Thursday, July 3, 2014

Side Table Makeover




When we decided it was time for an overhaul in the great room, I basically wanted a complete flip flop of the feel that we had.  Everything was warm and cozy and tropical.  I'm not talking wicker or anything but we have lots of Hawaii landscape pics in warm koa wood (and koa veneer), a cliffside green on the walls and the unfinished wood furniture we bought was stained to match our favorite koa frame so as not to deplete the koa supply or drain our savings back in the day.

That was 11 years ago and I purposely picked pieces that I knew had classic lines and could be painted if we decided to change the color scheme.  I remember mentioning that to the Mr back then and he recoiled in horror at the thought of painting the two armoires, side table and dining room table we'd just purchased.  But when I suggested the new color scheme and he'd already seen some of my work in my Etsy store, he said he felt totally comfortable with me repainting.  I'm glad one of us did!  I hesitate to call this a tutorial because I'm also going to share the things that went horribly wrong so you hopefully don't make the same mistakes.  That and a good home/lifestyle blogger takes proper before's - mine look like this...

The "oh crap, I forgot to take a before pic in it's natural habitat!" pic in the garage

So yeah, that beautiful honey color had an orangey glow over time even though it wasn't in direct sunlight.  Lately one of our favorite local home stores has been doing these farm tables with white legs and a stained top.  The Mr really loved that look and I liked it well enough but wasn't completely sold on it.  As I thought more about the thought of having our two most used tables having white tops, I began to get cold sweats.  So I thought the darker stained top to match the new floors would be the better way to go.  One thing I'm not ashamed to admit...we're hard on and lazy with our furniture and floors.  So you've gotta consider your lifestyle when going for these makeovers.  I did a lot of searching for the right materials and since the thought of stripping the whole thing, sanding it, etc made me ill, I decided chalk paint might be the way to go.  From what I read, chalk paint can go straight on to pretty much any surface without sanding or priming.  My lazy gene raised it's hand and said 'yes please!'  So I jumped on the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint bandwagon.


Yes, I bought the paint brush too.  I'm such a lemming.  Trust me, once I paint everything I need to paint, I'll do a review on it.

First I looked over the table to see if there were any dings or cracks that needed attention and apparently, I had a pretty good split going on the bottom of a leg.  So I grabbed some wood glue and glued it down and clamped it and let it dry for two hours or so.


I found this really helpful article that talked about how to stop wood tannins and stain from bleeding through your paint job.  The sides of my drawers and a few spots on the armoires have some seriously rough wood where the stain is much darker and I knew I would have bleed through so I gave it all a coating of shellac where I was going to paint.


I tried to sand the top of the table to get it prepped for staining but I could still see some shine, so I decided it was time to break out a paint/stain strippers best friend, Citri-Strip .


I just slathered a bit on the tabletop, let it sit for 15 minutes until it was all bubbly, then scraped it off with a scraper do-dad and you can see the difference in the third pic the raw alder wood and the gloss waiting to be scraped off.


Alder wood is a pretty soft wood (thanks a lot salesman for neglecting to mention that when I said I wanted a non-grainy wood) so the stripper slightly raised what grain there is.  I gave it a sand with 220-grit sandpaper until smooth.


Since I loved the cotton staining pad I used to stain the trim for the floors, I decided to get a 4-pack to have on hand to stain the tables.  I slapped on my rubber gloves and used Varathane Oil Base Stain in American Walnut for the table top.  I dipped the pad in, ran it across the top and repeated on the whole top and then wiped it off.


Because our floors have a pretty heavy grain look to them, I wanted to see if I could get away with infusing a faux grain on top to match.  So I flipped the pad over, which I'd kept clean during the staining, and kind of raked it across the top.


This is where the weather totally screwed with me.  It took three days for that dang stain to dry!  (So I thought)   So I blue taped the bottom of the table top where the stain would stop and the paint begin.   Then I totally forgot about my fancy pants brush for the first coat of chalk paint.  Oops!


I painted the whole bottom of the table, sanded in between coats and the stain I thought was dry said "no, I am not yet dry, don't I look good in white?"  Yeah.

{Insert meltdown and a 30 minute look at Pottery Barn's website}

I salvaged the dust debacle with a blue shop paper towel and tack cloth and went back to it.  Because I wasn't in my right mind, I didn't take pics of the next parts but I think y'all are smart enough to understand directions so bear with me.  I bought that Annie Sloan soft wax and wanted that silky feel on the legs and body of the table.  So I found this great tutorial and used the paper plate technique to do the body of the table, went back over it with cheesecloth to rub it in and it had a finish smooth as a bebe's butt.


Because I got all shellac happy, I put a coat on top of the stain to seal it so I could poly it.  Well, a trip to the woodworkers forums all had people say shellac (which contains wax) and poly are no bueno.  When I researched the water based poly I was going to put on the shelf on the bottom over the paint for the tabletop, they said it didn't stand up to water well and scratched easy.  Well, piss on me!  So I found that oil based poly is how you want to go for stained table tops.

But what about that shellac I already put on top?  Well, to be safe, I got Zinsser Sealcoat which does not have wax and gave it two coats of that before applying satin spray oil based poly to the top.  (This is where more seasoned wood workers would tell me I could've just not stirred the wax from the bottom of the shellac and used the gloss on top instead of buying the Seal Coat.  I know, but I just didn't want to take the risk.  I'm a chicken.)

When it was time to apply the Varathane oil based spray poly, I wrapped the white part of the table in a plastic drop cloth and taped it up.  Picture me doing that below.  :-)


It says three coats gives the best, toughest coverage and to allow 2-4 hours between coats.  I would give 4-6 hours between coats and sand with 320 grit sandpaper and then 400+ grit for the final coat.  (You can go smoother with 800 grit at auto parts stores which I might do for the big table.)

When I was finally done, I reattached the knobs, did a little distressing (I'll repaint if I grow tired of the look) and waxed the drawer fronts and brought it inside for a few days before use to make sure given the humidity that everything was dry and on it's way to cured.


I like the way the table top turned out and am glad we went with a satin on there so it's not all glossy looking.



I did put a coat of water based poly on the bottom shelf because that shelf gets a little more action and I wanted it to be durable, so I went with that.  Yep, three different mediums of protection on this thing and that's probably making furniture people who actually know what they're doing cringe.  But you know what? If it's a total screw up down the line as far as wear, I'll have learned my lesson and will fix what I need to.

But for now, we're going to enjoy the fruits o' my labor!


(This post has affiliate links to help you in your DIY adventures.  If you buy through them, I'll get a few cents back to go toward blog expenses.)

====================
Like this post? Don't miss another one...subscribe via email or RSS feed. (Or you can follow me on Facebook )

Linked up with Tater Tots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Sand & SisalArtsy Fartsy Mama, What's Cooking Love, City of Creative Dreams, Shabby Nest, My Romantic Home,  Simply Sweet Home, Thirty Handmade Days. French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique, Home Stories A to Z, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Not Just a Housewife, Memories by the Mile.

18 comments:

  1. You did an incredible job! It turned out so much better than I even imagined and I love the darker top with the white, that was definitely the way to go there. I know it's a huge pain in the butt, but not only did you save us serious money, you managed to keep our first major furniture purchases so that they continue on with us and I kind of like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks hon! Despite the stumbles, irritants and such dealing with how the humidity affected drying times and stuff, it was worth it. I just looked at Pottery Barn's site and a side table with similar lines (but with an extra shelf instead of the two drawers) is on sale for $229. The one I'd probably lean toward is $500. :-O So with all of the materials and because of the more expensive paint I bought, I'd say I spent about $30-40 making over the table to give it a brand new look so saving anywhere from $200+ is good by me! :-) I like that we're keeping these pieces as well. I've always liked the lines on them and we said they were investments so I wanted to get the best ROI we can!

      Delete
  2. That is SO cool! I love the way the top matches your new flooring. It looks very professional. As the Mr. said, you just saved a serious chunk of change.

    I wish you lived in Texas so I could pay you to make over my furniture, lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate it. It's the first time I've done this but as I move on to each piece, I get a little more confidence. While it can be a pain in the rump, the savings is too good to pass up. :-) I say grab a smaller piece like this and try your hand at it or even get a really beat up piece at a garage sale or thrift store. I've seen some seriously amazing transformations online!

      Delete
  3. That look great! I'm always amazed by what some people can do with a can of paint and a few (or many) hours time. I don't think I'd have the patience or skill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I am too. I look at the stuff people do out there and am amazed. (Especially when they slap on these amazing picture transfers and stuff...unreal!) I figured this should be somewhat easy and I'm ready for it all to be done! LOL

      Delete
  4. You did a beautiful job! I might just have to try this on one of my old end tables!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! You'll have to update if you do that! I will say chalk paint dries quickly if it's gross hot out, like almost too fast so keep that in mind should you go for it! :-)

      Delete
  5. That turned out really great! I recently started to use Annie Sloan paint, and I too bought the brush.... I love it. Great work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Oh man, I thought the Mr was going to have a heart attack on the price! LOL I don't consider almost $40 per QUART a bargain. I thinned mine out a bit for the inside of the armoire where it'll be hidden more by electronics because I want to make that stuff last! :-)

      Delete
  6. Love the updated! I'm going to do a bit of DIY this weekend too...not as creative as that but it will keep me busy. Have a good holiday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, let me know how it went! I love any kind of DIY! You have a good holiday as well!

      Delete
  7. You worked so hard and it came out so beautifully-you should be very proud of that table! I'm sure I wouldn't have the stamina to stick with it, go through all those steps and word as hard as you did--but thanks for the tips if I ever attempt something like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I am and will be moreso if in 2-3 years the finish is still holding up on the top! LOL Don't sell yourself short. If it's the difference between buying new and saving hundreds of bucks, I bet you'd get the motivation. ;-)

      Delete
  8. Wow looks great! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful work my dear! I really like the contract of the light paint and darker wood top--very striking. Just lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad we decided to go with stained on top though I'm still afraid to use it full throttle the way we did before. LOL Of course talk to me after I refinish the big dining room. That should be interesting! Right now I'm high on poly fumes. Not how I envisioned spending my holiday...okay, it's how I envisioned but not how I wanted to spend it. HA!

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I appreciate thoughtful readers like you! If your comment doesn't show up right away, check back in a few minutes. I promise it'll get posted. The system can get a little glitchy. (Rude or spammy comments will be deleted. Fair warning.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...