My latest before and after.

I bought a pair of end tables (bedside tables, maybe?) from the Brown Elephant on Clark about a month ago. I feel like I worked on these for three years.  In reality, it’s been about two-and-a-half weeks. You know, an hour here, an hour there, not 24-hours-a-day. I decided I was going to take this nice and slow and be patient. Old method: hurriedly slap a coat of primer on a piece of furniture, barely let it dry before putting the first coat of paint on, then, MAYBE if I was feeling particularly generous with my time, a second coat of paint. But with these, I was determined to do a better job. I started by actually sanding them. You know what’s NOT fun? Sanding on your back porch in Chicago when it’s eight degrees outside.  But it had to be done — check out what the tops looked like:

On the right is my new friend: my Bosch Orbital Sander. Great Galloping Ghosts, that sucker sands. Seriously sands, people.  Of course, the size means you can use it on fairly large surfaces, so I still need my Mouse Sander (thanks again, Dad!) for the smaller areas like the doors. Once I sanded the whole thing down, I primed it with THREE COATS of Glidden Gripper Primer. I had to use three coats because, despite the priming, the old varnish (or whatever they use on that weird fake wood finish) kept seeping through in places…so I kept priming until that stopped happening. Then I used three coats of paint — Sherwin Williams in Queen Anne’s Lace for the basic color and Celery for the insets. The Queen Anne’s Lace is so lightly tinted green that, in some lights, it looks more cream than green. I used a Satin finish in their Duration line, the most expensive which, I hope translates into the most tough. I’m thinking about finishing up with a coat of paste wax for further protection.

Here’s my favorite part:

The knob! I used a pair of glass door knobs that I’ve had forever, just sitting around in a drawer. I had the hardest time deciding whether or not to use it, because I was afraid that they would look weird and out-sized on the drawers — plus, I had to drill what seemed like a massive hole in the drawer to screw them in, and I  wasn’t sure what I could have done had they not worked out in the end. But I ended up LOVING them, and I have two more pairs of door knobs stashed away that I can’t wait to use.

[Quick side trip: Here’s one thing that helped me be more patient with this: my biggest problem is that I get bored, and want to hurry the process along. Last year, I started listening to audio books on my iPod while exercising; now I’ve started listening to them while I’m doing EVERYTHING — any chore of any kind.  Right now I’m listening to Under the Dome (Stephen King) and have Game Change all ready to go when I get through that one (political gossip — MY FAVORITE). I have a subscription to Audible — I think I pay somewhere around $23/month for three downloads a month. Your library may also have downloads available online — Chicago Public Libraries has a pretty huge selection that I use, too. I highly recommend it — sometimes, it can even make me exercise when I might not have otherwise.]

So. On to the next project. Time is ticking…the Vintage Bazaar is right around the corner!

One last look…

February 28, 2010 - 8:44 pm

Vintage Bazaar Report: Part One. » Pretty. Quirky. […] cabinet (above, bottom row left), the black table and chairs in the previous post, and the two end tables I posted about a couple of weeks ago. We only sold the chair and tables — pretty quickly, […]