July 16, 2010

The Little Table That Could

So when Kristy and I went on our first shopping trip together, we stopped at the Salvation Army in Hadley. We saw a really cool dining table with great lines for $25. I had the wrong car and the Salvation Army would only hold it for 24 hours. Miraculously, I made it back the next morning and the table was mine. Here it is in our house:


I knew that I would need to polish it up a bit. This picture doesn’t do it justice— but there were a lot of dings, chips, divots, and paint drips. The paint was a dingy black. Here’s an idea:


I followed the furniture painting tutorial from Young House Love. I started with a light sanding and spackled the big divots. First, I pulled the table apart a bit (there is room for leaves) to make sure I didn’t paint it shut.


Then, I slapped on some oil-based primer:


Around this point, I seriously contemplated painting it white. Looking at this photo, I’m not sure why I didn’t just do it, but I guess I am pretty focused once I decide something. Plus the color of the room is icy-blue, and we’re not planning on repainting anytime soon. So I liked the dark contrast. But I digress.
I followed up with 2 layers of semi-gloss black paint.


I did very, very, very thin coats of paint. I also did a thin 3rd layer on the table top.

I read the tutorial quickly and grabbed an oil-based polyurethane instead of water-based. The only problem it created was a messier clean-up. What ensued was a panic attack because I accidentally poured a 1/4 cup of paint thinner down the drain. I imagined 3-eyed babies living down the street and our pipes deteriorating. I did 2 thin coats of this, vowed to buy the water-based stuff in the future, and then got really high from the polyurethane. I ended up watching some weird HBO documentaries.

And here is the finished product:


Shiny, right? Very shiny. Easy to clean, thanks to the hearty polyurethane.

And then, because I’m crazy, I felt like the two little farm house chairs we have were to hokey and dingy to be at our shiny new table. Even though we’re planning on buying new chairs, I painted the two existing chairs stark white.


Much better. They are now welcome at my table. And now I’m trying to figure out how to make little cushions for them with IKEA fabric that I bought last year.

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