Did you miss me? I have been super busy being a mom, an employee, and a grad student. That hasn’t kept me from doing the things I love, it just prevented me from recording it.
I bought this oak table on craigslist about two years ago for $160. I remember the day. It was my birthday and my mother-in-law and I drove out to get it. I was really sick with allergies. I mean sick. I had gone to the doctor three times to ensure that I didn’t have the swine flu. It turns out that I am highly allergic to oak pollen...not oak tables.
So when I bought this table, I should have just gone with my gut instinct to strip it and refinish it. But, I didn’t. I painted it white. Although it looks pretty good here, it was chipping everywhere and the wood grain was actually starting to show through the paint. It just wasn’t what I wanted.
What I really wanted was a big chunky dark brown, walnut-looking round pedestal table. Like this…
So a few weeks ago, I made a huge decision. I was so afraid to use stripper, but I found this somewhat safe stripping gel. It says you can use it inside, but I used it outside. If you decide to do this, make sure you put it on thick. The areas where I unintentionally painted it on thin were much more difficult to work with.
It took two rounds of the stripper to get 99% of the paint off. The other 1% chose to sit down in the grain of the wood. I sanded it, but there were still a few tiny areas that just wouldn’t budge. I’m sure you wouldn’t even notice it, but trust me, I know every inch of this table!
I bought the darkest stain possible, ebony, thinking my table would be, well, black. Ha. To my surprise, the stain just wasn’t getting as dark as I wanted. And the actual wood grain of one side of the table did not match the other. I wish I would have just skipped the oil-based stain all together. Holy stinky!
Don’t worry, I turned to my old standby, craft paint. Oh, what would I do without craft paint? I mixed the darkest brown I had with a little water and started to brush it on in the direction of the wood grain. I used long strokes. To my surprise, it started to look really awesome. And even with three layers, I could still see the wood grain, which was even better.
When it was all dry, I applied two coats of semi-gloss polyacrylic and voila! I think it turned out great.
My dining area is currently forgoing a makeover which may [probably] involve craft paint. There’s more to come, I promise!