The part of the furniture makeover that takes the longest, I find, is discussing your plans with your makeover partner in crime; in this case, Mr BC. We have endless, endless discussions over what finish to use, whether we are changing the structure or even the use of the item, if we need other parts and where we should get them, and so on. I always turn to Pinterest and Mr BC consults his own oracle, eBay. This kitchen table project was no different, and in fact the discussion was more involved, because this table belonged to Mr BC's Nanna and Poppa.
This was bought around 1942 by the newlyweds as part of a large set of matching furniture, I guess the war time equivalent of a Freedom Furniture deal? It is a very attractive table, with nicely turned legs and an easy extension at each end that turns it into a tidy 6 seater, but after countless house moves, including 3 states in it's 72 years, it was really needing an overhaul.
Removing the ancient (and ruined) french polish was a problem. We didn't want to bring the big gun strippers in and dry out the beautiful wood grain, but the lightweight options were not working. I tried hand sanding, then the power sander, then after a bit of Google research, metholated spirits, none of which worked. In the end it was hand chipped off very carefully with a small size paint scraper, which proved almost impossible on the turned legs.
We decided that we liked the look of wood finish with the legs painted a different colour; I wanted black gloss, Mr BC wanted white satin. We decided on this before stripping became so difficult, honest! Mr BC won out with white, because A; we already had the paint left over from this project, and B; we are trying to lighten up our house and white paint is a great way to do that. Also, C; if we hate it we can paint over it in gloss black. So far we haven't chosen option C.
So while the legs and base were getting a few coats (well, six coats actually, we didn't want the finish kicked off by monkey feet in a few days) the top was getting some love with floor grade water based estapol. For extra toughness. This is a hard working kitchen table, it needs to stand up to some tough love!
Et Voila! It's LOVE. The pale wood, and white paint go perfectly with our silver navy emeco chairs, and the slim shape of the table fits the space beautifully. You can even walk around it while people are sitting there now! Previously people had to do that awkward suck your tummy in and lean in motion. Awkward.
Hopefully soon those ugly vertical blinds will be transformed into french doors leading to a deck, that will brighten and enlarge the space even more. Won't that look marvelous? I've visualized this so many times I have a hard time NOT seeing it. It's going to be so great!
We are really happy with the way this has turned out, especially as we were so nervous to paint it! I think it looks rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to go for another 70 odd years, and I think Nanna and Poppa might like it too.
Have you ever been anxious about making a change to some 'heirloom' furniture?