This table is almost exactly like a table I refinished for myself last year. The only difference is that mine has curvy legs. My table was soooo easy to refinish and my client wanted the same color so I figured this was gonna be a fast and easy redo. Nope. LOL This table gave me fits! Let me tell you about this naughty little table.
The first thing I did was give the table a light sand, just to remove most of the shine. I found the shiny finish came off kind of like when you remove really sticky stickers . . . sticky and rolls up. I don't remember if the first table did this.
To be honest, I don't remember if I immediately tried the Benjamin Moore Porch & Floor paint (the pretty custom blue color I had made to match my accent chairs) or if I primed it first with Stix primer. (I did use Stix somewhere in this process.) This whole process was so frustrating that I worked on it from August 31st till it was finally finished properly on Christmas Eve, so some details I have forgotten. What I do clearly remember, however, was that it didn't turn out AT ALL with the "proven" method I had just successfully finished my table that was this one's twin.
So. Having just discovered Chalk-tique Chalk Paint Powder, I figured I might as well give that a go. I sanded the table again, then mixing the powder into some Aura paint of the same color, I gave the table a coat of that. It went on so easily and the texture was so much like silk. It dried so smoothly, too, that I was pretty excited. It only required a very light sanding between coats and felt so amazing to run your hand on. So what went wrong? An accidental brush with a fingernail ever so lightly, scratched the paint right off! I touched it up and waited a few days "for it to cure" and still, it scratched off so easily. So, I figured that it must just need a clear coat to protect it so it wouldn't scratch. I used my favourite clear coat, General Finishes Top Performance in satin and when it dried, the finish was very streaky. After two more coats still didn't cure the streaky finish, I took the table to troubleshoot with my co-workers at Benjamin Moore and the general consensus was that something was causing a reaction with the products used and we guesses it may be the glue used in the factory process.
Method #3. I lightly sanded just to get the shine off again, then primed with an oil-based primer from Benjamin Moore called Prime-Lock. Its designed to go through the paint layers and grab on to the original surface and provide a new seal to work over. This only takes an hour or so to dry so I was able to paint again quickly. But, again, it just didn't turn out. Here's what it looked like:
Note: I am a perfectionist and have a tendency to obsess over things. (In case you haven't picked that up yet.)
Enough is enough. Time to pull out the big guns! Although I have never used furniture stripper before (being afraid to try after all the horror stories I'd read online about using that stuff), I bought Circa 1850 Heavy Body Paint & Varnish Remover. Smelly? Yes. Messy? Yes. Hard? No. Fun? Absolutely! I thoroughly enjoyed sitting out in my garage listening to my Bible reading on my cell phone and stripping that table! With this one, you just slop it on with a paint brush (not a sponge brush cause it immediately swells the sponge and renders it useless), wait a couple seconds then start scraping with a wood scraper. Once you've gotten most of the paint off then you use steel wool. Fun, therapeutic times.
After the stripping is finished, you are supposed to use mineral spirits and fresh steel wool and go over the table once more. However, I didn't and left the table sitting for a few weeks untouched. I brought it in Tuesday, December 22, and sanded it all over with a medium to heavy grit sandpaper then cleaned it all off with a vacuum cleaner and damp microfibre cloth.
Where it was now down to the bare wood, I skipped using a primer and went straight to rolling on a coat of the Porch & Floor paint. Wednesday, I gave it a light sanding with super fine steel wool, cleaned it up and gave it the final coat of paint. Before delivering the table, I gave it one more light sanding with the super fine steel wool . . . but used too much arm power and where it hadn't had enough time to fully cure, I took too much paint of in a couple spots. At first I panicked thinking I would have to give it another coat of paint and I didn't want to have to tell my client there would be another delay so on a spur of the moment decision I just went with "the look". I sanded all the edges with the same intensity, leaving the edges a bit distressed and I LOVE THE WAY IT TURNED OUT! It doesn't look primitive or rustic at all but looks super chic! My client loves it so much she immediately ordered another table "can be the same or bigger or smaller". So I would say she trusts me and loved my work! Happy customer = happy me!
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