I painted my old kitchen table with general finishes gel stain brown mahogany and homemade chalk paint legs. It came out pretty good considering in was my first time painting a large piece of furniture. Lightly sand the furniture before and after each coat. I sealed it all with a top coat of polyurethane I did about 4-5 coats on the top since it will be used more often and two coats on the legs.
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Build your own storage bench... $80 in materials. About 1 day of work. I think one of these with treated wood would be handy in a veggie garden to keep small tools. Might need to add something to prevent water from getting inside and rusting the tools. Maybe a lock as well to discourage cleptos.