Oh my goodness, not another post on that ugly craigslist table and chairs!! I bet that's what you're thinking. Sorry. Yes, it is yet another post on what I've affectionately been calling the table and chairs from hell. It's almost embarrassing how much work I've put into this quick little make-over. Who am I kidding, almost embarrassing? It is down-right embarrassing. In fact, I had a whole post written detailing all the steps I've taken (forward and backward) but I couldn't possibly put you through all that. Suffice it to say, I could have made over at least three table and chair sets in the time I've spent on this one. Ugggg! And you know what? I'm still not completely finished. I gave it what I hope is a final coat of poly tonight.
What about that lovely photo up there, what's that? It is steel wool soaked in vinegar. I read about it here after googling ways to replicate the look of aged wood on a farm table. This was after my attempt at a light driftwood-look failed. I declared it a failure only after applying several coats of this. No problem. At this point I'm an excellent stripper. (imagine the disappointment that comment will cause some google-searchers when they find themselves here. Hee-hee) Once the first failed finish was removed and sanded, and sanded, I applied a dark wood stain. I can't begin to tell you how bad it looked. Really, really B.A.D. I've since read that pine, (I'm thinking the table top is pine) tends not to take stain evenly. That would be an understatement. I also read the squiggly marks you can get from using a power sander are amplified when stain is applied. Understatement number two. The only good thing I can say is that at least I had not applied a top coat before deciding the dark stain was not working. Back to my google search and Sheena's lovely farm table. I loved the way her table turned out and hoped I could get similar results, and at this point, what have I got to lose? Apparently, I've already lost my marbles.
Guess what? It worked. It went on evenly and gave the table top a gray weathered appearance. It was a happy moment. I may have cried a little, or it could have just been sweat. Geez, it's hot in North Carolina in August!
These photos do not at all give you a true representation of the color, but you can see how evenly the rusty vinegar stained the wood. It was a cheap, stinky thing of beauty and this made me exceedingly happy. I may have danced a little. This time to seal the top I used this, because I had a full can and wasn't about to spend another cent on this project from you know where. Like Sheena shared about her table, some of the gray color is lost once the top-coat is applied. Also, it got a lot darker. Much more than I expected, but at this point, I'm fine with it. In fact, I think it will be a nice contrast to the blue chairs. I'm so ready to call this project complete. Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be back tomorrow with pictures of the finished project. Make that later today since it's after midnight now. Why am I not in bed, clearly I need all the beauty rest I can get. Good night friends.
Remember these guys? The table and chairs I found on Craigslist for $50.00. My thought was I can give 'em a quick shot of white paint, a little distressing and maybe sell them and make a little profit.
Well, that's not how it went down. If you've found yourself envious of bloggers who find furniture dirt cheap and with a little spray paint turn end up with a show piece, not to worry. This story doesn't go down like that. Nope, there will be nothing to envy here, unless you wish you could spend countless hours in the stifling, sticky North Carolina heat sanding and scraping, stripping, and painting, then doing it all again.
The first coat of paint didn't stick. At all. I blame it on the south. Beware of any older item you wish to paint that has lived its life in a southern kitchen. There will be layers of grease. Layers and layers. You can clean it and sand it. It may look clean, but don't be fooled.
This was after the first round of failed painting- in the process of stripping off the paint. Two $20 cans of paint stripper were purchased plus sand paper and paint. My $50 table has now cost me closer to $100. See all those little spindles? Not easy to sand, so I decided to buy a little mouse detail sander. $40.00. Boy this cheap table and chairs really isn't so cheap anymore.
Finally all the paint and stain have been stripped. Now onto primer. I don't remember how much that was, I think $13.00 for a quart. Anyone keeping count? I stopped. It was too painful.
Here's everything primed (by hand) ready to be sprayed. I mixed some paint I had and came up with a pale blue-y gray. Looked gray wet but more blue as it dried. The paint went on nicely and stuck. And, I hated it. The color just didn't work with the style of the chair. I distressed the chairs and they distressed me. After all that work, I wanted to love them and I didn't. In a moment of desperation, I grabbed a can of spray paint I had in the cabinet. And the angels began to sing a hallelujah chorus. Chairs officially done. For now.
Still working on the table top, but the legs are done.
The end is in sight.
I'm working on the top today. I had it finished, or so I thought, but on a whim decided I just didn't like the color, so what the heck, I stripped off three layers of poly and started over. Cause that's how I roll ~like a big ol' flat tire.
Tomorrow I'll tell you why my hands smell like vinegar and rusty metal.