Driftwood Table

But first...this is where we started.

This table caught my attention a few weeks ago, and it was offered at a price that I couldn't refuse.

It looked frumpy when I brought it home. The top was not appropriately attached to the base, which is why it sits at an awkward angle. 

I knew the legs would be white/ivory, but I just couldn't bring myself to paint the wood on top. 

After the first layer of stain & stripping agent was removed I loved the rough texture of the wood, but not the orange tones.

After patching and repairing the base and legs, I primed and painted it Antique White. Somewhere in the history of this table, a previous owner had a dog who liked to gnaw on wood. The top was attached correctly and sits level now.

I have been waiting for the perfect piece to try a gray wash/driftwood finish, and decided to try it on this table.

I sanded the top and applied a very watered down mix of white paint and water, quickly wiping it away with a damp cloth.

I did this twice and really liked the effect, but it needed more gray for a weathered driftwood look. So I mixed in some gray from my paint stash, and did the same wash, wiping away with a damp cloth after a few seconds.

Time for the top coat, and this is where it got a bit hairy. It looked so pretty, and I didn't want to alter it by adding wax or clear coat. But raw, unprotected wood is not going to last on a dining/kitchen table.

First I tried a wax, and when I rubbed in the wax it brought back all of the orange tones in the wood. I waited and panicked, thinking it might return to gray after it dried, but no luck. So I sanded that small area and reapplied the gray wash. Long story short: I should have started with Minwax Polycrylic. It is my favorite; it always dries to a hard, solid, satin finish. And because this table will be used, washed, and wiped down regularly, it needs a solid wipeable finish. Bonus: Polycrylic made the finish even more beautiful. It was a bit dull before, because I used flat paint in the wash. The satin poly added dimension to the grays, whites, and wood grain.

Before & After:

Sharing with: Home Stories A to Z
A Stroll Thru Life
My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia
DIY Showoff
Silver Pennies

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Midcentury Chair

I found this chair for $10 and ran to it as fast as my legs would carry me. 

It was rickety and dirty. I reinforced the legs with wood glue and clamps. I lightly sanded the wood, but I could not bring myself to paint the wood. Something about painting MCM furniture makes me feel very sad. Not that I won't in the future, but it has the be the right piece, and the right color, and only if it improves upon the overall aesthetic. 

On to the seat & upholstery...

You can imagine my delight when I removed the first layer of icky vinyl, and discovered a bonus layer of icky vinyl. It was my lucky day. 

The upside - many layers of vinyl left the padding clean and in great condition. 

I brought out the Restor-A-Finish, as a test really. I love this stuff, and I've used it before with great results. But this chair seemed to be past the point of a simple fix. I was so happy with the results that I had to take a picture mid-process.

Look at the difference in the legs. The scratches and dullness wiped away, leaving shine and a pretty wood design.  

Classic Desk In Ivory

This gorgeous desk was listed as a FREE item on Craig's List. By the time I contacted the seller, he had received so many inquiries, the price had increased to $100. Whether this was a marketing strategy or honest circumstance, I don't know. I decided to pass. I have a $30 rule with Craig's List furniture. In the end, we worked out a deal because he wanted to sell it immediately. He gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. Although not free, it was a great deal. 

This is a beautiful desk. Solid and heavy, with old-fashioned details and dainty legs under all of that weight. I love those legs. That really was the detail that sold the desk for me. 

I don't rush to paint beautiful old pieces like this, and I don't just slap paint on everything that crosses my path. But the finish was in need of some love. It practically rubbed off on my hand. I barely had to use sandpaper. And those legs were begging to be accented in a lighter color. 

After a thorough sanding, patching holes with wood filler, two coats of primer, two coats of Antique White mixed with Floetrol, and a layer of wax/top coat, here is the new desk!

I'm secretly hoping this doesn't sell so I can keep it and swap out the current desk in our office. Update: the desk sold immediately. :(  I was so sad to watch as it left my garage.

The wooden square knobs were pretty awful. I chose brass knobs (shocking!) to contrast against the ivory. They also coordinate with the tiny original brass lock.

Side-by-side, it's like a completely different desk.

On to the next project...that round dining table sitting all sad in my garage. I can't wait to pull my Highlander in to the garage again. That thick layer of pollen on the car is gross, and the kids would like to play basketball someday.
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Turquoise Beauty, Loretta

This table was found in a nearby garage. 

I carefully placed it in the back of my Highlander and drove off to pick up a cute little midcentury chair. My friend, who was keeping me company for the day, was visibly worried. 

The table looked really bad. 

It was dirty and the paint was in horrible shape. 

I chipped away the damaged veneer, and sanded the top to a smooth finish.

I filled the damaged wood and uneven surfaces. 

The wood on top had a green tint, which I worried would remain after I stained. I treated the wood with conditioner, which really brought out the green.

But, to my relief, the green tone was neutralized by the stain. So after two coats of Dark Walnut and one coat of Red Chestnut, I applied three coats of Polycrylic to seal & protect the finish. 

It looks turquoise in the evening light of this picture, but that is still the original green paint.

After the top was complete I still had to decide on a color for the base. I sanded and primed. My helpers assisted in washing the legs with hot soapy water, scrubby sponges, and toothbrushes.

The base will never be smooth without completely stripping several coats of paint, and a delightful layer of crackle paint. With all of the grooves and details, I wasn't interested in taking on that task. So (I'm telling myself) the texture adds to the beauty and rustic nature of this table. Sounds good, and it really is a cute table, layers of paint and all.

I played around with several color options, but this table stumped me. The gray was too serious and dark. The ivory was too formal. My first instinct was turquoise, and I need to start listening to my gut. Even though it took three or four attempts to find the right turquoise, this is the right color for this little table.

And here she is, after one coat of primer, a coat of turquoise, some distressing to bring out the details, and a protective finish.

Am I crazy or is this table giving off a Loretta Lynn vibe? 

But also, I was listening to Van Lear Rose while I painted, so maybe that had an influence.

One last look at the before & after...

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Flea Market Swap 3 - The Big Day!

Last week I talked about 'Flea Market Swap 3' organized by Charlotte from Ciburbanity. You've probably spotted Charlotte on the back page of the March issue of BHG, in her beautiful lavender living room. A lot of planning goes on behind the scenes of these projects, so a big thanks to Charlotte for organizing all of this!

Here's a look back at the flea market treasures I received from Karen (Year Of Serendipity), before I made any changes:

It took me a while to come up with a plan. Then one night over a glass of wine and the latest episode of Vanderpump Rules, inspiration struck! *When I feel like I'm winning at life because I don't watch anything Kardashian, I remember that I faithfully follow Vanderpump Rules and Dance Moms and step down off my pedestal*


I used leftover paint from the foyer chair rail project, which is an ivory semi-gloss. I knew I wanted a "wood & white" combination for the bottom of the tray, and I wanted to keep the design simple. The bottom is made of two very thin pieces of plywood from Michael's, which Jason cut to size. If you look closely you can see a seam in the middle, but please don't look closely.  :) I covered the tray bottom in a light natural stain, then taped and painted the arrow before gluing the wood to the frame with a hot glue gun. Total cost: $2.30 for the wood, all other supplies were already on hand.

This wooden beauty really had me stumped. It's small, like the size of my hand small. I could live quite happily with a tiny succulent in every room of my house, and this guy works as a tiny succulent container.  I tried to add a round base made of balsa wood, thin enough that I could cut it with scissors, but that was a fail. The wood splintered and the glue was visible. I found this tiny wood slice in my craft stash, and it fit! I like the "wood on wood" effect. It has a natural and organic feel. The wooden ring was lightly glued to the round, then I added dirt and rocks from a separate plant. Total cost: $0

The possibilities were endless for this jewelry box. I could have gone crazy with color, adornments, stenciled patterns, etc. With so many options, I went in the opposite direction and chose to keep it as simple as possible. I also wanted to keep the aesthetic of these three items similar enough that they look good together in a single picture. So after sanding off the high-gloss stain & majestic horse scene, and removing the cheap gold hardware, I filled in the holes and applied two coats of the same paint that I used on the frame/tray. I left the inside untouched because it's cedar and who paints over cedar? That smell is heavenly. I attached a turquoise arrow-shaped bead with hot glue, but left the hardware off. I like that the lid comes off completely. I thought about filling the inside with dirt, stones, and a succulent, but I don't want to the be lady who fills everything with dirt, stones, and succulents. Stones & candles it is. Total cost: $6.30 for the string of turquoise beads, but I only used one.

Now it's time to join Brandi (Don't Disturb This Groove). I can't wait to see what she did with the treasures I sent her:

Well this was fun! Please visit the other ladies to see their transformations...we'll be here all week!

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