Saturday, April 2, 2016

Meet Stephen

Meet Stephen.

We found Stephen in an antique booth off the square in Fayetteville during antiques festival last fall. I found him the first weekend, but the dealer was asking an awful lot for this poor beat-up little table, so we didn't buy it.  But I thought about him all week and the next weekend the dealer was ready to negotiate.

Since the kitchen is so large and there isn't much functional counter space for food prep, we were initially thinking about an island with some barstools. But the rebirth of farmhouse style has also led to a rebirth of the farmhouse table instead of built-in islands.  I explained to the dealer my hesitation and he made me a deal: if I bought the table and fixed it up, but decided to go with the island instead, he would allow me to sell it out of his booth in the spring.  That sealed the deal for me, and much to Larry's chagrin, we drove back to WBC with this 9-foot table hanging out the back of our SUV and me in the front seat holding on to the legs for dear life so it didn't fall out on the road.  

Stephen had clearly been someone's garage work table.  There were paint spatters, oil stains, and nicks where someone cut just a little too deep with their saw blade.

So we set to work sanding down the old nasty finish to bring it back to life.

 After working our way from 80 grit sand paper up to 120, Stephen was looking pretty good.

Lo and behold, Stephen is also made of long-leaf pine, just like much of the rest of the house.

The next weekend we did a couple more layers with finer grit paper.

It was such a pretty day it was hard to go back to town. But by the end of the afternoon, we knew Stephen was ready for paint and stain.

Since there is already so much wood (and because it is really hard to get a good finish on turned legs), we decided to paint the bottom of the table to match the kitchen counters.  To make that process easier, we taped up the top with plastic so we could prime the base and legs with spray primer.

Over the past 4 weekends or so, I've been bathing the top in Waterlox.  It's supposed to soak into the wood and form a water-resistant coating.  And even though it isn't a stain per se, it also substantially deepened the color.

After about 4 layers of Waterlox, the top is ready for use as a kitchen island. As soon as we finish the inside cabinetry, we will probably do a coat of paint on the base and legs so the table ties in to the cabinets.

Here's the before and after side-by-side:

I love him!

Why Stephen, you ask?  Because it has worm holes!

That's all from Wisteria Bend for now.


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