Today my dear friends I share a project that I truly hesitated to share. I felt it was just too mundane, too run-of-the-mill, too ordinary, too common.
And then I thought, I actually have some pretty good reasons to share it anyway……
- It took my forever to finish it, now that I have, it deserves it moment of glory;
- I made a bundle of blunders and mistakes with this one, you might profit from them and avoid them yourself;
- We can’t have big room reveals or outrageously innovative projects every time, sometimes sharing the everyday is good enough;
- It looks really good and I like how my pictures turned out.
- So here I go. I painted a little table white!!!!
- Yeah, I bet you didn’t see that one coming, now did you?!
I started this project 16 years ago!!! As in I started working on it in another decade, heck I started working on it in another millennium!
I got the table when I moved out of my parents house at 21. One of my sisters was moving in with her boyfriend then and she gave me some of her old furniture. The little table used to belong to my parents. I think it was part of their bedroom suite. Somewhere in its history the mahogany table had been painted white. By that time already a long time ago.
It stayed ‘white’ with me for some time too. And then I decided to strip it, because making it all shiny and lovely mahogany seemed like a good idea.
So I stripped, and scraped, and sanded…..
No DIY experience or knowledge to speak of back then. So I soon ran out of steam and stopped working on it.
It looked horrible, paint chips all over, roughed up, abused and ugly.
It stayed like that for 16 years…..
I even used it sometimes…..
I just draped a big table cloth over it and used it……
Until a few weeks ago when I started working on it again. From the looks of it I knew that my original plan of a beautifully restored mahogany finish was not going to happen. So on the plan B. I developed visions of clean, super smooth white. A polished look.
I had confidence I could pull it off……
So I started…….
And finished the scraping and the sanding and primed her……
She turned pink!
Should have known better. It isn’t as if Beth didn’t recently warn me about painting mahogany. I just choose to ignore it.
Stupid me! The pink was coming through three layers of primer!
Don’t believe me, that it was really pink?
See! In contrast to the white you can really see how pink it was.
So what did I use to stop the pink bleeding?
A special varnish or lacquer that I think is called shellac in English.
It smells like nail polish, it goes on like nail polish and you have to clean your brushes with acetone, so I guess it is a kind of a nail polish for wood. It covers everything up with one layer. (hmm two actually)
It was my first time using it and I didn’t really investigate or practice applying it…….
I was left with a very white, but very uneven bubbly finish.
I’m not sure you can see it very well here. But think three layers of nail polish applied by your four year old. Uneven, bubbly, rough and nothing like the smooth finish I had imagined.
Of course I thought painting over it with my finishing paint would fix it.
I never learn: of course it didn’t, things got only worse.
So realizing that my super smooth finish was not going to happen I went on to plan C.
Distress the heck out of it and go for the rustic, shabby chic look.
Ah, but that lacquer is so hard that even our belt sander did not remove it!!!
I sanded my butt of, but for some very small edges, the table stayed white and I could not get to the bare wood.
But she did get very smooth……
So I went to plan D (or back to plan B so to speak), and finished her of, with a smooth, silky white finish.
And all is right with the world again.
We haven’t had a real coffee table in front of the couch for years. In fact as long as my love and I have been together we have not had a coffee table in front of us.
Her size isn’t exactly right for the space. But she is a good testing ground, whether we like having a table again.
And of course I loved dressing her up….
She will come in handy on many occasions. One just needs an extra table now and then. And I’ll have to see where she ends up in the near future.
But for now…..
She is doing just fine holding up my feet…..
Thanks for listening!