I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I got a project completed with a little bit of help. Actually…a TON of help. But it was worth it. :)
You may remember my travesty of a desk I showed you a couple of weeks ago. It was a hot mess of mixed colors, woods, textures…just a smokin’ hot mess:
I didn’t even finish it, I just knew it was on the road to nowhere. ;)
Then I found a farmhouse table through a friend of a friend and it was everything I was looking for and more…in a table. Vintage looking, the perfect size, beautiful curves, and it had me at $15:
But it was mess as well. WHY can I not find something I don’t have to touch? Drats.
So I geared up at my local True Value and one day started out by chipping away the little bits of brown paint with a scraper:
I thought it would come right off, but most of it was holding on for dear life. Awesome!
I figured I would give it a once over with my sander to see how much I could get off. Thankfully, I had picked up a lead test at True Value as well, just for this project. I showed you last year how to do a lead test, and whooee, I am SO glad I tested this before I moved forward with any sanding:
By the way, pink means lead. RED means LOTS of lead. :)
Fantastic!! (Do you sense the dripping sarcasm yet?)
I highly recommend doing this test any time you’re going to sand anything you even suspect to be vintage or antique. The lead on this table was not in the brown paint, (that was more recent) – it was in a layer I couldn’t even see!
I was so bummed out. My easy project had turned into a total science fair. :) It took about five minutes of staring at the table before I realized I wasn’t going to tackle this one on my own. There are two things that freak me out when it comes to older pieces. One is lead, the other is mold:
And this one had both. :) Double AWESOME!! YES.
So I searched online and found a nearby refinisher who I talked to at length, and then decided to just bite the bullet and take it in. Because I was only having them take it down to bare wood, it was less than half the cost of a total refinishing job.
And the peace of mind (with a three-year-old in our house) was SO worth it. They had to take the whole thing apart to work on it, which was fine because I needed to change the direction of the legs anyway:
(Since my plan was to use it as a desk, I need the legs to go long ways with the table.)
When I first saw the table, I wanted to just poly over it and keep the lovely patina. But when the wood was really cleaned off, it wasn’t in the best shape. My only option was to paint it, so I laid everything out
Spray primer is a Godsend when I comes to legs and hard to paint pieces! Then I took it all inside and put it back together before finishing it up with a brush.
Because I’m using some blue in the fabrics and paint colors, I decided on a slightly lighter tone of the blue paint I picked out for the room – it’s a True Value color called Soft Hearted and I got it in mixed in Dutch Boy paints.
It’s a lovely light blue, almost grey color:
(It’s hard to see the blue in these pics.) I had never used Dutch Boy before and I loved it! Just the container is enough to make me a fan for life.
Because the table originally had leaves that dropped down, the previous owners reinforced the table and the leaves by using a thick piece of plywood:
Because you could see the edge when it was all put back together, I trimmed it out with with some scrap trim I had in the garage:
I didn’t have enough, so I still have more to do. :)
My plan all along was to take the whole tabletop apart and put it back together, because the wood had separated a bit:
But I kind of fell in love with it as is. When I painted it, I took a toothpick to each gap just to make sure it stayed goop-free. :) I think it shows the character and age of the piece, and I adore it!
I’ve mentioned about a bajillion times how much distressing stresses me OUT! This table was calling out for it though, so I did quite a bit on the legs and along the pretty edges:
I know it’s hard to imagine it as I see it in the final room, but it’s gonna be GORG. The walls around the desk will be white (for the most part), and the art will be just beautiful. If you could see inside my head, you’d so be oohing and ahhing right now. ;)
The previous desk was HEAVY, so I have to work on getting those ruts out of the carpet. (I let ice melt on mine and it always works great!)
Now I need a cover for my parson’s chair – anyone out there know how to make one? Helloooo? Anyone? (Remember peeps, I use hemming tape…I’m not a sewer! Much of one anyway.)
You Squeezies know how much I detest cords…so I took another trip to Target for one of those fantastic, honkin’ baskets (I returned something from another room just so I could OK it in my head. ;) )
I put the shredder and the computer cords in the basket, and I can easily plug them in when needed. The basket lets everything breathe (even though they won’t be plugged in while in there anyway):
I love, love, LOVE all the space I have!! I can use the computer, craft, whatever. The table is surprisingly even on top, but I may get a piece of glass cut, or cut down some wood and paint it to make a smooth spot for writing.
I still need to get some clear, water-based poly to coat it a couple of times, but otherwise, I’m DONE. It was way worth it to pay for the help. ;)
When I asked the owner of the refinishing shop his guess at the age of the piece, he said it was made in the 1920’s, at the latest. That made me very happy. I love old pieces, and I love bringing them back to life:
And this one has me fired up to get some paint on the walls!! Maybe tomorrow. Or next week. Soon. :)
*I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.*