I have a confession to make….
I kind of faked something…
Remember my Fall garden table decoration? It was displayed on a beautiful table, wasn’t it?
Except that table wasn’t finished…..
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Let me tell you the chronicles of my garden table.
The above picture was taken in March. The table had just arrived in our garden and was still in its original state. Yellowed eighties pine.
May 15. Two months later I showed you my new old garden table on my blog. I explained how we found this old refectory table and why it was so narrow and long. I had begun working on the legs of the table that weekend.
June 11. Another month had passed and I finally started working on the top. I posted this photograph proudly on Instagram that day. It was taken after the first coat of stain and I was feeling very confident and cocky. I think I added a comment like, “this project is going to come out soooo good I can feel it”.
Except it didn’t…..
I had asked and questioned the salesperson in the paint shop over and over again whether this stain was going to stay transparent even after several coats, because this table needed multiple coats. They assured me it would. I believed that person against my better judgment.
Wrong very wrong. I ruined the table. The finish was so ugly, way too shiny, way to thick and fake looking. Terrible.
It stayed like that all through summer. I hated my table…
September 10. I finally couldn’t take it anymore. Let’s start over. I took the big belt sander to it and started taking all of that awful stain off. This was some mighty power tool! It constantly tried to get away from me. But it did the job.
15 minutes of arm muscles training later, the table started to look interesting again. And I changed the sanding paper for something a little bit less coarse.
Another 30 minutes more of chasing behind the sander, got me to this point. Still some dark spots were the stain had caught on particularly well, but I kind of liked the extra life it gave the wood. And sanding any further would damage the wood too much.
Scared to death of ruining it again. I applied one coat of sealer. A transparant color this time.
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I liked it! No unwanted shine, lovely pattern in the wood. Completely different than my original idea, which was to go for a much darker, more reddish finish, but I really liked the look.
But one coat wasn’t enough, this table needed more protection….
October 5. Totally ignoring the fact that the table wasn’t finished. Dressing her up for Fall. Spilling water all over her of course, but loving the way she looked.
I seriously contemplated just leaving her like this. But I knew that she would not be able to withstand time and my abuse if I didn’t protect her some more.
October 9. Putting on my big girl panties and finishing it. For real this time.
I gave her two coats of sealer. The most clear and hardy I could find. It is a sealer that is used for wooden floors so it is designed to be able to withstand a lot of (ab)use. I also did a bit of fake distressing to get the white painted legs to not look so shiny and white anymore. Normally I’d do this by distressing them, but I didn’t want to take any paint of because she needs her protective coat. So instead I stained the edges and ridges with a dark stain.
October 10. Finished. Happy. Relieved.
The clear sealer went on like a charm. It only made the table a little bit more shiny, it didn’t add any more coloring and it has given it a nice durable finish.
Subtle shine, no yellowing, awesome protection. Phew! I am so glad I don’t need to sand this baby down for a third time. This picture is probably most like the finish in real life. Kind of a pine finish but with a bit of a grey mask on it.
And I am happy and proud that I did not take the easy way out and just leave it as it was. I know I would have been sorry down the road when water spills and grease stains would have gotten into the wood.
It only took me 7 months and two tries but I kept on keeping on. And now my table is finished and beautiful and I am one happy camper!
See! Not all my projects happen overnight, are an instant success or go down easy. But when you keep coming back to it, start over if it doesn’t work out immediately, and you are brave in doing what needs to be done, every project will finally work out and you will get it done!