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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:

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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:

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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.

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Then, I slapped on some oil-based primer:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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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I hope you say nice things, but if you don't, I'll get over it eventually.