Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Subject: My New Dining Table

Melissa -

This post has been a long time coming! I first told you about my dining table here, when I asked you to go pick it up for me. Yes, I search Craigslists in other cities where I have friends/family in the hopes that if I find something, they can get it for me and then I can figure out a way to retrieve it. So, the table is originally from Atlanta. Then my cousin, who lives in Charleston, told me she was going to the SEC basketball tournament in Atlanta and agreed to get the table from you, Peach, and take it back to Charleston. I was hoping that her mom (my aunt) would be able to bring it back down when she came, but it would not fit in her car. So then, about a month later, my uncle drove up there in a big SUV for my cousin's son's 1st birthday party (my second cousin, I think?), and he brought it back for me. It was quite a production getting it down here, but it was so worth it once you see the finished product and now it has earned the name "tri-state table!"

So, here it is before:

It is a solid oak table that I got for $100, which felt like a great price considering the guy said he hardly ever used it and it was in really great shape. It came with a leaf, which I planned to keep in it so all six of my dining chairs would fit around it. It actually measures slightly bigger than the table I had before, which was nice to for having people over - I could always add more chairs since there were no corners to contend with.

The only problem with keeping the leaf in is you can see in the picture above that the trim on the leaf doesn't match the rest of the table. When I originally got the table, the leaf had no trim and I didn't like the way it looked. So I went to Home Depot and had them cut me two pieces of 12-inch-long oak that was the same height as the existing trim around the table. Thankfully, the trim is plain so I didn't have to try and match it up with a piece that had grooves on it or anything. I was also pretty proud of myself because I went to The Depot all by myself and picked out the wood and had it cut. I paid about $3 for both pieces, which felt like a steal. I used L-brackets and screws (which I also picked out myself) to attach the new pieces to the leaf:

Once I had all that done, I got to the business of re-finishing. First I used Liquid Sandpaper to take the finish off the table to ensure the paint would then stick. I like Liquid Sandpaper because it's quicker than using actual sandpaper, plus it combines the step of cleaning the piece while sanding it. I applied it using a piece of an old T-shirt and wore gloves when working with it, which is so important. Liquid Sandpaper is available in the sandpaper section at most hardware stores and looks like this:

After the sanding step, I then primed it. I used Behr Premium Primer & Sealer because that's what I had on hand. I didn't have long stretches of time to work on this project, so the primer dried for about 24 hours before I started painting. I think it's important to wait an ample amount of time between each step - read the directions on your product - but sometimes I get impatient and rush things. So it was good that I had a finite amount of time each day to work on this project.

After priming, I then applied my paint. I used white trim paint that I also had on hand. For furniture, I always use latex paint and I think a semi-gloss finish is just right, so that's what I used. I applied 3-4 coats of paint, waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next. My dad advised me that oak is a thick wood and the grains of wood can sometimes bleed through the paint, so I was determined to put on as many coats as were necessary. Plus, I knew this piece would be heavily used, so I wanted to make sure it had plenty of coats for that reason as well.

Once I had my coats of paint, I then I applied a protective layer of polyurethane. There is a relatively new product called Wipe-On Poly by Minwax that is awesome and that I used on this project. You just wipe on the polyurethane with a rag (and gloves!). It comes in a glossy or satin finishes and the container looks like this:

For this project, I used the satin finish. Once the first coat has dried, you sand it with a fine-grain sandpaper, wipe it down and then apply another coat. Originally I was only going to do two coats on the top, but then I realized that people's feet would probably kick the pedestal and potentially chip it, so I applied two coats of the poly there too.

So after all that was done, I moved the table into the kitchen and put it together and voila! all done:

I love how it looks, with the wall color and the chair fabric and the tile. It is seriously such an improvement. Here is a picture of the dining area before, when it was green:

And here is the whole area now:

I looooooove it. I think the whole look is so much more refined and has so much more focus - like I actually had a plan beforehand and thought it all through! There are more details from this dining area to show you, but I'm exhausted from telling you about this table, so I will save it for another day!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love it!!! Awesome tut thanks so much for sharing:)