When Nandor and I got married almost 16 years ago we made a few furniture purchases intended to be with us for the rest of our lives and then hopefully passed down to future generations. This drop leaf table was one of those purchases. It was initially purchased to be our breakfast room table and we loved that the drop leafs allowed the table to be made larger or smaller very quickly. It has since been moved between 5 homes and 2 states and used in so many different ways from a kitchen table, to a television console, to a desk in our teenage son's room. And that final resting place is where it came to know its fate!
Last year during a long 21 day solo parenting stint, I went up into my son's room to find this beautiful table no longer in its original condition. In order to make it work as a "desk" we removed one of the drop leafs so my son's legs could fit while sitting and he decided he would use his boredom time to carve into the desk and color some spots using permanent markers. I was so incredibly upset. I cried and I lost my temper - some of which could possibly be blamed on the fact I was solo (once again) for 21 days! Never the less, I will say I was heartbroken in the moment to see something I loved so dearly in terrible condition. I can't remember exactly what I said to him, but I know it had something to do with the table being "mine" and "not his." Even as I type this through some embarrassment I still feel what I said was valid and real. It was MINE. It was one of my most prized possessions not because it was expensive, but because it was one of the few things I had from our family's beginning - before we were even a family - before I ever took my husband's name. I remember going through the furniture store and picking it out with him. We both loved the drop leafs, we loved that it wasn't trendy or something you see very often. I just remember us both being so in love with this table when we added it to our purchase list and I could see it having so many memories made around it for generations. When I saw (what I thought as) utter destruction I thought there was no possible way this table would ever be that timeless piece my children, grandchildren, and great grand children could enjoy for years to come.
Our new home has an open floor plan and the full kitchen and living room are basically one large open area. Our fireplace is covered in raw wood so I knew I wanted to bring some raw wood into the kitchen area to marry the two spaces.
Initially I wanted to remove the varnish off the entire table to reveal the raw original wood, however once my husband got started sanding the table he realized it was taking a little more time he was willing to put into it. (We aren't pros at this!!) That was when we had the idea to just sand the top and paint the base of the table.
We used a hand sander for the top using a 220 grit sand paper. Once finished he went back over it using a 400 grit sand paper to smooth our the roughness. We then applied 3 coats of Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane in clear satin to make it water resistant and give it a more finished look. To apply the poly we used a sponge brush and followed the instructions on the can.
Here are a few of stills of the videos I shared in my Instagram stories as we were going through the process of refinishing the table.
Since we had zero intention of sanding the base of the table we decided we would use a chalk paint or something similar that required no prep. I've used chalk paint in the past for much smaller projects and would just purchase whatever cream or black I could find from the local hardware store. This time however we envisioned a beautiful blue to contrast the natural wood so we went on the hunt.
The picture below was used as our inspiration.
CLICK HERE TO SEE ANOTHER FURNITURE REFRESH WE DID ON OUR BEDROOM DRESSER!
One afternoon we walked into our local ACE Hardware looking for something other than chalk paint when I came across a clearance rack of Amy Howard at Home spray lacquer. I was drawn to the label that read "Rescue Restore Redecorate" and was thrilled when I realized the paint covered without any prep of the surface and since it was a spray that also meant no rollers and no trays. Because it was an in store clearance product we were limited on colors, but found Belgium Blue to be very similar to the color we were wanting and there were a couple of cans left! This link here will take you to all of the Amy Howard at Home products available at online at ACE Hardware.
In hindsight we should have painted the base before we sanded the top because now we had to protect the top. Live and learn or in this case you can learn from me! I had bunch of old sales papers we had gotten in the mail and taped them all around the top using painters tape.
Spraying the lacquer was simple just by following the directions on the can. The coverage was amazing and we only needed 1 can to receive a full overall coverage. We did use the second can to go back and touch up a few spots around the bottom. To be perfectly honest with you I was AMAZED at the quality of coverage, the color, and final appearance of the Amy Howard at Home spray lacquer! In the past when I've used other "no prep needed" paint products the final product was very unfinished looking and didn't give off a fresh and finished product. I was initially concerned if we used any similar type of product I would feel unsatisfied with the final look and eventually talk my husband into sanding the entire table like I originally wanted. (Let's be honest, I'm kinda really bad at decision making!) This however was FAR from how I felt once I saw it completely finished. It honestly looks like it took us much longer to achieve the final result with many layers of paint and top coats. It however took nothing more than spraying a can of paint on the base of the table!
We've since bought several other colors of Amy Howard at Home spray lacquer for other projects we have planned! I highly recommend this product.
We did this project before moving into our new house and I wasn't sure how I would like it in this are, but I am so in love with it. In my opinion it has that perfect vintage/antique look to it that I hope to bring into other areas of my home.
The chairs were purchased from Walmart.
If you're reading this, you may have no trouble at all seeing behind an exterior into something completely different. My purpose of sharing the back story behind this table was to hopefully encourage you to think past the initial look of a piece of furniture. I seriously thought this table had lost any future visual enjoyment. I thought it only held memories of a lovely past. I was so wrong though and even now as I see a faint glimpse of the imperfections (pictured above) placed there by my teenage son, I have the memories of when he used this in his room. This table is creating some new memories now!