Craft Table… Check!

I have to say… things have been pretty busy in the homestead as of late.   Stuff has been happening that I cant WAIT to tell you guys about… when it’s time.  But it’s not time yet.  All I can ask in the meantime is that you all do me a solid and send positive, happy thoughts our way.  Every little bit helps.  And we can definitely use it!

Project-wise, this last weekend was one of those weekends where I got a lot done, but nothing was completely finished/prettily staged in the end.   That being said, the mission to turn No Man’s Land into a room of function inches along.   I’d mentioned a while back that I had an old table in the garage that I’d wanted to paint for my craft space in our spare room.  I started working on it two weekends ago and finally finished stripping and painting it this weekend.

Here she is before I started…

This is a solid oak table that was sporting many, many coats of paint.  Observe….

So rather than just prime and paint, I knew this puppy needed to be stripped.   After recently learning how to use chemical stripper, I was totally up for the challenge.   I have to say, stripping paint was different for me than stripping varnish.   For one… although it was messy, it was less gloopy.   Also, I quickly learned that the process needs to be repeated multiple times depending on how many layers of paint are on there. I did nearly FOUR rounds with the stripper. FOUR.

My top layer of white came off with my first try to reveal another layer of white paint and a wee bit o’ black…

My second go around resulted int he remaining white being removed with a bit of black…

And just when I thought I was done, I peeled up all the black to reveal…

More black.

So, four rounds of stripper + scraping later, I had it as good as it was gonna get.  Picture this, but with only small patches of black left on top (This was before my 4th coat of stripper)…

Next, I had to sand to make the surface smooth.   Although I’d gotten most of the paint off with the stripper, the remaining paint was left in a pretty thick coat which would’ve shown through my paint job.   It didn’t need it to be completely perfect since I’d be painting the surface anyways, just smooth and seamless.  So, I hand-sanded the legs with 220 grit sandpaper and used my electric sander for the top and any flat planes. Once the table was sanded, I moved it inside.  And I’m kind of peeved at myself, because I SWEAR I took a picture of the final stripped product, but it’s nowhere to be found.  After 8 hours spent stripping this thing, I think I at least deserve to feast my eyes on an “after” shot. Sheesh. #littlestviolin

Anyhoo, after cleaning the table thoroughly with tack cloth, I painted it with three light and even coats of Valspar Signature Paint + Primer in Ebony Field, which is the same paint that I used on our back door.  I used a brush on the base and foam roller on top.   I sanded between coats…

(See that nice smooooooth surface with the pretty woodgrain showing through???   THAT’S a fully stripped table, people!  Way to blow my skirt up, table.  This picture makes me giddy.)

…Anyways, I cleaned the dust off with tack cloth to ensure the smoothest finish possible and was sure to allow adequate dry time between coats.   And here’s the final result…

Sorry about the crummy shot and lack of “after” pics, guys.   I’m telling ya, this weekend was so busy that I’m just lucky that I remembered to take one at all.  I still need to rearrange the room to accommodate the table and accessorize the space as a craft room, so I’ll post about that when it happens (with PLENTY of after shots 😉 ).  But painting this table is definitely one small step forward that equates to one giant leap for me in terms of this space.   Now that the table is done, many other things can be done as well. Yay!

TDC Before and After

A bit of Midcentury table success!

So as of late, I’ve been working on restoring my newest crushes…


My Goodwill mid-century tables.

And I’m excited to announce that I’ve actually made progress on one of them!  Granted, it was pretty easy.  But still… nothing like a hint of success to lift the mood and get things rolling around here.

I haven’t finished the coffee table yet, but I will say that those of you who recommended an orbital sander deserve a huge thank you. That thing rocks. After sanding the top, and a fast-lived attempt at hand-sanding the base, I’ve decided to try my hand at using stripper for the rest. The larger side table will also need to be fully stripped, since the finish on that is worse than the coffee table.  I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to stain it, to be honest.  The top is THAT bad.  I haven’t actually gotten around to stripping yet (Ahem! Stripping the tables.  THE TABLES.)… It’ll be soon, though.   I get the distinct feeling that Joey’d like the use of the garage back at some point before he’s grey.  Heehee!  My bad.

Anyways, the guy in question for today is the smaller side table….

Ya think I would’ve learned to get the ENTIRE piece of furniture in the shot by now.  Well, I showed you. 😉  Anyways, after cleaning it thoroughly, I realized that there was a chance that the original finish could be salvaged.  The damage was a lot less than I’d previously thought. As a refresher, here’s some of the damage…


When I examined the damage on the top tier closely, I realized that the finish was still intact for the most part. These were just water-rings. I remembered reading something on Pinterest about using mayonnaise to remove water rings from wood finishes, so I looked it up and learned that you simply schmear mayo on the offending stain, wait a few minutes and wipe off.


So, I did that.


And it helped a lot! The stains were MUCH less obvious.  I only left the mayo on for about 2 minutes or so, but I suspect that if I’d left it on longer, the rings would have vanished even more.   And I must point out that the remaining damage actually shows up more in the pictures than they did in person.  I was really impressed by how well this worked.

After removing the mayo, I wiped down the table thoroughly with my go-to water/vinegar spray and tried my hand at applying a little Restore-A-Finish plus Feed-n-Wax.  It absolutely worked wonders in unifying the finish and bringing it much closer to it’s original state.  You can still see some darker areas where the damage had been, but I like it that way.  It adds character and tells the story of the life this little table lead….


I wrote a full tutorial for how to use these products back when I found my beloved mid-century desk chair, so check that out if you’d like more details on how to use them.

I can’t even tell you how absolutely thrilled I am that I was able to keep the original finish on at least one of the tables.  And I’m even more psyched that it was the table that I wanted to keep the most. So, where did he end up, you ask??





That’s right. He replaced the little black cabinet in our front room. I never really liked that thing anyways. For now, I’m hiding our modem and all the wires in the painted basket beneath the table. I’m hoping to move the modem somewhere else sometime soon so that the table can stand alone, but in the meantime, I can deal.

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I’d love to do something different with the large storage cabinet now that my newest mid-century love is in the picture, but I haven’t quite figured out what yet. And don’t even get me started on that light fixture. It came with the house and although it isn’t a bad fixture in general, it definitely doesn’t suit the style of the room. It’s on the list as well.

So with that, Part One of Mission: Midcentury Tables is complete. Now, it’s onto the other two. What I do with them will depend on whether or not the smaller end table is stainable.  I definitely want those two to match each other. So, fingers crossed that the damage isn’t all-encompassing. And seriously, wish me luck!  I’ve never used stripper before, so I’m hoping I don’t mess this up. Any tips I should know before I begin?

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Linked up at: Tatertots and Jello, Elizabeth Joan Designs, Lines Across, Say Not Sweet Anne, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Tip Junkie, Home Stories A to Z, Upcycled Treasures

TDC Before and After