The Power of a Word

I had her at “elegant sofa.” Ok, technically that’s two words. 😉

Here is the description I posted on Craigslist:

Invite the warm ambiance of a wilderness lodge into your home with this rustic and distressed Bear Claw Coffee Table. It’s sure to be a nice addition to your living room. An oval shaped top sits above a beautifully beveled lower shelf (for extra storage space). All held together by bear claw feet, making the table ruggedly sophisticated. Estimated to be from the 1960s, this piece would look stunning in front of an elegant sofa. The natural grains of the wood remain exposed on the surfaces of this greyish-brown warm natural finish, and the top has been lacquered for durability. All hardware has been recently adjusted to ensure the table is stable and sturdy. Measures 17″h x 40″w.

note: cute puppy not included.

While chatting with my buyer, I asked her if she was replacing an old coffee table or simply had no coffee table. She told me she simply had no coffee table, and had an “elegant sofa” and that when she my description, she knew this piece would be the perfect complement for it. Yes, she gravitated towards this table because it’s beautiful and different. But in the end, the sale was likely closed by two words: “elegant sofa.”

It’s affirming to know that the copy I write isn’t always for naught, as I wonder if sometimes sales are closed by a photo alone.

I’d be remiss not to post about some of the learning I gained while working on this table – both about fixing old school hardware and how to stain correctly.

As for the hardware, the main take-away is that Home Depot was wrong, and that fiddling with tools and nails and nuts and bolts through trial and error is sometimes ultimately the best way to fix something that isn’t clear-cut. In this case, I had to disassemble the bottom panel, and go into the stumps that held the two layers of the table together, where I discovered that two bolts had come off the nails that affixed the legs, thus the wobble factor. I was then able to put them back on and tighten, and now the table is sturdy as a rock.

Also, a huge learning about staining! This one, I do have to credit the Home Depot employees for. They told me to leave the stain on for 4-6 hours before wiping it away, even though the instructions on the can of Miniwax® Wood Finish read verbatim: “allow the stain to penetrate 5-15 minutes to achieve desired color.” Amazing what a difference the 4-6 hour time-frame makes! I had nearly given up on staining because it seemed as though it had no effect – that when I applied stain, it just came right off and changed nothing. So to all those who have thought that staining was too hard or who got frustrated with the process, do not give up! Sometimes, instructions are not meant to be followed – give the 4-6 hour wait-time a chance and perhaps you will see beautiful results.





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