Sunday, May 29, 2011

DIY: New Table and Chairs

My Aunt Nancy left me a dining set when she passed away several years ago, but at the time I didn't have anywhere to put it.  Not long after that, my Gramma passed away, and she also gave me a table and chairs set.  The set my Gramma gave me was wrought iron with a glass top.  It was very pretty, but not very practical for a mobile lifestyle.  When I divorced my first husband, I had every intention of joining the Army, so I let him keep the dining set that my Gramma left me.  I preferred to let him keep and use it than to take it with me and have it break during one of the many moves I anticipated.  While he and I were incompatible for many myriad reasons, he loved my Gramma, so I knew he'd take care of the dining set.

Fast-forward a bit to yesterday.  Dining table and chairs was on my list of things that B and I don't have, yet.  I had all but forgotten the table and chairs my Aunt had left me.  My step-sister had asked about them a while back, and I told her to use them if she wanted to since I didn't need them.  I assumed she had, but I had assumed wrong.  They were still sitting in the trailer out behind my Gramma's old house.  Unfortunately, Aunt Nancy had painted them a dusty shade of blue.  You remember the ducks that were so big there for a while?  The ones with the blue scarves and bows around their necks?  Yep, that color blue.

So my next project is an endeavor to remedy the unfortunate color of the table and chairs.

Last night, I used a spray on stripping agent to get the 40+ years of varnish off the table top.  It failed horribly.  So, I went to Wal-Mart and picked up this stuff called Citristrip Gel to try today.  It works.  Hoooo boy does it.  It had the paint oozing and dripping as if it were fresh.  This is both good and bad.  Good because the paint is coming off at last.  Bad because it's oozing and smearing and not coming off clean.

This led me to both good and bad discoveries.  Good:  the table top is beautiful under all those layers of varnish.  I can stain it and seal it with polyurethane, and it'll be gorgeous.  Bad:  the chairs and table base are not the originals.  They're pressed wood, or something like.  It looks like finely powdered saw dust formed and pressed into the shape of real wood.  That means that I can't stain it.  The chairs and table base are destined to be repainted.

I wish I had known this *before* I put stripping agent all over three of the four chairs and the table .  Now, I have to get all that stripper off, and still repaint the majority of the dining set.

I've been taking pictures, but I'll wait till the entire project is done before I post them.  Tomorrow I plan to finish getting the stripping agent off.  Hopefully that won't be an all day affair.

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