

Another "apartment" someone left behind! Every so often I find a little diamond in the rough in all the garbage that gets left behind! 

A solid oak coffee table. It was in pretty rough shape cosmetically, but structurally sound and solid.

I am always amazed that people will leave behind solid wood furniture...but honestly, most are pretty hideous unless you work a little magic on them.  Okay, so it's not really magic...more like scrubbing, glueing, clamping, sanding, cursing, scrapping, staining, painting, more cursing.

I use to cringe at the thought of painting solid wood.  But it is "all the rage" right now so I don't mind painting pieces I feel can be enhanced. But you know me...always have to have my little "stain fix."

This oak coffee table was stained a very dark (very dated) color.  Of course I didn't take a picture until after I had already stripped the top. Since it had a poly finish, I had to use stripper and then a lot of sanding. It is not a big deal to sand solid pieces as long as you are careful not to get over zealous with the sander...remember, start with a higher grit (120/220) and work your way down to a heavier grit (60-80), then finish with a 220 before applying the stain.  

I didn't strip the base since I planned on painting it.

The table is solid and has great "bones."  It has neat little drop sides and would be perfect for a smaller living space!

If a piece has a solid wood top, I strip it and apply an "updated" finish.  Right now java stains are pretty popular. So I strip and stained the top with the java gel stain and gave the base a "plaster paint" finish with distressing.Then a little clear coat!

Very pretty!  Not my "style" but someone will love this!!!

UPDATE:  I put this piece in my booth sold Friday!  Amazing!