Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's Embarrassing

... what our dining set looked like until a week or so ago.  It really is.  It was bad.  It didn't start it off bad.  I'm fairly certain it's circa 1980-something based on the style and the fabric on the chair seats.  I got it from my parents when I moved to my first apartment in 2002; they purchased it for me secondhand.  It was actually in great condition at the time.  Not totally my style as furniture goes, but in my first apartment with a huge, empty eat-in kitchen, "free" and "gift" were very much my style.

Over the years, there was obviously some wear and tear, especially on the fabric.  Most happened in recent years, though, after Eric and I got married.  Having three cats who loved sleeping on the very nubby, very loose-knit fabric created a situation where I didn't want my guests sitting on the chairs, which had become completely interwoven with cat hair.  And then at some point, something spilled on a chair.

And we'd been using the table to make soap and candles, and the overspill of molten soap and essential oils had marred the surface.  Also at some point, someone (*cough* Eric) left something on the table that leaked and caused water damage to the wood.

I grew to hate that dining set.  Despise it.  It made me scowl every time I looked at it.  Scowling isn't a great look for me.  People get intimidated.

So it was long past time to refinish it.  Since both Eric and I pretty much hate painted wood, the natural solution was sand and stain.  Lots of sanding.  Using quite a few belts and even more squares of sandpaper.

Have I mentioned sanding kind of sucks?  Especially when the damned chairs don't come apart and they've got rounded bits and close-together bits and a bunch needs to be done by hand?  It took for-freaking-ever.

Boo for sanding.

On the other hand, yay for staining.  We decided to go with a much more modern and formal "Kona" stain that's not black, but a very, very dark brown, dark as night.

A good coat of polyurethane, and that was done!

In the meantime, at night when I couldn't be outside sanding due to chill and lack of light, I was inside reupholstering.  I've never reupholstered a single thing in my life before!  Had to make new cushions too.  Personally, I think I did a damned good job.  We chose an also formal fabric that we ordered from  They didn't carry this particular fabric in store, but did you know you can order a swatch of their online fabrics for $3?  We discovered it while fabric shopping, and it's a stellar idea.  In this particular instance, we discovered that we loved it even more in person than online.

Seats back on the chairs, and all done!  The set was all ready for our Kenucky Derby Party!

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Debbi Huntington said...

WOW what an amazing transformation. you guys did a great job!

Rie said...

WOW! It looks so fab! Good job, maybe you can come & do mine now! :)

MsMartyD said...

Soooooooooooo beautiful! I love refinishing wood. This set looks like good quality, sturdy furniture and will last a long time. GOOD JOB!!!!

Larissa said...


You're right, Marty, I was loathe to just trash the set, since it's actually real wood (unlike the composit junk you find now) and is good, sturdy furniture. Better that the real thing should be kept around whenever possible.

Laurie said...

I loved your Tip Me Tuesday link . {thanks girl!}

Would you like Tip Junkie to feature your blog post to over 200,000 creative women? If you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then I can easily feature it in my RSS feed, home page, and all my social networks instantly. {squealing with delight}

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