My Thrifted Lane Table – A Before & After

by Katy on October 1, 2016 · 30 comments

I’ve written here and there about a midcentury Lane end table that I thrifted while my sister was visiting this summer. I bought it on a day that we dedicated to exploring Portland’s suburban Goodwill shops. I’d heard for years that these locations were worth the drive, but I’d never made the effort before to investigate whether this held true or was simply a suburban myth.

Not a myth. Not at all. I bought three great vintage pieces from a single Goodwill shop, and only paid $6.99 for each piece. (An antique mirror, a groovy office chair and this table.) I almost missed the table, as it was in a hallway and stacked under another table.

Here’s the chair:

Steelcase chair

And the mirror:

Goodwill sisters

Others might have focused on the condition of the top surface or that awful hardware that’s been added to the bottom of the right hand door, but I knew better. This is a sturdy classic piece that’s much in demand by those who appreciate the midcentury aesthetic. And priced at $6.99, what did I have to lose?!

Goodwill Lane table

Need proof? Here’s one priced at $425 on

Chairish table

The Goodwill employee helped me lift this insanely heavy walnut table into the back of my minivan, and my initial hit that it was Lane was confirmed.

Lane info

That awful hardware, it was easy enough to remove:

Although the holes left in the wood were pretty awful.

wood holes

However, it was easy enough to sand the wood down and fill the holes with stainable wood putty. Of course, this process removed some of the table’s original stain. No problem though, as I was able to locate a small tin of matching stain in my basement, although if this were not the case I could have driven over to my local Habitat ReStore to peruse their crowded shelves of stain. (Seriously, they’re an amazing resource!)

Sanded spot

I did buy a can of Howard’s Restore-A-Finsh, as well as a bottle of their Feed-N-Wax. I thrift for vintage furniture pretty often, so I’ll be able to use these supplies for future projects.

Restore-A-Finish & Feed-N-Wax

I took a fine-grain sanding pad to the table, careful to always sand with the grain and prepared the table for its rejuvenating new finish. I could have done a thorough sanding on the top surface to remove all the water marks, but I wasn’t interested in getting too crazy with this table. (Maybe I should of, but oh, well . . . )

table on porch

I then brought the table inside so I could photograph it looking nice for Craigslist. I was tempted to keep the table, but my sister convinced me that it was the wrong era for my 1914 bungalow. Also, I kind of wanted the money for my sons’ college fund. (The next $15,000 payment is due on January 1st, but it’s not like I’m paying attention . . . or counting down the days.)

Look at the amazing amount of storage! Perfect for lap blankets or board games. Or whatever it is that would need to be locked up. I took a sniff of the interior before I bought it, because you never know what this table was in its former life.


Please be amazed at how rich the wood looks now! And that area where the locking hardware used to be? It’s hardly noticeable now.

finished table

It took a few weeks, but I finally sold the table to a woman who was so enchanted by my handiwork that she didn’t even attempt to bargain me down. Bought for $6.99, $15 spent on supplies, an hour or two of my time and sold for $200. Not too shabby.

Now, if I could just get that mirror and vintage office chair to sell, I’d have an excuse to drive out to the suburbs for some fresh inventory!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen October 1, 2016 at 12:14 pm

What was someone thinking with that hardware? Geez.

Super glad you sold it! And hoo boy….a $15,000 payment is not for the faint at heart.


Katy October 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Tell me about it! I need to find a Ming vase at Goodwill. Or maybe a Picasso.


Alison R October 1, 2016 at 12:39 pm

College tuition for your children is never for the faint of heart! Tuition for anyone else either!


Elizabeth October 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm

I’m amazed at how the Goodwill stores in your area sell such awesome pieces for so little price. I’m telling you, at my goodwill store that table (or one similar with much less value) wouldn’t sell for less than $25 dollars minimum. I’ve never found such great quality at the Goodwill stores in our area or surrounding areas. And of the lower value items that are for sale, seem to be overpriced. Love seeing your finds, though!


Katy October 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

It’s hit or miss. That’s for sure!


Carla October 1, 2016 at 1:08 pm

It’s gorgeous, Katy!! Wow… definitely worth the 2 hours you put into it, i’d have a hard time parting with it!!


Mand01 October 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

It is really beautiful. It would suit my wood panelled palace perfectly.
Great job.


Cathy October 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Where do you buy these Howard products locally? Fred Meyer? Home Depot? I live across the river near Vancouver and inherited a few pieces of wood furniture that need some love.


Katy October 1, 2016 at 5:22 pm

I bought them at my local True Value.


Teri October 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Pretty sure you meant “should have”.
I’m impressed at your restoration skills.


Emma October 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Please tell what secret suburban Goodwills you have had luck in! I live around the area and never find anything in my local Clackamas County Goodwill stores!


Katy October 1, 2016 at 5:12 pm

My sister and I went to one in Beaverton and one in Aloha.


marie October 2, 2016 at 6:08 am

I’ve been told the one in Salmon creek is good too. Just haven’t checked it out yet.


Jen@FrugalSteppingStones October 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm

I always thought refurbishing furniture would be way too hard, but that doesn’t look too bad. Maybe I should take up my in-laws on their offer of 60 year old furniture hanging out in their basement…


Marcia October 1, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Refinishing is not hard at all–it just requires some patience. I bought a small wooden cabinet years ago–it has 2 glass doors with wood framing, and even has the key as both doors lock. It was painted red when I bought it. I took it all apart and stripped the red paint, stained it walnut, and it’s been in my house for decades, looking great! It did take about a week of vacation time to do the refinishing but it was worth it.

We also refinished our big wooden front and side doors to the house–had layers and layers of paint on them, and got them down to wood, which has been stained. Actually, they could use a re-do about now as it’s been quite a while. They look great and cost far less than replacements would have. And they are authentic! It did take more than 1 week’s vacation time, but it was worth it.


Katy October 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm

I’ve done full refinishing jobs on multiple pieces of furniture, and although it’s a lot of work it’s extremely satisfying!


cathy October 1, 2016 at 10:06 pm

Beautiful job on the refinishing! Those Howard products seem to be universally recommended for renewing the luster of dried-out or sun-faded wood furniture. I admire your commitment to selling the piece, and with a kid in college, I totally get building the college fund. But if you’d really wanted to keep it you should have. Don’t ever let the vintage of your house dictate how it should be decorated. As someone with a background in material culture and historic preservation, I’ve heard a lot people who feel like they should furnish their homes to the period they were built. But houses, just like our lives, aren’t static. They change and evolve over time. And though your house was built in 1914, it “lived” to see the ’50s and ’60s too. In truth, midcentury furniture has a lot of similarity to Arts & Crafts and Mission furniture, and even Shaker styles. All those clean lines… gotta love ’em!


Katy October 1, 2016 at 10:11 pm

I actually agree with you, and I would have been happy to keep the table, but sadly it found a new owner.


Diane October 2, 2016 at 4:35 am


And now I want that Lane cedar “hope” chest back that I had as a college student. A n exact match to your end table. Probably worth a fortune now.


Diane C October 2, 2016 at 5:49 am

…or maybe about $200 on Craigslist refurbished or $6.99 at Goodwill in need of a little TLC . Seriously, watch the secondary markets. Lane Hope Chests were very popular and produced in fairly large quantities,


Bee October 2, 2016 at 6:38 am

I have used Howard’s and Feed-N-Wax for years. They are simply the best. Your mid-century table turned out beautifully. I know it was hard to part with, but you are doing good thing for your sons! I had two in college and one in graduate school all at the same time. I feel your pain.


Katy October 2, 2016 at 9:54 am

Yikes, at least I only have two kids!


Bee October 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm

It wasn’t easy, but we made it through.


Ruby October 2, 2016 at 7:30 am

The table came out gorgeous! It looks like it would be worth a weekly trip to those suburban stores to find more great furniture that just needs some of your excellent TLC.


AFS October 2, 2016 at 12:54 pm

Did you do anything to spiff up the hardware on the doors?


Katy October 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

I used a gold paint pen that I already had on hand to touch up the brass. I smeared it around while it was still wet, and it really helped the handles to look better.


Savannah October 3, 2016 at 9:48 am



Katy October 3, 2016 at 10:57 am

It drives others crazy, so let me just say “thank you!”


Randi October 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

My aunt just gave me the same mirror. It was my grandparents so I’m keeping it.


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