24 August, 2009

Dining Room - Lessons Learned

Thanks to Jen of Sanctuary Arts at Home for hosting this monthly meme, Make Over Open House. Click here to check out other make over open house posts. This month, I'm showing sharing my dining room make over.

I took this picture to post on Craig's List. No takers. I ended up selling my table and chairs it at a yard sale for $25. There was 6 chairs. The table had two leaves which extended it to seat six nicely. The chairs were beginning to fall apart. The table top was Formica which took a lot of abuse.

Here is a before photo showing the whole room, which open up into the kitchen and living room.

Since we remodeled the kitchen (click here to see that post) I wanted to go with off white French Country ladder back chairs. After looking in every furniture store and online, I finally found the perfect set.

The price was right. Then, the saleslady asked if we wanted it delivered for $40.00. Well, we had to have it delivered. Then she asked us if we wanted the seats sprayed with a stain protection for $65.00. I though, wow, that’s a lot of money and for around $5.00. I could buy a can of Scotchguard and spray the upholstery myself. Did I want the top of the table protected from water marks, etc. for $135.00? Again, I though that I could buy a quart of polyurethane and put it on the table top myself.

The table was delivered and they set it up. I think it looks gorgeous. I took the chairs out on the porch. I protected the wooden backs and legs and sprayed the seats with Scotchguard. Perfect.

I purchased a quart of polyurethane and a brush. I was careful not to over stir the poly as to get air bubbles in it. I brushed the poly on in the direction of the wood . Oh, oh, this wasn’t going on even. It was puddling up. There were blotches and splotches, and brush marks and brush bristles in the poly.

The directions in the poly said to give it a light sanding and to apply another coat. I took a sandpaper sponge and went over it. It hardly did a thing, so I took our electric sander and sanded the top. Then gave it another coat of poly. It still looked awful. I ruined my brand new table.

I called my daughter on the phone and was crying to her about my plight. Should I sand it again and give it another coat? NO! she said. “Don’t touch it. Call an expert and get them to fix it.” I realized that was good advice.

Our pastor does wood refinishing as a hobby, and I called him. I told him what I did and he said not to sand it, but to use a paint/stain remover. He even gave me a gallon of the stuff he uses. The one thing that was in my favor was that everything except the top was painted a creamy off white color. I only had to deal with the top.

I worked all evening until past midnight getting it off. Even the original stain was off. Here it is now down to the bare wood. I already had the china cupboard and the top didn’t exactly match the cupboard. Now, that I need to restain it, I can get a better match to the cupboard. So, that part is lucky. However, I’m scared to death to touch it. I’ve have a vinyl tablecloth on it for months.

Moral of the story: If you are offered the option of having the store protect your furniture, go for it.


Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Oh my! I was almost crying too - when I read about your tabletop experience! I'm so glad that you were able to restore it to it's beautiful finish. I know that you felt awful - but it turned out quite lovely -- I know you'll enjoy this table for a long while - and the story that goes along with it too!

Melissa Miller said...

Oh my goodness Karen!

I'm glad it all worked out for you.
It is a very gorgeous set.

~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh, that sounds like a nightmare. I am so sorry for you. The table truly is gorgeous. Maybe you can hire someone to stain the top to match the hutch. That shouldn't be too expensive, but well worth it. Good luck. Hugs, Marty

JD/ Jill said...

Karen, so good to see you posting again. Your new set looks just lovely in your room, and a really nice match to your kitchen. I'm going to send you an email and tell you a story about my diningroom table experience, and I GUARANTEE you that my story will make you feel better...It's too long to post here...

Tootsie said...

you did a great job!!! thanks for sharing. I had not heard of this meme either...will have to check it out!

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

All's well that ends well! It looks great!

Sumballo Farm said...

Your new dining set is fabulous! It is the perfect compliment to your beautiful kitchen.

I probably would have applied the poly myself to save money, too. However, I have found that poly is very tricky to work with. To avoid brush marks, it's best to apply it with a smooth roller with a very low nap. Back roll over it to remove bubbles and roller marks. Inspect it well before you let it dry thoroughly. Then, lightly sand between coats with a fine (at least 150-grit) sandpaper. If you use sandpaper that is too rough, it will dull the finish.


Ashley @ AshleysBusy said...

I redid my table, after having stained it from an unfinished stat once already. MY secret is wipe-on poly. This stuff is WAY easier to use than the brush on kind. The brush on poly left brush marks and bubbled up. So the second time around, I went with wipe on. So much easier and faster.

Here's my post about it:


Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Yikes!!! can't even think about it!!! It's a beautiful set...the only concern if it is down to the bare wood you should finish it ASAP because anything can damage it right now (even a little water or the natural oils in people's skin will leave a mark!) If you are afraid to do it, maybe you should call someone to do it...I hope it gets resolved very soon so you can really enjoy your perfect furniture!!!

Barb said...

Dear Rooster Party Participant,

Just a reminder that the Rooster Party is this Friday, August 28th. I am so glad you joined and I'm really looking forward to seeing your Roosters.

Hope you have a wonderful time!


WhisperWood Cottage said...

Stressful! I don't know what I would have done!!


Love the Decor! said...

Ugh! So sorry for your dilemma. I am so glad your story had a happy ending :))

Domestic Designer said...

Oh my! That sounds like my luck. It is a really pretty set!

Blue Creek Home said...

Karen, You just have to be brave and get that table top stained!!!
Practice on a piece of wood first. You can do it!
I do love the new set. It looks great in your room.
I am glad that you visted me!

Marsha said...

Hi Karen, so sorry you had so much trouble with your table. That can be so frustrating. Anyway, it looks beautiful! I really like the way it brightened your space. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment!

Pam @ This Humble House said...

I'm so glad you were able to save it! I love the set - just my kinda thing! Those are hard to find these days, too! I guess it's a lesson learned, but at least you did have the courage to try to do it yourself!

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

~ Pam

SmilingSally said...

Thanks for the tip. I'm always afraid that I'll mess up, so you've re-enforced my thinking

Gwen said...

I am so sorry that you had to learn that lesson! I have to give you so much credit for trying though:)

Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst said...

It looks like a beautiful table. Look for one of the stains that has the polyurethane in it already, then follow the instructions to the letter. It should be fine. :-) Good luck!

Kelee Katillac said...

Hi Karen!
Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you!

NOW about your tabletop:

I can not tell you ow many times in 25 years of doing this stuff that I have had similar experiences!!

This is NORMAL. And, now you can make it match your hutch.Without sounding like a Pollyanna I can tell you that nearly always things happen for a reason and to turn this into an opportunity...I know your creative soul will!

love, kelee

Unknown said...

I am glad it worked out okay! what a mess to go through to get it that way! Jen

Unknown said...

Hi, and thanks for stopping by my place! The white table and chairs really lighten that room up- they highlight your plate collection beautifully! I know the pains of poly all too well and wish you lots of luck in completing your project!
- Meg

Madame Meg said...

Hi, and thanks for stopping by my place! The white set really lightens that room up and highlights your plate display beautifully! I am all too familiar with the pains of polyurethane, and wish you lots of luck in completing your project!
- Meg

Kay said...

Good luck with the table. I think the store should have included the protection with the price. It looks great right now, your hard work has paid off.