Lucky unlucky

In the Polish language there is a term which literally means “lucky unlucky”.  It basically means that when you are in the middle of an unlucky situation you find some luck.  For example, a few years ago I was driving and had stopped at a red light- only to have my car die when I attempted to drive forward after the light had turned green.  However, across from the exact spot where my car died was a repair shop with towing service.  Lucky unlucky.

I have also experienced a “lucky unlucky” with a table refinishing.

I bought a round pedestal table of which I thought was solid wood.  The pedestal portion definitely is- however it is not one solid piece but rather smaller pieces that have been stacked on a metal rod and glued together- this is no big deal, quite standard for todays construction and only if you got down on your hands and knees and did an inspection could you tell.

After sanding the finish off the table top did I figure out it was veneer.  I have to say whoever constructed this table did a good job.  Even with the many scratches and gauges in the top, the underside and the edges- i couldn’t see the particle board underneath.

So….I began taking the lacquered finish off the top.  My original idea was that I was going to do a lime finish on the wood to bring out the grain- so thinking that the table top was solid I was quite heavy handed with the orbital sander…..only to reveal in a spot a piece of the particle board sandwiched between the layers of veneer.

Crap! Crap! Crap!  There goes the liming technique- and the existing grain was pretty nice since the wood (veneer) is Ash.

So- I went with it.  After I finished removing the lacquer  I watered down Annie Sloan’s Amsterdam Green(I love this colour) and did two coats on the top.  It took longer to dry because it really seeped into the veneer.  After this dried I did one coat of a very watered down Country Grey and left it to dry overnight.

It is hard to describe what it looked like this morning- kind of a like it was left in the rain.  It was also quite rough to the touch- the water had really raised the grain.

So…I sanded.  I sanded with 80 grit to start to lift some of the paint and smooth out the rough spots and to distress the edges- then I finished with 240 grit to make it really smooth.  It came out a greyish bluish kind of colour.  Sort of like slate.

So then I waxed.  I did a very fine coat of wax and brushed and brushed it until it was even- so much so that I didn’t need to buff it- and it really brought out the variations in the paint finish- deepened the colours.   I plan to do another fine coat of wax but my arm is a little bit wobbly at the moment.

I also painted the pedestal Grey Linen and gave it a good distressing followed by the clear wax.

This is the result:

The wardrobe in the background was also painted with Amsterdam Green- I have used this picture because I wanted to show the difference in the colour after the technique I used.

A close up of the finish:

I am really happy with the result of this table.  It kind of looks like slate or a well aged table even slightly metallic- it doesn’t at all look like a faux finish.

However….I have a feeling I just set myself up for another “lucky unlucky” situation–if somebody ever asks me to re create this finish–I may just have a hard time getting it to look like this!!


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