Hi everyone! It’s Friday–woo woo! Any big weekend plans? I asked for a special birthday present–a day alone. Yep, one whole day, to do with as I choose, to turn off the phone, lock the door, and walk around naked if I want to. Well I won’t be doing that, but you know what I mean. My family’s schedules are such that I rarely have more than an hour or two alone. You ladies with small children, I know, would kill for even 30 minutes alone; I hear you. I remember those days well. But, I’m trying to really concentrate on growing my blog and learning how to make some income from it, and I could use a little peace and quiet. So, my family has granted my birthday request: Saturday is mine, all mine. It looks like I may have 9, or even 10, hours to get some work done, and maybe a project or two. Which is a nice segue to today’s project: giving my coffee table a vintage look.
I’ve been slowly bringing my living room into the 21st century–giving it my best shot anyway. I started with the mantle, giving it several fun looks here and here, until I’ve settled on this look (scroll down), for now. I added a French-style chair that I painted along with a side table that received a complete makeover, including a clock face (one of my favorite projects to date!). Finally, my coffee table got a chance at a makeover.
Some of you are yelling at the screen, “What?!! You painted your beautiful Queen Anne style, cherry table?!!” Yep, I did. I bought it ten years ago at a garage sale for $20.00, and ten years of kids and a dog have not been kind to it. The surface bore all kinds of scratches and even a gouge or two, plus all of the wood furniture in that room was dark, too dark. It’s time to go lighter! So I gave it one coat of True Value paint in “Classic Gray,” or what I would call, “Antique White.” I paid $4.00 for a quart at the Habitat ReStore. I thought I was going to have all kinds of bleed through because of the dark stain, but thank the Lord, it didn’t. I’m so glad I took the chance and didn’t use any primer.
After the paint dried (and I had distressed the edges nicely), I covered the entire surface with my homemade dark wax and let it dry for about 15 minutes. Then I buffed the wax out with clean cheesecloth. I was just about done, smiling to myself with pleasure at how things were looking, when I encountered a problem. One small patch, on the edge of the table, about 3″ x 6″, would not hold the wax. Like nothing. Nada. Rien. Niets. I had waxed and buffed the entire table, legs and all, but this one patch remained, pure “Classic Gray.” I spent several days reapplying the wax and letting it dry, only to have it wipe off again. Hmmm. How could I fix it? First I took it off the perch where it sat while being painted and set it down in the living room to sort out my feelings about the color. Guess what? The wax made the table top just too dark!
So, I decided to be brave and paint right over the wax with the original “Classic Gray,” leaving the edges waxed and distressed, ditto on the legs and apron. Afraid the contrast might be too great (and that the paint might not stick), I held my breath as the paint dried. Well, not really, because it took about an hour for it to dry completely. But once it did, I really liked it and it sticking to the surface like a dream. And when I placed it in front of the couch, I loved it.
You get the idea from this photo, right? The top is just paint–no distressing and no wax, (just a couple of coats of clear paste wax to protect the surface a little).
The undarkened surface is the perfect contrast to the darker edges and legs.
It goes nicely next to my French chair with it’s painted upholstery.
While it took me a few days longer to finish then I planned, I’m so pleased with how it came out. Next in line for a make over is the matching end table. I’m going to get rid of the excess dark wood if it kills me!
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