Showing posts with label table. Show all posts
Showing posts with label table. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oh happy day!

A couple of weeks ago Greg and I went down to Restoration Hardware to see the farmhouse table we've been eyeing in person. My secret hope was that I'd be like, "Meh. I liked it better online."

They didn't have any farmhouse tables in the store, so my plan backfired a bit. We ended up talking to one of the sales reps for a long time and looking at wood samples. Toward the end she asked us if we'd ever considered the Boulangerie table. It's about $1500 less than the farmhouse table and the extra leaf stores away in the center of the table. It still has that rustic farmhouse feel. Restoration charges you a lot of money to give you a mass-produced product that looks like you built it yourself.

Turns out I don't care. We liked it and we really liked how much cheaper it was. And you know what? IT CAME ALREADY ASSEMBLED. This is the first new piece of furniture I've bought in over 15 years that didn't come from Ikea. Everything else I own was bought off of craigslist, thrift shops, or vintage stores. Even the couch from my reveal was from craigslist.

It arrived the morning of our earthquake party, right on time. Whoever RH contracts with to do their delivery is great. When we expand the table it stretches to 120 inches, very comfortably fitting 12 people.

I freaking love it.

Of course our chairs were all falling apart. I found a woman on craigslist selling an Indonesian table and seven teak chairs (that didn't match the table) for $250. I asked her if she'd be willing to split the table from the chairs, since they weren't a set. She graciously agreed to sell me the chairs for $25 apiece. And guys, we fit all seven of them in my two-door Honda Civic. It took thirty minutes of the craziest live Tetris game ever, but we did it.

These chairs are not our forever chairs. They need to be recovered (I almost attempted to do that prior to the party before I remembered candle light hides all sins) and one of them is totally busted, which I didn't realize until I got it home and into the light. The two yellow end chairs are on loan from my friend Ryan, who took pity on my chair situation when I moved into my house. Someday I really want wishbone chairs. They have a much lower profile so you'd see more of the table and less of the chair backs, like you do now. And that's a sexy chair.

But man, you can't beat the price of the ones we have right now. It's very difficult to find more than four matching chairs on craigslist, let alone 6 or 8. I think we'll be able to recoup our money should we ever get different chairs and need to sell these.

Now we need to do some creative rearranging of the other furniture in the room. We don't know what to do about Greg's armchair.

It's too big to fit in the basement or bedrooms and we have no place for it in the living room. It's sort of out of place in the dining room but we don't want to get rid of it. It's very comfortable even if it's not my style. And I have been such a decor autocrat that I want to incorporate as much of Greg's stuff as possible.

Last up, we need to get some place mats so we don't ruin our new table with food stains.  I like looking at our table so I don't want to cover it with a tablecloth but I grew up in a house that didn't use place mats. As a result, they seem really fussy to me. I guess I'll just need to get over that.

Blah blah, TL;DR. New pretty table!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Experimenting with the dining room table

I've always wanted to refinish furniture but I've never really known how to do it.  I found this site where a woman in Alaska actually builds and finishes her own furniture.  She writes up and shares her plans and, man, do I ever have the fever to build something now. Especially this:

Image from Knock Off Wood

She's so inspiring!  I've bought a number of crappy pieces of furniture on criagslist, thinking I'd refinish them.

I never refinished them.  I bet this happens to a lot of people.

As I was getting furniture-making fever an episode of Ask This Old House about sprucing up old furniture.  I'm not one to ignore a sign (Tivo knows!) so I bought a little can of wood conditioner and a can of polyurethane.  I grabbed the leaf from my dining room table, which was pretty banged up.  I never put in the leaf without putting on a table cloth, so I figured if I screwed it up no one would ever know.  And if it went well I'd have some experience when it came to finishing the table I'm going to build.

First you sand the surface.  I used an ultra-fine grit but I think I should have gone rougher.  It didn't get rid of the scratches.

Then you vacuum up all the dust and wipe it down very very thoroughly with a damp rag. Grit is the enemy of smooth refinishing.

Then you apply a layer of wood conditioner.  Leave it on for 1-5 minutes then wipe off the extra.

You'll want to let this dry for 15-30 minutes.

Then you get to lightly sand, vacuum, and wipe the surface again.

Using a foam brush, apply a coat of polyurethane.  Be sure to think, "Why wear gloves?" and get this stuff on your hands. It smells bad AND it never comes off.  I NEVER LEARN.

Let it dry for at least 4 hours (I waited overnight since it's so wet out) and then sand, vacuum, wipe, and coat again.  Wait overnight and then repeat again.

It's certainly shinier.

It looks a lot better, though there are a lot of scratched still visible.  It's enough of an improvement that I'd like to try and refinish the rest of the table, but in the summer, when it's warm.  That's a lot of sanding and a lot of fumes to endure; I might as well enjoy some sun on my face while I do it.  And then?  I'm building two of those tables, making them nine feet long, and having dinner parties inside AND out.  And then this old table can go in the basement.