Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Project De-Suburbanization 1: Dining room table

Well, task #1 of what I like to call Project De-suburbanization is complete. I fully made this term up, by the way. For me, it means "differentiating my house from all the others on the block that look exactly the same." On both the inside and outside, of course. So, for me, de-suburbanization starts with having things that no one else will be able to find (not in an expensive way, just different). SO. I decided to start with my dining room table, and there's a story about why. My best friend Aliya (who has since left me to move to a more exotic, warmer part of the world, sniff sniff...I miss you friend), found this old table on the side of Madison Ave about 5 years ago. Even though it was in rough shape, Aliya has an eye for "junk" with serious potential. She picked it up and brought it home, but didn't have anywhere to put it, due to her nomadic lifestyle. So, into storage it went, but then, when I got my house this summer, we thought, perfect, we will restore it! This is the first restoration project for both us, and I documented the whole process. What do you think?!

To start, here's the junk that was found at the side of the road:

Note the layer of gross veneer on the tabletop (eek). Our initial thought is to try to remove it, then stain it a darker colour:

The legs are also in rough shape...pieces missing, and look what's hiding beneath the poorly painted white

Step 1 for the tabletop: we try to chisel off the gross veneer, and it works well on one end but not the other. So, we use a hand-held electric planer and plane that nasty stuff away...

Step 1 for the Legs: We apply paint remover to the legs. Ugh. We find a layer of green, then brown underneath that, and it's sticky for some reason! This leg alone has taken me 3 hours...need a new plan:

Tabletop: Look, the veneer is gone!! This is looking yummier than we thought. Could it be possible that we can leave the top natural? Methinks so!

Plan B for the legs: We power wash the ef*ing paint off of there. This is kind of fun, by the way. We each take turns because it's satisfying:

And then...we sand the top. Tedious...

LEGS UPDATE: Meanwhile, the power washing WORKED a LOT better than the paint remover. We sand it down:

TABLETOP UPDATE: we sand some more, but mother ef*er, our backs are starting to hurt!

but look how good it's looking!!!!

Legs: All the pieces that fell off the legs need to be sanded and then glued back on... we glue, and we wait.

BUT while we WAIT, we apply a natural stain, what some more, then put a sealer on top...gotta prevent it from food and drink spills! It shines up NICELY, look:

...and then we FINALLY prime the legs. Ahhh sweet relief, the green is gone:

THEN WE PAINT IT ALL UP, PUT IT ALL BACK TOGETHER AGAIN, AND THEN....are you ready to see the final product?!

Voila, the table, on my NEW marvy hardwood floors (thank you Ryan - and Craig - for your brilliant work!).

Look at how neat the grain looks with the strips of green wood which I learned to appreciate from the way, we are told this wood is probably cherry...

You can see the contrast against my new "graphite" floors. I love combining light natural wood with dark wood. It makes for a lighter, less heavy "old man" vibe:

See the grain again:

And voila, the dining room with my new table thus far...floors CHECK, table CHECK...blinds to come soon, paint to be put on the walls (will keep it white), need a place for my planties and perhaps something cool on the wall...will show you the finished product when I get there!

{PS. Thank you, Aliya, for this project, it was so fun to do this together. I'm so glad we got to finish it before you left on your worldy adventure! Thank you, Grandad, for shaping the last three feet for me!! And thank you, Dad Bloomer, for letting us do this in your driveway and also take over your garage. We should probably get fired for the mess we made, but it's all cleaned up now!}


3dtechnology said...

Melanie, I followed your task step by step and being the anal professional that I am ( your dad taught me everything I know LOL )it was a job WELL DONE and give you an A+ Bravo

Anonymous said...

YAY!!!! i'm so proud of us, it looks amazing! especially in your kitchen :)