I love a good find. I’m cheap but I am willing to pay a bit more for a good find. I told Mr. Knight some years ago that we would never pay for new wood furniture again, that from then on I would buy old and make it new. It’s so smart and if you’re picky you can find beautifully made solid pieces that just need a little love.
I found this extremely heavy blue pedestal table from a well known antique/vintage store in our area and fell in love with its shape. Obviously at one time it was someone’s kitchen table (probably in the 30’s or 40’s) and it was cut down to be a coffee table. It’s solid wood and thick so I knew it was worth the 95 dollar price tag. The only draw back for me was the color. I like blue but this was too electric for me. It sorta reminds me of Sesame Street; it has a daycare feel but I knew I could give it elegance again.
So out came Handi-strip. I don’t work for them but they make one heck of a crazy fast paint stripper. It’s gel and you slather it on with a paint brush….immediately it makes the paint bubble. Literally 30 minutes later the paint is goop-ing off. I think I made up that word but nothing else describes this mess….
Let me say here that this is what you need to successfully strip paint off furniture:
3. A garage or other well ventilated area
4. Paper towels
6. Plastic scrapper
7. Paint brush
8. Plastic container to pour the stripper into
Do not use metal with stripper ever. I don’t know what would happen but the can say you shouldn’t.
No matter how good you think you are at this at some point or another you will grab paper towels and start scooping the goop off…..
Ok so eventually I got all the gunk off and out came my palm sander. This was a lot more fun and the results were incredible.
I knew I wanted to stain the top and paint the bottom but I debated on the look. I decided to go with a semi-transparent grey stain and an off-white distressed bottom. Although the picture appears bluish – in person it’s much more grey and you can see peekaboo tan through it giving it a barn wood feel. I finished it with one coat of polyurethane; sanded lightly (after it dried) and the next day gave it another thin coat. Polyurethane needs at least 2full days to cure enough to let your children near it. Please don’t clean it or mess with it for a full 7. After a week it’ll be completely kid proof 🙂
So for the bottom part I made my diy chalk paint with an antique white and a dash of grey. My recipe is simple:
A half a cup of warm water mixed with 1/2 cup of plaster of Paris. I mix it till smooth and then add 1 cup of paint. It’s really not a science, I just mix it till it is the consistency of slightly watery pudding.
I find that I prefer two coats of the chalk paint. Each coat dries fast, really fast. Then I distressed the edges and wherever I thought the table might get banged up over time. After a wiped down I glazed the entire piece, concentrating on the banged up areas. I left the glaze on for about 5 minutes and wiped it off. It gave it a nice aged patina look I think, like it’s been around the block.
Since the bottom piece was painted in latex I used polycrylic to kid proof the work. I only used one coat since it’s not an area they normally mess with.
I’m so happy for this table. It is elegant again 🙂