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Monday, August 11, 2014

Our Dining Room Table

The first Home DIY Project is complete!
I'd like you to meet...

Our dining room table.



Remember my inspiration photo?  The Restoration Hardware table that had those chunky angular lines?And while I wasn't looking for an exact match, I was inspired by those legs and the washed out layers of paint over wood.

My table came from a thrift store for $24.99.  I had JR bring it straight into the house and I started painting it. Layers of paint...shades of beige and greige and ivory and brown.



As I layered the paint, I imagined, as I always do, what years of wear and love may look like. How it may have started as one thing, but over time, was worn down and freshened up with whatever was on hand. That means layers of paint then sanded off in strategic places,  washes of paint to replicate darkening from use, dry brushing of paint to bring highlights and low lights to create yet more interest and layers.


Then more sanding, washes, and dry brushing.



I left the legs darker than the top, and when it was all layered up with paint to my satisfaction, I gave it a good sound waxing.



Let me tell you something about the process we use to paint.  When a piece comes to us, first it must be structurally sound. JR does his thing...fixing drawers, replacing veneer and sometimes even rebuilding parts. Then, I literally channel those years of use...I know I can't fully explain it, but after deciding on an appropriate color ( I swear, the furniture speaks to me what it wants to be!) I try to think of how that piece may have aged over time.

Were there other colors under the final coat of paint? Oftentimes, yes.
Where does the piece naturally show wear? Edges? Around handles? Carved details?
Would the paint have changed in texture or appearance? Crackling? Grunge? Thicker buildup?

All of these questions go through my mind as I lovingly revive an old brown  dresser. Or a painted washstand. Or a boring table.

When it's completed, it's not really complete until it's protected with hand waxing...and I don't know if you feel it, but there is something deep and beautiful about the process of waxing a piece of furniture. I am connected to it with my hands. It's a process that melds paint and wax into a lustrous yet subtle finish.

You see the difference between a piece that is lovingly finished with layers of paint and hand waxing and say, a piece of furniture with a coat or two of latex room paint...not that there's anything wrong with latex room paint...we use it on certain pieces, too!

I'm just saying there's a difference, that's all. That's there's a lot more invested in thought and process and I believe it shows, and it elevates.

It reflects a love for history, the passion for repurposing and the joy of painting from the heart.



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