A couple of months ago, I decided our kitchen table was too small. As the kids get older, we seem to have more and more of their friends staying for lunches and dinners (which I love) and instead of using the dining room where the table is much larger, we always seemed to pull up extra chairs in the kitchen. I started looking around for something more suitable for the kitchen and then had a 'light bulb' moment. The dining room table would work perfectly in the kitchen but it was the wrong color! But before I whisked the table off to the garage, we put it in the kitchen to see if it would work for us. And it did, perfectly! So off to the garage with the dining room table to strip and re-paint!
I use a commercial paint stripper. It is toxic and have to don full face mask, gloves and cover every bit of exposed skin but it works like a charm. Simply apply and you can see the paint start to bubble. A simple, no muscle required scrape and the paint is removed.
While the table and chairs were in the kitchen for the 'testing', I did not like the idea of having 6 chairs in the kitchen. Not only did six chairs take up too much space but it would looked too busy with the backs of 6 chairs in the room. Hoping this makes sense because I forgot to take a picture of the table in the kitchen with the 6 chairs.
My mom and dad were in town from Vancouver and my dad is incredibly handy and talented working with wood. I asked him to make me a couple benches so I could replace the side chairs with benches. And he did!
The kids helped me stain the benches in a dark walnut brown. The benches would have the 'distressed and aged' look to them but for all my furniture re-do's, I always use a stain for the base.
After the base stain, I start to apply paint in different colors. I always start with the color of paint which will end up as the finished color which in this case is 'Red Clay'.
The benches were painted blue, white and yellow and then returned with a top coat of red. Furniture stripper was applied and once the paint starts to bubble and peel, all the paint is revealed in bits, making the benches look old and well-loved :) Friends who stop by while I am in the 'workshop', otherwise known as the garage, are stunned by the fact that I spend the time painting furniture only to 'ruin' it, or rather 'distress and age' the furniture. But for me it works. Scratches, dents and other 'boo boo's' are obviously more noticeable in perfectly painted pieces. When it's already distressed and aged looking, scratches, dents and bumps only add more 'love' to the pieces :)
A light sanding, a little poly-urathane and the benches were ready to be put to use!
We created so much more space in the kitchen! The kids love it and we can fit more people (at least 3 wee bottoms on each bench) and we are not pulling chairs in from the dining room anymore. And as Gabriel can attest, you can now sit at the table 'both ways' :)
In case you are interested in my ummm somewhat un-refined painting and distressing technique, the procedure can be applied to other wood pieces. This shutter was a boring white 'garage sale find' shutter for $1. I left the original white paint and applied a multitude of colors over the white and then used the paint stripper to bubble and peel the paint. What I love most about painting this way is that you dont have to be too careful about drips and un-even painting as it only adds more character to the piece you are working on.
Thanks for stoppin' by and hope you have a wonderful day!