Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Refinishing an Old Table, Badly

This was going to be a triumphant DIY post, I had it all planned. I'd debut my awesome, new-old table, and show off my crazy amazing skills. Buuuuuuut, I'm really not happy with table top colour - I honestly think it must have been mislabeled. It was supposed to be Jacobean Dark Oak, which was, you know, dark brown. I wouldn't describe the sample as being warm or even chestnut-y. And it's turned out orange. SUPER orange. Thoughts?

I do like the paint - It's Dulux Proud Peacock, and it's cheerful. I changed my mind about replacing the cup handles because I couldn't get them off.

My guy actually likes it, and I'm probably too lazy to complain and redo the whole thing. (This was taken after the lentil-pocalypse that was lunch today. She loves lentil soup, but man, it's a mess.)

I sanded the top with an electric hand sander, and finished it with 3 coats of Danish oil. Supposedly it is a blend of 'natural oils', but it certainly doesn't smell like it - it's high VOC stuff. I've used boiled linseed oil in the past, which is a delight to use, provided you don't leave your oily rags lying around - apparently they can self-combust! (As an aside, what kind of devil-plant is flax anyway? It can light itself on fire, make a weird/amazing vegan egg, or become perpetually wrinkly hippie trousers. Same plant. I read once that people also used to use it to make hair gel in the 20's, for those lacquered marcel waves.) I didn't even consider it for this project though, because, ironically, I didn't want the colour to be too warm. Boooo. So, the Danish oil is easy to use, pretty inexpensive and appears to be impermeable, but it's not as 'natural' as it might sound. I also used it in a different colour to refinish our kitchen work surfaces last weekend - that one we meant to be orange-y because it more or less matches the colour on an original dumb waiter in the corner.

In other news, F. is obsessed with plantains, roasted or fried:

She ate them all. Not exaggerating.

And our house is lousy with flowers, which I love. I often buy whatever is cheap at the farmer's market, especially this time of year, and then there was Mother's Day (Happy late UK Mother's Day!), then a friend brought us some (even though she really didn't have to!) - I love it so much. If I could, I would have flowers in the house all the time.


  1. I like the table, but I totally know what it's like when a DIY didn't turn out like you'd planned. It's a little frustrating! Loving all the flowers here too!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm more enthusiastic than I am skilled, haha.