I am dreaming of a white Christmas, don’t worry. But I always enjoy 75 and sunny in the beginning of December. And such pleasant weather facilitates my furniture hobby quite nicely.
This project is one with sentimental value. The subject is my great-grandmother’s kitchen table, from the early 1900’s. Maura was unable to help me with this project, so I was on my own once again.
The table was in pretty bad shape to begin with:
Note the edge closest to the foreground. That stuff, whatever it was, was ridiculously hard to get off. It took lots of scrubbing, sanding, coaxing, and bribing.
The first step was to scrub the whole thing down and take off as many marks and spots as I could.
The next step to tackle was filling the holes and imperfections with wood-filler. This was my first experience with the stuff, so I sort of learned by trial and error. There were dozens of tack marks on the edges and a few dings and scratches on the surface that required TLC.
Yucky tack marks
Filling ’em in
Sanding commenced forthwith. One of the hardest parts of this project was trying to remove the strange substance from one of the edges. It looked like old tape residue, but I’m not quite sure.
Before coaxing, sanding, scraping…
It took a long time with a scraper and a sander to make it look semi presentable.
After blood, sweat, and tears.
The rest of the sanding was much less taxing. Though, if you’re ever using an electric sander, remember to check the paper often–I have found that the paper frequently gets a gunky build-up which the heat of the sander then transfers onto the surface you’re finishing. So make sure to keep an eye on what you’re doing.
When the sanding was finished, a sense of accomplishment started setting in.
Then came the staining. I am inexperienced in the choosing of stain, but I decided on the English Chestnut shade from Miniwax. And the color was very satisfactory.
Post staining. Getting there!
The final and most rewarding part of the project was the finishing. I was also unfamiliar with the different types of varnish, so I decided on an oil-based polyurethane finish–Miniwax Fast-Drying Clear Gloss, to be exact. Since the finishing process requires multiple coats, and drying time between each one, I waited until the next day to finish.
For those who don’t know, between each coat of varnish, you must sand the surface to make sure the finish is even. After each layer, the table looked smoother and smoother, glistening in the sun. Ahh…
After two coats of polyurethane…
The third coat was applied in the evening, while it was dark. But you can still get a sense of just how reflective the surface became:
I am quite proud of what I did. And very happy that I was able to preserve this little piece of my family’s history.
Ensconced in the home