I'm not a cookie cutter wife or mom. I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them. I'm not perfect, but I love my life...and isn't that everything?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Making an old table new again

We are a family of four. We had a small round dining room table with four chairs that was just fine for us. However, having anyone over for dinner posed a whole bushel of problems. We did everything from squeezing everyone in, to setting up a "card table" at the side of it making a weird squarish rounded table (that was interesting), to shunning the kids to a play picnic table or the living room and probably more that I blocked out.
Chairs before with seats removed

So when a friend posted a 6 seater Duncan Phyfe table for a reasonable price, I jumped on it. Now, we have taken it apart and in and out of the house and tried to turn it into a "farmhouse" style by adding turned legs, but finally just painted the original legs and finished it up. I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had visions of this beautiful farmhouse type table with a French white bottom and mahogany top. I finally decided to do a black bottom and mahogany top. The table is quite old and has it's share of "character", nicks and scratches, so I felt black would camouflage them better than any shade of white. So, I got to work.

Original legs
When sanding, and sanding, and sanding I thought there is NO WAY I am sanding the original legs. Not only do they have incredible detail, but they also have ridges down the legs that are teeny tiny. So that's when I decided to replace the legs with farmhouse style table legs. BIG mistake. Not only were they wobbly, the screw didn't stay in them so they spun. I reinforced them and shored them up and wood glued, but nothing worked so I ripped them off. (After I flipped the table out of frustration a la Teresa from Desperate Housewives). Seriously, if you have a table to ruin and frustration, try it, it was kind of cool. I decided the heck with it, I'll try just spray painting them and see what happens. Would you believe the non sanded legs took to the paint and have a better finish overall than the table and chairs I slaved over with the sandpaper?

In need of TLC
So, I sanded and sanded the chairs and the table. Then I painted the chairs and the skirt of the table with Rustoleum Paint and Primer in One Universal Satin Spray Paint in Black. I let them dry for a "half a day" or so in between coats. Meaning, I'd spray them during our youngest's nap time and then again after bedtime. There was about a 6 hour lapse between. Also, turning them upside down for a coat or two to make sure the bottoms of the rungs, etc. were coated well. There were parts of the chairs that did not take very well and repelled the paint some. I noticed these were areas that would generally have been touched a lot while moving the chairs, pushing them in, and so forth. I chalked it up to oils from skin contact. Between coats I lightly sanded the chairs with a 3M fine/medium sanding sponge. I just kept painting until I was happy with the coverage.

For the table top, I wanted to keep the mahogany finish. So I stained it with a gel stain. I didn't care for the gel stain. I applied it with a roller, that could be why. By the time I finished applying it (only half at a time), it was too sticky to wipe the excess off. This resulted in a very streaky look to the top, which overall wasn't bad, but looked bad because it wasn't consistent. But Thanksgiving was a'comin' and I was out of time. So I lived with it.

I sealed all pieces with Johnson's paste wax. Which, incidentally, had "shrunk" in the can since I did the little yellow desk. This worked to my advantage because I took it out of the can and rubbed it right on like it was meant to be used that way in a block. It worked really well. So if you use Johnson's and have a lot of flat surfaces to wax, leave it open a tad bit and let it shrink up and voila! you will have a very large wax "tart" to work with.

Okay, so...the table top wasn't too my liking, so I waited the winter (we're in NE US - brrrrrr) and brought the table back out the next summer, much to my husband's chagrin, and redid the top. I'm still not happy with it as one side is much "thicker" layer than the other, but I'm living with it. It's been inside as is for over a year now. Next summer I will either redo the whole thing French white as planned, or just give in, sand and spray the top black to match the rest. If I attempt the French white and it doesn't work, I'll just repaint it black. After all, it's just paint right?

Ready for the reveal?

See the little yellow desk back there? ;-)

You can really see how well the legs took to the paint without sanding! I may never sand again! hardyharhar

Complete. This picture makes me so happy.
Voila! Like a brand new set. I really would like to recover the seats with just the right navy and burlap color ticking. I have yet to find it in a price that won't put me in an early grave. Always on the lookout!

During non holidays and normal daily life, the club chairs flank either side of our fireplace, making it quite a cozy place to hang out. And isn't that everything?