Dumpster diving DIY

Dear Auntie Moonbeam

One of the things I love best about apartment living is the ‘take a penny, leave a penny’ philosophy.

Of course I’m not talking about actual pennies. Especially not anymore. Is it weird that phasing out the penny makes me kinda sad?  Hmmmm….

No, what I’m referring to is the depots of stuff left in and around apartment buildings. Just last week I found an illustrated large print copy of The Hobbit in my laundry room. Score!

Hands down the best spot for finds is the dirty messy alcove beside the dumpsters. Sure it’s filled with broken bits of Ikea shelving, old hockey sticks and the random detritus of a thousand apartment dwellers. But it can also yield some pretty awesome stuff if you can look past the grime and protruding nails.

One day I was tossing out my recycling when I happened to notice an old dusty & scratched rattan console table. I’m not a big fan of rattan but I was in need of a console table which warranted an automatic looksee…

After a quick exam I determined that it’s state of decrepitude wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Sure the rattan was ripped and the glass top was filthy but nothing a little elbow grease couldn’t fix. In fact there might be something special here….

So after much grunting, sweating and cursing later we were home. Good news, it passed the first test – the size and shape were right. Whew!

Rattan Table Before 1

Let's not dwell on what those stains on the glass were, shall we?

Let’s not dwell on what those stains on the glass were, shall we?

Second step was to remove the damaged bits. Armed with a sharp Exacto knife I set about carefully cutting out the rattan along the top. Fortunately the way the piece had been constructed the rattan was wedged between two circular wooden log bits (for lack of a better technical term). I was able to get a clean cut with very little effort. My kinda project!

Rattan Table Before 2

Rattan Table Before 3

I didn’t prep the surface with sandpaper because I’m lazy it was already pretty rough and the paint would have no problem adhering.

Rattan Table for painting


Rattan table painting

I laid it on pretty thick (a big furniture painting no-no) but I was impatient to get ‘er done. After all I’d put unpacking on hold to attend to the super important task of painting something I found in the garbage…you might question my time management skills…you might be right….

But when you end up with something like this it can be worth the effort:

Rattan Table After 2

Huh – who’da thunk it?  That turned out better than I thought.  In fact I ended up liking so much I had to take two finished pictures with different accessories.  Wheeee!  This is fun!

Rattan Table after 1

**This one goes out to my pal Monica. She’s developing her DIY skills and currently bemoaning the lack of quality garbage in her area.  Also I heard her mom is a fan and I’m a sucker for two things: compliments and moms!  Hi Monica’s Mom!**


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