Craigslist Table And Chairs

For more than 10 years, we have been “borrowing” a dining table that belongs to Brian’s sister. It’s a mahogany, shiny-topped pedestal table and it’s a beautiful vintage piece, too, so I loved having it to use in our other house where we had a dining room and a breakfast area. We’d use it once a week and keeping a table cloth on it to protect it was never a problem.

Until it became our only table when we moved to our current house with an open-room floor plan (read: no separate breakfast area, only a “bar”).

Can I just say having to use a tablecloth everyday is not fun? As soon as I’d put a new one on, there’d be a spill. Or I’d serve spaghetti.

Just try and not get splatters of red sauce on a light tablecloth when you’re eating spaghetti.

Six years later and I’m here to tell you it ain’t possible.

And since I didn’t want to change the cloth every day, we’d live with crumbs and spots for a few days. Ugh.

So I started searching Craigslist for a table.

Did you catch that I mentioned we’ve been using this table for six years in this new house? Yeah, it’s taken me awhile. Sheesh, I couldn’t believe the hard time I had finding one that was:

  1. a decent price
  2. a style I liked
  3. met the criteria I wanted (a pedestal with at least one leaf),
  4. was still available when we called.

Whoa, you gotta have patience with Craigslist!

A few months ago, I finally settled on this table:

Pros: Double pedestal, one leaf (hidden inside that pops up when pulled open- cool!), and interesting details that weren’t too over-the-top for the “farmhouse romantic” look I like.

Oh, and the price…$50 (and for you mid-westerners, that’s a deal here on the West Coast!).

Cons: 1950’s medium wood stain with a shiny finish, seriously marred top with white rings and scratches (none too deep, though), with the leaf a different shade than main table.

So, the redo includes some paint, some wood stain, and some nice, satin polyurethane. I’m deep into this project and will be ready to reveal the table to you next week…

In the meantime, feast your eyes on these chairs I found a couple of weeks ago on “the list” for only $5 each:

Now, these are in no way my dream chairs. But I had been looking for years (do you see a theme here?) and our old chairs were breaking one by one so that we were down to two sturdy ones and two that we wouldn’t let guests sit on, plus some metal folding chairs.

The chair situation has gotten pretty sad at our house lately.

So, right now the number one criteria was sturdiness. Number two was cost. And these fit both these guidelines nicely.

Now I’m free to look for chairs I love without thinking I have to find something fast or there won’t be anything left to sit on. There’s nothing like time pressure to cause you to make a decision you will regret later (and yes, I speak from experience…).


I almost didn’t buy them, even with the price and sturdiness, because of these “newel-post” front legs with the out-of-proportion bottom blocks of wood (I hesitate to even call them “feet”).

I had an idea, though, and I knew I would be painting them…

So stay tuned to find out if it worked!

What kind of things are you finding (or not finding…) on Craigslist?


This is linked to:
Frugalicious Friday
Frugal Friday @ Shabby Nest
Favorite Things Friday
Frugal Fridays @ LifeasMOM





  1. says

    I can’t wait to see what you do with them! I hope you’ll let us see the process as well.

    Last year my husband brought home a dining table (leaf table without the leaf) and chairs. Some of the chairs were thrown out at that point, and we are now down to two workable chairs….so we are looking too. My husband redid the table top and it looks great!

  2. says

    Awesome buy on the chairs. I know what you mean about sturdiness. I’m curious to see what you do with the table. Staining and refinishing are hard so I shy away from those. Good luck!

  3. Thoughts for the day says

    Oh my… I have had an old fashioned birds eye maple table and chair set on craigs list for sale several times and each time no one has replied. It is beautiful and double pedestal and the chairs are fragile but very ‘ornate’ in style. sigh… I love it but… can’t keep it. Glad you found one. I live in Oregon wish me luck.

  4. Nancy says

    Absolutely a great find! I think you will love the table and chairs when your done refinishing them. Refinishing a piece makes you bond!
    By the way, I have been following you via RSS feed to my email and noticed that I hadn’t actually used the follow button. So, I’m an old (offically new) follower!

  5. Jenelle says

    See Jami, this is why I love you. You saw that table and those chairs and realized you could do something with them. All I would have seen was a bunch of junk. I cannot wait to see what you have done with them. Thank you always being an inspiration!

  6. Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says

    Thanks Nancy for being an old and a new follower!

    Janelle- Thanks, sweet friend! Let’s hope the end products do turn out… :-)

  7. says

    I love Craigslist! Very little is new in our home, CL or assignment shops, Sally’s or tag sales. Not only is it fun, it is affordable. Thanks for sharing.

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