The ‘man’ is in India for ten days, and I did say to him, that if he wanted to know how I was (or how his home was looking) to check my blog.  Poor chap – every time he goes away he comes back to a completely different look.  I think I go slightly manic without his calming influence.  Plus there is no reason to wind down at night so I get through a crazy amount of transformation…

Dining table before

This sad little patient came from eBay.  See the following post to see why (together with some notes on how not to sand the bejeezus out of a beautiful old table top).

The top has been sanded into the next millennium (and boy that’s a long way off) and the base was one of the most ghastly shades of green – a kind of dirty avocado.  It just looked drab.  But it had good bones, some nice carving round the edges and a sturdiness that I like.  It also doesn’t have any legs on which to bang your knees (or snag your expensive stockings).

unstripped table edge

So it had everything I love – potential with some sad injury.  Time for some TLC.

First I stripped the edges with the carving (see next post on how to do this) – I did this as I was worried that if I painted over it again, it would be lost, as the layers of paint gradually filled in the beautiful detailing.

Then I started with gesso on the top.  This is the first time I’ve used this and supposedly it’s good for priming and filling wood surfaces simultaneously (artists use it to prime their canvases).  Plus it’s completely non-toxic.

The first coat of gesso on recycled table

Every time I put on a layer, I allowed it to dry (another benefit of gesso – only about 40 minutes), sanded it back and applied another.

gesso first coat

I wish I could do time-lapse photography here – but you get the idea…

second coat gesso

third coat gesso

And eventually I got round to painting the thing!  The paint is still wet here.

wet paint on table

After the first coat of paint I had hope – it was going to look stunning.  In the end it took three coats to cover up the green paint.

Dining table doesnt cost the earth

Originally I was going to inscribe words around the edge of the top.  I do like elegant script:


Maybe words to provoke interesting conversations around the table…  But at the moment the sheer pure white is energising and uplifting.  So I may live with that for a little first.

recycled dining table after

I had been wondering about emphasising the carving by rubbing a slightly darker shade into it, so it catches in the grooves and brings up the relief.  But I’m not sure it needs it?

Carved edge of table

I think it’s looking rather smashing as it is.

Sorry the final photos aren’t yet ultra glam – but the whole room is still undergoing its transformation.  I’m hoping to try the paint wash on the wall behind this weekend…

Dining table after