My Refinished Table

3 May

I have a little table, I think it used to be a vanity table, that I got when I moved out. It belonged to my parents, and before that to my Grandma on my dad’s side, and before that I don’t know…maybe it got given to Grandma and Grandpa by one of their parents or maybe they bought it, and if they did buy it did they buy it brand new? Who knows! But it is definitely old, well, older than other stuff I own, especially since most of it comes from Ikea lol

It is actually part of a set, there are also two dressers, one of which I snagged from my parents last summer, the other is unfortunately being held hostage by my brother and I doubt I will ever get possession of it lol

I use this little table to do my hair at. Such a noble purpose! I always think it would be an adorable table to sit at and write letters or do other creative work on buuuuut to do that I’d have to move the hair dryer and straightener and hair brush aaaaaand go in to my bedroom (I am usually in the living room) and that is apparently too much effort for me *rolls eyes*.

So this is what it normally looks like…

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Notice the horrible paint job? Ugh. I hate it. It is chipped all over and a colour that I have no love for…my mom was the last person to paint it and she painted over the pre-existing layers of paint. She painted it when it was popular to have that “antique green” colour thing happening, so that is what she did…the lighting in this pic isn’t great so trust me, that is the colour and no offence to my mom but double ugh. That trend passed a loooong time ago and this table is a perfect example of why lol

Last summer I decided I needed a project and this table was going to be it! How hard could it possibly be to take some paint off and re-paint the table in a colour I like? I imagined this entire process taking two days, three tops if the table needed two layers of paint put on and therefore needed drying time. I have painted rooms, surely I can paint one little table!


This “little project” has taken me for ever! Especially since I am lazy and kept putting it off lol

Turns out there weren’t just one or two layers of paint on this table, there were 6. Six! And one of those layers was this horrible dark brown that needed no fewer than 4 coats of paint remover and scraping to get it off. That dark brown paint was harder to remove than gum out of hair and I curse whichever ancestor put it on the table. Curse!…especially since I am sure that dark brown will be one of the many layers of paint on the matching dresser which means one day I’ll have to get it off an even larger piece of furniture…hopefully by then I will have enough money to be able to pay someone to do it lol

I originally bought an eco-friendly paint remover, I wanted this to be non damaging to the environment, or as non damaging as possible anyways. I found one at Canadian Tire and it was crap. I followed all the instructions and nothing happened. I thought I must be doing something wrong so I asked my landlord who is a handyman kind of guy and he said the eco-friendly ones never work well and I’d be better off using the kind he has.

He then oh-so-nicely showed me where his stash of the stuff was and said to help myself. He also gave me a bunch of tips and tricks to make the whole thing go easier. Turns out there were a lot of things I hadn’t thought of so his help proved invaluable.

Besides lending me his knowledge, different sized scraper tools and paint remover he also let me move the table in to his garage and work there.

The above pics are the table in the garage awaiting rejuvenation. See that filigree on the front of the drawer? That was the part I was most excited about, I couldn’t wait to see it without so many layers of paint on it, I was betting on there being way more detail to it than what I had ever seen.

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This is the paint thinner at work on the drawer front, see the evil brown paint peeking through?

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And here is the beautiful filigree! The right side is the side still covered in 6 freakin layers of evil paint, on the left it is for the most part bare with just little bits of paint still needing removal. You would not believe how hard it was getting all the paint out of the various nook and crannies of the flowers and leaves. But totally worth it because seriously, detail, look at that detail! Someone hand made that, took time to carve each little leaf and flower and I absolutely love it. πŸ™‚

My landlord had suggested taking it off the drawer and replacing it with a new one, save me a ton of work, which absolutely horrified me, and I am so glad I didn’t listen to him.

After working on it, then ignoring it for months, then working on it again, I finally finished the table and am quite happy with the results.

Sorry for the shadow from the overhang on the close up picture, I couldn’t really figure out a way to avoid that…

The table looks more white in the pictures than it is, it is a colour called something silly like Fairy Wings and is a warmer tone than just white. I know it seems like a plain choice but I wanted to be able to change decorations on the table and always have them look good with the paint colour. Also, I didn’t want a colour I would get bored with after a year or so and have to go through the entire process again lol.

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This is what the table looks like now…I’m not completely set on the items I have on the desk but for now they will do. You may notice the back of the table, there is a new piece there. My landlord offered to make it so items wouldn’t slip off the back of the table…something that has never happened now that I think of it lol. There was a ledge back there, an unsightly little ledge, where a mirror used to live. I’m not sure what happened to the mirror, it might be in my parent’s basement and if it is one day I will claim it but for now I am quite happy with my black framed mirror that is on the wall. I actually have to raise the mirror a little bit since that new back piece covers a bit of the mirror frame but its not really a priority in my world right now lol

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This little guy is why I wanted a simple colour for the table. Right now I really like this teal wooden decorative item with the “never stop exploring” quote on it but I might get bored with it, or the colour, or just be wanting change, and I’ll take it off the table and want to replace it with something else. By choosing a simple colour I won’t be limited to picking another teal item because I need it to match my table.

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I was going to leave you with the uncluttered picture of the table, as if that is what it looks like all the time lol, but I decided to be honest. Here is what it looks like on a daily basis. πŸ™‚ I want to buy one of those weighted purse hook things to hang my hair dryer on because it has a loop on the handle so it can be hung when put away. I haven’t figured out what to do with the straightener though, it doesn’t have a loop so I can easily hang it. I like the table top to be fairly clutter free, I don’t mind items along the back but I don’t like having the main part of the table covered, even if it is with my all important hair dryer and straightener lol.

So there we have it, took me a ridiculous amount of time but I did manage to strip the old paint and replace it with a colour I like. Yay!

It’s silly but every time I go in to my room I look at the table and smile a little, there is something to be said for seeing the results of your hard work. πŸ™‚


2 Responses to “My Refinished Table”

  1. VeeEmm May 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    wow! that looks amazing. Can’t believe the difference in the filigree – who would have thought there was so much detail? thanks for posting pics.

    • shrinkingwmn May 4, 2016 at 12:31 am #

      Yeah I am so happy with it! I love how it looks! πŸ™‚

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