Painting A Table – Virginal Confessions

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A couple of months ago, my then-still-two-year-old daughter decided she was way too big and old and mature to sit in a high chair. No self-respecting 2.5 year old would argue with this belief. In fact, I agreed wholeheartedly with my tot. She is as tall as a lot of 4-year-olds, after all. The only reason she was still cramming her toots into that high chair was sheer laziness and extreme frugality on the part of her tyrannical parents. We still had a perfectly fine table in our breakfast room that only sat 4. The plan was to move the dining room table (the one pictured above) into the breakfast room, refinish it, sell the smaller table, find another 5-plus-person table for the then empty dining room, buy two more chairs, and voila! As these are furniture pieces that we need to use on a daily basis, it was difficult to find time to do these things. I did what any crazy woman would do; started the project when my annoyingly logical husband was out of town. When I’m a single mom of 3 (for the week anyway), what else am I going to do?

I had my teenager help me move the tables. The smaller breakfast room table went into the garage and sold quickly on craigslist for almost as much as I had paid for it, while the larger dining room table got moved into the breakfast room. I spread out a drop cloth and then sanded the entire surface. It was the point of no return, the point that my husband specifically told me to avoid while he was away. I’m a terrible listener.

Here’s the picture I sent my husband:

IMG_20140502_152749_452-1 (Small)  Sanding Selfie! Sometimes, I can’t believe how dorky I was even a few weeks before. This possibly means I need to take more time to reflect on myself as a person. Who takes a selfie while sanding a table? Yep, I’m the only one. Does anyone else remember the Friends episode where Phoebe was a masseuse and had a crush on a client? Since his face would be down on the  table the whole time, she bedazzled her feet with jewelry and a pretty pedi. She seriously flirted with her feet! Well, these are my  flirty eyes. What else am I going to flirt with? My ratty tee complete with pit sweat and sawdust? Okay, forget the dog bowl in the background. Look at my eyes. Hi there, big boy. Look what shenanigans mama is up to!

After sending a bunch of selfies to my unimpressed betrothed, I applied one and a half coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg. I’ve read with this particular product line that it’s not entirely necessary to sand or prime before painting a table, but the top of our 7-year-old dining room table definitely had some issues.

First were the burn marks. Or are these water marks? Not sure…

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Then there’s the adorable message my son tried to carve into the tabletop with a nail. Adorbs, no? He was going to finish it “I ♥ my family” before I got to him. Poor guy…

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Oh and we can’t forget about the spot my husband made. Let’s just say super glue is no longer allowed in the house. I still get mad/laugh/get mad when I see this spot.

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Because of all the unevenness on the surface, I went ahead and sanded down the entire top of the table. The legs, I did not sand at all, buuuut I will say that 1.5 coats didn’t cover them as well. I think it may have even take 2-3 coats in some spots. However, I was going from a glossy black finish to a chalky white.

Once dry, you can start with the fun part; clear waxing then antiquing! Instead of following the rules (I told you I’m not so good at listening), I tried to save some money by using a regular furniture stain that I already had instead of the dark wax also by Annie Sloan. First, apply the clear wax. There are a lot of videos online about how to do this, but I honestly found it to be something that you just have to start doing to get the hang of it. Some tips:

  • Use a cheese cloth or very old and soft WHITE t-shirt. Do not ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER use a brand new BLACK t-shirt like some moron I know. Okay, it was me. I’m the moron. So don’t be like me!
  • Barely touch the cloth into the wax! You need the tiniest little bit. Too much and the surface of your furniture will forever feel like sticky candle wax. No one wants to eat off of candle wax.
  • Take your time and work in small sections.
  • If you use too much, and you probably will at first, use a clean part of the cloth to remove by buffing in a circular motion.

Once waxed, I used my furniture stain. Barely dampen a tiny spot of a new cloth and wipe onto a small section of the table. Wipe off any excess. Repeat for a darker look. Let dry for a full 24 hours before adding a second coat of clear wax to seal in the stain and give the surface a water-resistant barrier.

Finally, act like a complete crazy person when anyone tries to touch your table for the next several weeks. On the Annie Sloan website, they tell you to wait 4 weeks for the paint and wax to fully cure before use, so acting like a psychopathic mama bear around your newly beautified piece is totally justified.

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I’m really happy with the results! Can’t wait to show you the chairs!

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