Monday, November 19, 2012

1st Thanksgiving... AHHH! Guess we need a table.

Obviously it's not really my first Thanksgiving, but it is the first one that I am in charge of so, yeah, I am under a little pressure. I should have seen it coming. After all, my husband has been telling me for YEARS that when we get a bigger house, holidays would be at home.

We also have the added challenge of just moving into the house and not having enough furniture for it. We have spent the last three weekends on a whirlwind shopping spree...well, not really shopping spree, but an all out search to find cheap inexpensive furniture for the house. Needless to say, the hubby is about to kill me. I have brought back two rugs, and I am now itching to bring back the third. We have completely failed to find chairs for the living room, and have decided to use our outdoor wicker furniture in our living room for the big day. (Classy, right?) And we have spent an inordinate amount of time refinishing a table from his mother's house. That's right, we got it totally done, only for him to turn to me and say, "the top isn't smooth enough." So we had to sand the whole thing down and start again.

If you want to know how to, eventually, refinish a table, I have put the steps below. My helpful hint for today: make sure the top is as smooth as you want it BEFORE staining and polying it, or you will have to do it ALL over again.

Start with a nice table, that looks just slightly outdated:

Sand the ENTIRE thing down.
 (Make sure that it is as smooth as you would like it THE FIRST TIME.)

Pick out the stain that you would like. 
We were originally going to do the base in an espresso stain to match our island cabinets and have the top lighter. But, once we started putting the lighter stain on the top, my ultra-conservative husband we decided to go with all one color.

Helpful hint: If you aren't sure which stain you like, find some scrap pieces of the same wood (or even use the underside of the table if it is all you have) and test out the different stain colors. This way you can make sure that you like the color BEFORE putting it on the whole table.
Extra points if you do it in your pj's!

Wait for it to dry (the can says 4-6 hours) and then apply another coat (if you want it to be darker).

Wait for it to dry... again. 
Then apply a coat of poly. We chose the satin finish.
Expect to wait a little longer because you will have some more drying time...
Use steel wool to lightly sand the top to get rid of the annoying little air bubbles from the poly.
Then apply another coat of poly. We only did two coats of poly because I an a VERY impatient person and we had already gone through the whole procedure twice. I just couldn't wait anymore.

And, after 24 hours of final drying time, VOILA:

Dining table fit for Thanksgiving... well, almost. 

And before you ask, no the chairs aren't done yet. I am still trying to convince the husband to paint them because I ABSOLUTELY don't want to sand all six chairs. 

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