Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Saga of the Dining Table

I woke up Saturday morning with the delightful prospect of having an entire three day Labor Day weekend ahead of me (and no one else awake yet to spoil it by wanting something from me).  I lay in bed as the pale sunlight started to intensify outside the bedroom windows and wondered what to start my day with. 

I threw some shorts on under the t-shirt I had slept in (the best formula I've found yet for getting things done), made a cup of coffee, and wandered out to the front porch in the searching daze of a creative fanatic without a project.  I kept feeling that I needed a focus but I couldn't figure out what that focus was going to be.

I can't remember now what I went to retrieve from my car but, when I opened the back hatch, there it was!  My focus.  The weekend project that sleep had erased from my brain. 

I bought this table at the flea market for $22.50 (with tax: $24.58).  It had sat there for quite awhile and had been marked down repeatedly.  I knew I had free black paint in my project room.  I knew I could dress it up!

Here it is right-side-up:

The finish was so ugly it looked like the table had a laminate top. But it was solid wood.

And here is a detailing of the water damage on the top surface.  It has these blemish lines every five inches down the entire length of the surface.

I posed my table-painting plans on Facebook and was quite shocked to stir up a few wood-lovers who were horrified that I would paint over wood and who were very humanitarianly(wooditarianly?)-concerned for the "distress" I was putting the poor table through. 

Oh PLEASE!  It's called French Country.  And people pay extra for it! 

I adore painted furniture and I don't care what anyone thinks about me painting this table (as long as someone is willing to pay for it in the end -- of which I am confident -- worst case scenario: I might have to keep it which is very tempting to start with!).  I am constantly dragging something out to the front yard to paint and I have done so for time that can now be counted in decades and I have never once regretted it -- even when I was worried that I was making a mistake. 

I sanded the top and painted the table with two coats of glorious inky black paint called "Black Kettle".

I've been needing to learn how to distress furniture for awhile now.  This table taught me how!  It goes so contrary to instinct to take sand paper to something you've just tried so hard to get perfectly painted.  But I dove in and sanded away (maybe not as much as other people do when distressing but I may get carried away with it as I do it more and more)!

This photo was taken before I sanded that lower edge of the table top.

These photos don't really capture it but here's a look at the finished product.  I had to tell the girls "no" to eating dinner at this table in the front yard out of fear of mishaps!  THEY like it!

The table is now listed on Craigslist for $225.  Why not fish high?


  1. yes, but what about the stop sign??????

    Love it. Great job!!!

  2. I knew someone would say something about that! I did NOT steal it! I found it in a trash pile. It's illegal to sell them. Guess I have to keep it.

    (See? It even give ME trouble posting comments!)