Yes, you must be careful and yes, you need to take safety precautions, but there are real treasures to be had on www.craigslist.org .
Lots of people have quality items that they need to get rid. Often, there is nothing wrong with the item, they just don’t want it anymore. Maybe they are moving, or have redecorated and can’t use the item any longer. It still has value so they don’t want to just throw good things away. Someone will buy it if they can just find the right person. Craigslist is the perfect place to do just that and it’s free!
If they are computer literate and enterprising enough to try, they post it on Craig’s List and see if they can sell it. That’s what I was hoping for as I browsed the ‘For Sale’ items. In my case, I wanted to buy an 8 foot long, glass table. I didn’t want a cheap one either. I didn’t want round. I didn’t want thin glass. I wanted a good one and I wanted it pretty big – big enough to hold 8 people or more. I wanted rectangular, but I’d consider a square cut glass top. Convinced I could find a great deal, I patienty waited and searched the postings for about three weeks. In the meantime, Patty and I stopped at a few furniture stores and browsed several websites on-line to get a feel for how much we’d have to pay in case we couldn’t find what we were after.
Just to give you an idea of the cost involved in one of these tables – the 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch glass top all by itself was going for about $900.00, not counting the pedestal or frame that it sat on. That was the very cheapest I could find. Most were much more than that. I had hoped to put together a deal around $1,500.00 but it was looking like I’d have to pay to $2000.00, maybe more. At one store, we fell in love with a spectacular table until we looked at the price tag – $15,000.00! Fifteen thousand! It was cool, but that was no where close to what I intended to pay for the table I had in mind.
When I had just about given up my search and was about to order it on-line, a man in southwest Houston posted his 4 foot by 8 foot table up for sale which included two pedestals. Perfect! He wrote a brief description along with a few pictures and a price of $500.00! I jumped on it immediately. I called him, confirmed that the condition of the table was as described and talked briefly with him, more or less to get a feel of the man’s character. I wanted to be sure that he actually had the table, whether he had personally used it or was he a broker, why he was selling it and was it ready to be picked up that day. It turns out he was from originally from Greece, recently moved to a new house here in Houston and this table no longer fit properly in his dining room. He had taken very good care of it, protecting the glass with a plastic cover when not in use. There were no nicks or scratches on it. Now, after sitting in his garage for too long, he wanted it gone. His loss. My good luck!
I knew I didn’t need to barter with him. The price was way below true value, so I acted quickly to make the purchase and pick up the table. Although the pedestals weren’t exactly what I had in mind, the more I thought about it, the more I liked them. I tried to imagine how I could make the pedestals more appealing. I paid the man in cash as requested then tried to determine how to get it home. The 3/4 inch thick glass was quite heavy but two of us fellas loaded it carefully in the back of my Tahoe and secured it with ropes and blankets.
After getting it home, I concentrated on the pedestals. They were a pinkish cast limestone in the shape of Chinese dragons or fish. I had an idea of how I wanted them to end up looking, I just needed to figure out how to do it. I wanted an asian, weathered, black mildew look to them. As though they’d been painted, then aged, weathered and faded.
I spent some time brainstorming at Home Depot in the paint and stain department before I settled on a concrete stain. I found a deep charcoal shade that I figured I could apply lightly at first and then darken up with additional coats to achieve the darkness that I wanted. A gallon costs about $27.00.
I tested an area on the bottom of the pedestal to see how quickly it soaked up the stain. Once I started this, there was no turning back.
I used a paint brush and applied a light coat first, let it dry,then applied one more coat. That’s all it took. Two coats and a day to dry.
I carefully measured the room and distance between the pedestals, then placed the pedestals in the dining room on the new rug we recently bought. Now it was time to move the glass. It took 4 strong men to move the glass tabletop from the garage to the dining room because we had to flip the glass up so we could pass through the doorway. I’d guess that the glass weighed close to 300 pounds!
I was quite pleased with the results, I must say. The table looks great now in my dining room.
I’m on a similar quest now for artwork on the walls of the room. I’m going to find just the right oil painting – maybe even on Craig’s List!