Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Big Reveal!

Some of you have been asking when I am going to show you my table.  I had thought that I would put it off until I had all my chairs done and show you the whole "ensemble."  But I couldn't wait any longer!  Ok, maybe just a bit longer, long enough to torture and show you the "before."  So grab your cup of coffee and settle in for a long story!  And remember, you asked for it!

So to start a very long story--
I found this table top Labor Day weekend at a yard sale in a nearby town.
Note, I said table TOP!  Nope, no legs-- but I absolutely fell in love with the details on the apron, and we knew that legs would be simple enough to add.  As the saying goes, "if I knew then what I know now..." I don't know if I would have even given the $10 for it.
The top was veneer which was started to chip along one edge.  The pic is where I had started to pick at it to try to see, yeah, that was just the start of things to come.  I knew there was going to be no way that I would be able to patch this since I wanted to strip and stain the top.  So did some research on how to remove veneer...

The process involved softening the glue with steam and prying it up.  When I started it seemed to be going fairly well until I realized that I was only getting up one layer of the veneer! Oops!  And so I wasn't actually getting down to the glue.  So what you see me doing is putting a wet towel on the top and then putting a hot iron on top.  And yes, it ruined my iron! Do not try this with a good iron!  Needless to say it was a very long and tedious process.  It got a little easier when we got smart and borrowed a large wallpaper steamer from a friend.

The look that I finally got it down to was never meant to be the top surface of the table.  It was a mix of woods, what we are guessing was some oak, some hickory and some maple.  The strips around the edges were even all different widths! But I was loving the uniqueness of the look, especially with the deep knots and the wormholes.  I was even kind of liking the look of the few little gouges that I had put in it with my putty knife (OOPS!).  The pic above is after we had it all sanded down.  We have now realized that we probably should have sanded the wide edge pieces a bit better as I think there was still some glue left on them.

Part of the reason that DH and I fell in love with this piece was because it had the hardware to open out to over 100 in.  We had been looking for a table that would start small, but be able to grow with our family as we add spouses and eventually grandchildren.  But, of course, no leaves came with the table top, so DH agreed to take on the task of making leaves.  It is already unique enough that they wouldn't have to match exactly.  The one problem was the edging pieces- we couldn't find any that matched anywhere we looked.  So we ended up picking new edge pieces.  It changes the look just a bit, but I'm ok with that.

So all of this wood got 3 coats of Minwax Special Walnut stain. I thought about using the Dark Walnut, but was actually worried about it going too dark.  And then I finished with Wipe-on Poly in a satin finish.  6 coats!  Hope that's enough to protect it.  I don't mind a few more nicks adding to the character, but would rather avoid water rings.

So I admit, I was too lazy to strip the apron pieces.  Besides, I knew that I was going to have to put something on the legs so that I could distress them and it didn't look just like new raw wood showing through.  So I painted all of them with brown spray paint.  Then 2 coats of Swiss Coffee.  Then a bit of distressing.  One coat of paste wax, followed by antiquing glaze.  I was a bit concerned about this step since I wanted to keep these parts as white as possible with just a hint of the glaze in the crevices.

 You can see the antiquing pretty well in this pic.  You can also see that some of the decorative pieces are missing.  A few of them had fallen off while the pieces were sitting in our garage, so I glued them on and hoped that the glue plus the paint will cement them well enough.

Ok, I admit it, I still swoon every time I walk in the dining room!  We are pretty pleased with the finished project.  The next time I post about this table, I will show it with a leaf in it and all the chairs done!  Tomorrow I will tell you about my adventure finding my latest 2 chairs!

And if you have read all the way to here, I'm sure you have finished your coffee by now! ;)



Linking to:

Furniture Feature Fridays
Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Love this. Can't wait to see the finished product and the chairs!

  2. That's absolutely gorgeous. So much character on that tabletop!

    1. Thank you! No mass produced table for me!

  3. WOO HOO!! LOVE how the table turned out, Ronda!! GREAT job!!

  4. It is beautiful, Ronda. I love it. And soooo much work involved in making it look that great!