Months ago, while almost four feet of snow was on the ground and my spray booth was closed for the winter, I got the itch to paint. My Craig’s List dining room table had been staring at me for over a year and now it was time to make it what I knew it could be.
Would you believe that I found the table and chairs separately? They are a set, but I bought the table in Carlisle, PA and the chairs in Richmond, VA. I loved the table and took a gamble that I would be able to find complimentary chairs. I had no idea that I would find the matching chairs a few weeks later. My awesome aunt and uncle (the same ones who brought me a truck load of furniture recently) picked them up and stored them for me.
The set has a great shape, but an orange, speckled finish that made it look dated. There was also a large watermark on one side of the table and the edges were worn. I knew I wanted a stained top. You know I love paint, but a white painted table just doesn’t hold up well. I opted to strip the top using Motsenbocker’s Lift Off, a product you can find at Wal-Mart or a hardware store. Once the finish was removed and the wood was dry, I applied a coat of dark walnut stain. It did not go well.
If you notice the direction of the grain in the picture above, you’ll see it’s in a “v” pattern. I tried to stain with the grain and it looked terrible. The finished was streaky and not as dark as I wanted. So, I dropped the “go with the grain” philosophy and I laid on a thick coat of stain on the horizontal. I applied it more like paint and allowed it ample time to dry. Problem solved. It’s a rich, dark, finish with no streaks. I then applied about five coats of Wipe On Poly by Minwax in a semi-gloss finish., sanding lightly between coats with steel wool.
I primed and painted the base in my favorite white, Creamy by Sherwin Williams. Once the paint was dry, I distressed it with a palm sander and applied dark walnut stain to antique the finish. Click here for a tutorial on this glazing technique.
I love the way it turned out. Now, the entire time I worked on this project, there was a small voice in my head saying, “take pictures for your blog, take pictures, you’re going to regret not taking pictures”, but I turned my iPod up and continued with my work…and now I regret it.
It took me a few more months to work on the chairs (and I still have two more sitting unfinished in the basement), but that’s the way life goes. I recently made some “grain sack” slipcovers for them, but still needed to make ties to hold them on.
Instead of making all of the ties myself, 24 in all, I purchased some twill tape today and hand sewed them onto the top of the skirts.
One down, three to go. More to come…
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