In late February, my grandmother's good friend passed away, and being long time friends with her family, they offered much of her estate to Hannah and I. They were amazingly generous, and it was incredible how many things we received which were perfect for us in our new home. Hannah's mom was also able to find many great items, which is wonderful as she runs a business with her good friend, repurposing items into works of art.
Check out The Enchanted Atelier if you have some time.
One of the items we got was an old, solid, hardwood dining table. Having a felt backed table cloth on this table for many, many years meant that lots of felt residue was stuck to the top. During our move-in, when the actual moving was mostly done, my awesome friends Pat and Angelo were looking for other helpful things to do. After they raked our entire yard, they started the sanding process on this table getting the initial layer of grunge off.
I jumped right in, sanding, sanding, sanding like a crazy person, in the evenings, when Hannah was working. I parked on the street for over a month while the table was in process. And I forgot to take pictures during most of the work, so here is what the table looked like after the sanding was complete, and the legs were painted white - it took 1 coat of primer, and about 4 or 5 more coats of white paint to get the legs to look good.
When we first started dating, I introduced Hannah to Google Reader, which manages RSS feeds, allowing a (relatively) organized method for people to follow many different websites that have new content being added all of the time (like blogs, for example). Hannah and I both used it to help generate ideas for our wedding, and as we approached home ownership, she started looking into home decorating and DIY blogs. Domestic Imperfection is a great blog, with lots of really cool ideas and projects that anyone can do. This site is where Hannah stumbled upon the Paisley Stenciled Table.
We fell in love with the idea instantly - we love the paisley pattern, it was even on my groomsman and I's ties at our wedding. So we decided to give it a shot - worst case, and it didn't turn out, I would just have to sand the table back down and start over. So we ordered up the Paisley All-Over Stencil from the website Cutting Edge Stencils, and waited (im)patiently for its arrival.
When it arrived, I was... nervous, holding a grudge against our sander for the numbed extremities and ringing in my ears that I endured. But after playing around with different techniques, and reading the method used on Domestic Imperfection about 50 times, I took a leap of faith and started painting.
Sanded it off and started over.
I got the hang of it after that, and the stenciling went very well. I was even able to tie in the pattern continuously on the 2 leaves that were included.
I then sanded over the entire surface of the table, distressing it some to give it a worn look.
Next was 2 coats of MinWax Dark Walnut stain, and I ended up with a stained table and stained hands.
What a bargin!
1 more quick sanding session took off some of the stain on the stencil and brightened up the white exactly like we imagined.
1 coat of poly, rolled on and then brushed to finish. This took a looooooong time to dry as we were in the middle of a very humid and rainy week we had here in Minnesota.
Another quick sanding session to roughen up the first coat of poly. I used compressed air to clean off the surface when I was finished sanding, but it was still very cloudy looking, so I washed it with hot water. It was still pretty cloudy, but by this point I was ready to be done, and to be able to park in the garage again, so I went for it with the final coat of poly.
wait for it....
the finished product!