Personalize Your Home – DIY Inspiration Story

Similar to how a bride-to-be picks particular areas of her wedding day to do something extra special or personal, you can do the same thing in your home.  Sure, a place like Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn offer a wide range of pieces to furnish or decorate your home – but its the one-of-a-kind pieces that can truly bring your personal style alive.  This is one of my favorite parts of decorating our home. Once you find that diamond in the rough, you just need a vision and willingness to invest some time and elbow grease.

Here’s the gem I found from Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity ReStore (for just $15) and I knew it could be transformed into a wonderful dining room table. My husband had his reservations since this picture doesn’t provide much promise – but I just asked him to trust me!


It definitely needed some work!  Starting by disassembling all the wiggly benches and removing the loose nails, it allowed me to begin sanding each piece.  After sanding down to the raw wood and filling many of the dents and dings with woodfill, it looked completely different.


Next up: staining and sealing.  I chose a new Minwax stain color – Classic Gray – to give it a modern look and really contrast from the standard red picnic table.  The table needed three coats of stain and a couple coats of polyurethane.  I used another favorite Minwax product (Wipe-On Poly) which is perfect for any colored piece of furniture.  It is durable and sealed the table perfectly.  At that point, it was time to reassemble the benches and reinforce the table with new screws.

I was so anxious to get the dining room table inside, but knew there were a couple more finishing touches to work on before it would be perfect. I found an old chandelier and two matching arm chairs that also needed some work, but were exactly what I had envisioned.  I simply spray-painted the chandelier and sanded/painted the arm chairs white.  For the finishing touch, my wonderful mother helped me upholster the seats of the arm chairs and sew bench cushions in a matching gray chevron fabric.  Now I can dress the table up with some sparkly taper candles or keep it rustic with a burlap table runner.


It’s a conversation piece and a DIY project I put my heart and soul into. We enjoy it every day! Hope this inspires you to do something in your own home!