Easter weekend is the perfect time for a sport of DIY, especially if you are home alone for four days while your children are away with their Father. The weather has been pretty rubbish and is has been very tempting to lie on the sofa watching Netflix and eating chocolate until wine O clock. However, I know in my heart of hearts that I will suffer less self loathing if I actually achieve something with this weekend. I don’t want to run, go to the gym, start a novel or spring clean the house, so DIY it is.
Meet my kitchen table. He has had a rough life being moved from house to house and even from country to country having spent a few years in France. He is much-loved but a bit battered and suffers from a bad case of table tan – i.e. a pine top with orange varnish. His legs are bruised and chipped and all in all he could do with a trip to the furniture spa for a spot of R and R.
Cue the kitchen table makeover! First step was to wield a borrowed belt sander which was immensely satisfying although maybe a teeny bit annoying for the neighbours on a Saturday morning. It was pretty noisy and, I don’t want to be a health and safety bore, but I was very glad of my goggles and face mask. I didn’t fancy a lungful of orange varnish dust (plus it really makes you look like you know what you are doing). The bevelled edges of the table were tricky with the belt sander so I did those by hand and finished the whole thing off with a very fine grade paper on a sanding block. A good wipe down with a damp cloth to get rid of any remaining dust and then leave it to dry completely.
While the top was drying gave me a good opportunity to make a start on the legs. I wanted a very matt finish and so I went for a chalky white furniture paint. It helps to raise the table up so that you can paint right to bottom of the legs. Wood off-cuts would be ideal but I couldn’t find any so I used Jenga blocks from the games chest; rather enterprising I thought.
The paint needed four hours between coats and so I made a start on the varnish. Although I wanted a really bleached out Scandi kind of look, pine tends to blush orangey brown when you put a finish on it. To try to counteract that I used a varnish that has pale milky wash to achieve the look I was after.
Three coats of varnish with at least and hour in-between and then a second coat of paint on the legs. I left the whole thing to dry out overnight and then in the morning applied a sealing wax over the painted legs to help protect them from spills and scratches.
The finished table! Much smarter and very pleased with himself – fit to be seen at the very best table gatherings and certainly ready for another 20 years of hard family use.
Right, now I have officially achieved something I can revert to Plan A – where’s the chocolate and the remote control?