Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Table for Discussion

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!

Furniture Feature Fridays


lauren @ West Furniture Revival said...

the table turned out beautiful... im looking to redo one of these for my mom

Paula said...

Wow, that looks beautiful! I can't believe that you can see the wood grain through the craft paint. that is a lot of hard work!!!

WhyCuzICan said...

Good for you for going with your HEART to strip it, even after going thru the effort to paint it. And your crafty solution of evening out the stain prob is inspirational!

Good show!
Found you thru your linky at MMS today

~Suzanne @ whycuzican

Heather said...

Thanks, ladies! It was hard work, but I will admit, I have been admiring it ever since!


Anita Ponchione said...

Your table looks great! Anita

Daryoush said...

Nice work. As someone who has done his fair share of stripping (no, not THAT kind) and staining (no, not THAT kind), I know full well what a pain in the ass the detail work can be.
How long did this take you? said...

Daryoush - I think the stripping and sanding took about 5 hours. I know I did the stripping and the first "flubbed" staining in a day...then came up withe craft paint idea the next day when I wasn't seeing what I wanted to see.