What a lovely orange colour - not. It had a few light scratches on the top, was dirty and grimy and had obviously been attacked by some little critter, but otherwise in fantastic condition.
I had these chairs sitting in the garage for ages that I scored at the auctions for about $2 each. I actually have six of them, but only needed the four for this project. Two of them have a flat top and the other two have the curves. I liked this idea of having them a bit different - adds a bit of character.
The colour I wanted to use for this project was a light mint green and whaddya know, Mr T had a ginormous tin of it sitting in his work van. Have I mentioned before how handy it is to have a painter as a husband?
I started by spraying the bottom of the table and the chairs (after sanding of course)...
Taped up and ready to turn over for undercoating the bottom
I always wait until I do the first undercoat to see where there are scratches, dents or holes that need filling. I find it much easier to pick out the flaws after a coat of paint. Although this bite mark was pretty obvious!
In the meantime, for some reason Mr T felt compelled to take a photo of me in my finest attire :(
I know you're overwhelmed by my attractiveness. I try my best.
I really wanted to stain the top but I was scared that I might have to strip it (which I haven't done before), but to my delight when I started sanding I discovered that the only layer on top was a varnish. Woo-hoo! So I went hell for leather with 60 grit sandpaper and it came out beautiful and raw.
Sore arms but this was the result. Beautiful eh?
I then applied Ash Brown stain to the top and about four coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly. Firstly, I lather the top with the poly and rub it in, leave it for five minutes and then come back and wipe the excess off. After that's dry, I do the same process again. When it's dry I give it a very light sand with 600 grit, clean the top and then saturate it again. This time I use the 600 grit and lightly sand the poly into the grain, then wipe off the excess. It comes out unbelievably smooth and shiny! Everybody does it different, but this works for me.
After distressing the bottom of the table and the chairs, I applied an English Walnut stain over the top and wiped off. Here is the table before and after:
I found the perfect fabric at Spotlight. I cut out some new seats for the chairs as they didn't come with any. I cut the foam and stapled on the fabric. The colouring goes so well together I think.
Slight scratch on the edge that I couldn't get rid of.
I think it looks very French country.
I finished this on New Years Eve and it sold last night! Even better, the lady who wanted to purchase it sent her parents around to inspect it and to make an offer on her behalf. As he was rubbing down the chairs and the table top and inspecting every inch, I told him that I always put a lot of love into my work. He said that he used to restore furniture for a living and he also did the same Shabby French finishes, but that he was now retired. He then he went on to say that he could tell I put a lot of love and time into it because it was top quality workmanship! So you can imagine how proud and happy I was to get such wonderful feedback from an old pro. :D
I have a goal to finish all the things in my garage by mid March. This has inspired me even more and has given me the kick up the bum that I think I needed.