Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Table Refinishing 101

I've had a few requests for an update on our OTHER summertime home-refinishing project. If you've been following our stories, you've already heard The Almost Perfect Door story. If not, you can catch it here.

As a quick recap, three boys, two dogs and one cat make for plenty of items that could use some TLC at our house.

Finding a project around here isn't a problem. My hangup is finishing the project once I've started. I usually find that I can live with 'it' about 1/2 way through the mess and never quite 'bring it on home.' I figured the best way to guarantee finishing the project was to PAY my kids to do the work. They got paid when we got finished!

My youngest helped me refinish our front door. We stuck it out (kinda had to, considering the door was off the hinges and laying flat in the garage). I didn't have the energy needed to redo the smudge that my 'helper' produced when he decided to test the wet paint theory. Door went back on the hinges, kid got paid, and I have an almost perfect project. The best part was being FINISHED!

Around the same time (back in mid-June) I thought we should take on the kitchen table. My darling hubby bought me this farm table the year we moved into our new house. It was love at first sight the moment I saw the sale sign proclaiming that it was the perfect size and PRICE. That was 11 years ago, Over the years, the table has taken a beating. I no longer felt anything even remotely warm and fuzzy when I looked at it.

I was aware of the name that had been carved into the tabletop long ago (gee, I wonder who ?) I knew that the table was no longer the beautiful honey color that I remembered falling in love with in the store; years of trying to scrub away school projects, family dinners and split milk had taken its toll. The legs wobble a bit now. All this I knew, but I had no idea that an entire college rivalry had been bantered back and forth over the years between two brothers. The very brothers that I was paying to repair the damages!

You have to live in Utah to grasp how very deep this college rivalry goes. Children involved are very lucky that my Alma mater shows up more times than the rival school!

This project wasn't hard. It was just hard to finish. The project manager (my sixteen-year-old) lasted 2 days on the job. On day three, he went over his bike's handle bars and convinced our local orthopedic surgeon that he had fractured a very hard to pin-point bone in his thumb. It was just bad enough that he couldn't help finish the project (or play his violin). HOW CONVENIENT!

I moved a small 3 1/2-person bistro table into the spot belonging to our 8-person farm table. I figured that my oldest was moving out soon enough. We could make this work...right? It took a couple of dinner gatherings to convince me that I needed to pony up and get the job done. (We have a truly beautiful dining table, but right now it's more of a conference / craft / storage table. Sadly, finishing the farm table was easier than clearing the dining table.

That was June. Now it's August (almost September).

Table is not quite finished. Instead of the buttery cream color to match the paint of my kitchen counters, I ended up with a bright white paint that we applied to the table legs and apron. Some day I'll fix that. Don't even get me started on all of the mismatched chairs. My buddy (and shopping guru) Erica found me 4 fantastic, and might I add matching chairs. And even better, they were a screaming deal.

Only problem is that I'd have to paint them to match the new table and we all know that's not going to happen!


samnarene said...

It's fun to read the little details you include when writing about projects that otherwise might not be so memorable to pass on as recorded family history. The end result is not only a beautiful table, but a fun family story to retell.

Beth Graham said...

Your story just confirms my commitment to cover my ugly table with a tablecloth and buy a nice table when the kids are older!

Kaysi said...


Jami said...

Ha- this was funny as I have a table sitting in the garage 1/2 finished as well. Hopefully I'll be able to get it done to look lovely like yours. :-)

B's Mommy said...

GO UTES!!!! ;)

Lauri said...

No Way B's Mommy! It's RISE AND SHOUT THE COUGARS ARE OUT! JK...you know I bleed purple!