Monday, October 22, 2012

In the Name of Change

Adding a powder room to my first floor caused a domino effect to, well to the whole house really.  Some things changed because there was no choice, some things because they didn't look as good next to the new changes, and some things just because I felt like something different.

This dining room table falls into the last category.  I loved this table for many reasons.  With the leaves it expands to 120" and it measures 44" wide.  It rests on two beautiful pedestals and is super sturdy.  The chairs are elegant with their high backs, and comfortable too.  So why change?  My excuses are a little flimsy.  It is big and the high backs on the chairs visually contribute to the large presence in the room.  I thought a little breathing room would be nice for A CHANGE.  Isn't it sometimes just about a change?

Besides, I had purchased this darling little table at a resale shop.  It was for the new home that didn't materialize so I decided to use it in place of the current dining room table.

One major drawback was the laminate top.  It was a white that had yellowed slightly. (not to the extent that it looks in this picture)  But no matter how white or how yellow, it didn't suit me or the table.

I started out by priming the entire piece.

I painted the legs and apron a light gray and drybrushed it in white.

The details needed a little more omph.  I planned to emphasize those with the wax coat.

I used wax tinted with black stain to emphasize those details.  I have to admit, I'm not totally thrilled with those results but...

 not disappointed enough to rework it.

Then it was time to attack the top.  I knew I was going to use venetian plaster from the time I purchased the table. I did not photograph my first attempt that involved using a can of venetian plaster I had on hand. I ended up scraping that mess off because it had small lumps in it.  Some of the primer let loose in the process, so I had to remove all the primer from that section and start over.
The saga continued with me adding layer upon layer of shades of venetian plaster.

When I had a pattern I liked, I sanded it with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper as the manufacturer suggested but it would not burnish well.

I had the original gallon tinted a light gray and then added black tint myself to small amounts of the original.  I do wish they sold venetian plaster in quarts.  I threw away the lumpy gallon and it was 3/4 full.  At over $35 a gallon, that hurts.  After several layers on this table, I have barely put a dent in this new gallon.  I understand this product is generally used for walls but a pint is plenty for a table top. 

I am still not 100% satisfied with the table but I'm waiting on the chairs to cast my final vote.  Part of my hesitation is the scale of the piece.  I am not sure it will hold up to the rest of the furniture in the room.  So expect a follow up post on this decision.

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