Thursday, January 30, 2014

Minty fresh

Our dining room has seen the most changes since I moved into our little townhouse about two and a half years ago. That may not be saying a whole lot because we rent (and don't really have a ton of disposable money to buy more furniture to give rooms makeovers that way) so there haven't been a whole lot of transformations that we could do, period, but still. 

We made over a table and chairs (all of which were roadside rescues).
made-over table // upholstered chairs
2) We have switched out light fixtures:
swap out chandeliers
old chandy // our painted one
3) We painted an accent wall (our bedroom is the only other room that we have painted) 4) and have moved furniture around to make better use of the space. Both changes are shown  below.
HOWEVER. Things still weren't quite right, and we realized recently that it was the dining room table we had. While it brightened up the space and we really liked it, it felt GIGANTIC in the dining space (especially when the chairs were pulled out); It was definitely intended for use in a larger room than we had. Our dining area isn't even really a room, just a shoot-off from our kitchen area, and is narrow. That size table just wasn't practical there, especially if you added in space for a walkway, chairs, and the storage console. Things just felt a little too snug; even a few extra inches would have done the trick.

It wasn't high on our priority list, but we kept an open eye for anything that we thought might fit better. A square table, a round one maybe? Who knows. Our minds were open. 

But then, on a trip to visit my parents' house (waaaaaaaay back in the summer), the heavens opened and shone down upon us. A neighbor was clearing out his garage and was getting rid of a perfect little rectangular table.
Cute, right? It was of tempered glass and solid-wood construction, so it was nice and sturdy, and the size was a lot better in the space (it's hard to tell in that above picture, but it's true!). It was a couple inches smaller on either side than the white monster we'd been using, and yet still could seat four comfortably. More than four, actually, when you pulled out the ends to reveal the hidden roll-top leaves...!  
Bizarre as heck! I'd never seen anything like it. We couldn't leave without it (Thanks, Terry and Dawn!).We had big plans for this little guy. We were going to add some color into the equation! Here's a sneek peek:
First up: get rid of the dinged and scratched-up spray paint job.
heh heh heh.I love me some good power-tool time. Cathartic and wonderful :)
 I carefully popped out the glass panels and used an orbital sander to remove the paint and wiped the dust off with a microfiber towel. Once every speck of dust was gone, we applied two coats of primer with a roller. Primer was really important in our case because the table gets a lot of use and/or abuse, and we wanted the finish to STICK. Our favorite primer to use for this is Zinnser. It's really the best and dries really quickly :) That's important for an impatient person like me!
When the primer had dried completely, we added some color! We wanted to complement the color of the glass, which was a kind of seaglassy-minty color, more on the greener end of the mint spectrum.
 We went with the darkest "blue" shade below, called Coventry Gardens by Kensington & Clark. It was cheap and close to the color sample we brought along with us to the hardware store. Turns out the color was almost a dead match for our glass and not a complementary darker one, but it still looked nice so we went with it.
We painted the frame first, then pulled out the leaves and gave those a quick coat too.
To get the smoothest finish possible, we hit it with some sandpaper after the second color coat and wore off any bumps. We used 1000 grit because that's what we had, but any grit higher than 100 would be perfectly fine! As you can see, we had to take off quite a bit to get it smooth again, but the third color coat was smooth like buttah.
Prettyyyyy! We decided to finish the table off with some lacquer for killer shine. Please note: I would NOT recommend this for every table! Brushing lacquer is a little bit of a pain because any drop of water totally turns the clear coat white (think of the treatment on a piece of antique furniture--the shine is spectacular but cannot handle a cup without a coaster!).
Our table was the exception because of the glass inserts; any food or beverage would be contained on the glass. We'd made sure before choosing this finish :)
We applied the lacquer the same as the color coats: two thin coats, a VERY light sand to remove any bumps, then a third and final coat of lacquer. We sanded a little lighter than with the paint because we didn't want to lose much of the lacquer coat. The above picture was taken after two coats but before the sanding; the third coat was again smooth as buttah!

The mint works great in the dining room (although I'm SO ready to trade that hand-me-down rug for something else. And don't even get me started on the kitchen!) and adds a little modern flair to our obviously dated rental. Which I'm all for!
view from the table,
We love the new color and the table! Its so much more modern than the last one, and the color means we can use our white place settings, which you know is really important ;). Just for fun, here's a side-by-side comparison:
As you can see, we've also got a canvas in there, and for now, it's PERFECT. It's a mod line-drawing of cityscapes in San Francisco, and its so colorful! It's an oldie from Ikea--found for 25% at my local thrift store! Also the off-white tone of the background makes our almond-colored doors/trim/cabinets/walls look less dingy next to our bright white chandelier and chairs. Now, painting all the doors and trim can be pushed even further down our to-do list (aka it will never get done unless we buy this place and want to put the time and effort into it!)
We haven't missed having the larger table, but we like the idea of being able to pull the leaves out and seat more people if needed. We'd cover the scroll-top leaves with one of our inherited catering tablecloths and no one would be the wiser :)
Would you ever do a colored dining table? What do you think of ours?

1 comment:

  1. wow, I love the table all pulled out. Looks super cool! The neighbors would be proud to see their old cast-off has new life! Now, lets start looking for a new place to put your table THATS CLOSER TO HOME! (thumbs up, winky smile)


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