Afternoon at Mom's

This morning, after a family breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and bananas, then sending Mr. Wonderful out the door to hockey with the kids.... felt so good to climb in a car all by myself (moms, I know you're with me on this!) and head up to my own mom's house to spend a few hours transforming her dining room table.

This Thomasville table already has quite a history.

My mom was walking through a warehouse 25 years ago and saw this table top, legs removed, lying upside on the warehouse floor.  Pulse quickening, she quickly scanned the area for the matching table legs, found all four, and nearly passed out when the man let her have the table for a song.

Mom stripped the whole table and restained the top and legs in 1989, the year I graduated from high school.  I've always loved the legs and detail on this gorgeous table, and as a matter of fact have requested that it be passed on to me in their will....

The legs were not white until last week.

Last week Mom decided it was time to paint and distress the legs and apron, leaving the stained top as is.  I couldn't have been more pleased with her decision.  By the time I came on scene, Mom had already sanded, primed and painted two coats of Valspar's Navajo White.  She promised me that she sanded between each coat :-), and judging from the finish, it was obvious she had done well.  The table looked great already, but I knew we could make it even better.

Distressing was our first step, and that's me going at it.  Mom was really nervous about sanding down to wood again, but I kept telling her that you can't really mess up with distressing.  Just go at it until you think it looks right.  As I worked, she began to see what a big difference the distressing made, giving the details and edges a wonderful character that was missing from a mere paint job.  She sanded for a little bit with me, but eventually settled to coming along behind me and cleaning up the sand dust.  Which was great prep for our next step.

Here a few shots of the distressing in process:

We focused on the edges of things for a more natural finish.  I also used a small 2x2 inch scrap of sandpaper to get in around all the little scrolls to highlight the detail.  It made an amazing difference.

Finally, we began the antiquing process.  For this step, we used Minwax Dark Walnut Stain and applied with a foam brush, working one small area at a time, focusing on the grooves and indentations, then quickly wiping off with rags we purchased in a bulk box from Lowe's.  You can never have too many rags for this step.

Here's a shot of Mom wiping off the stain:

You can see in the next picture how much darker the table became with the stain applied.  At first, Mom and I were both afraid it would be too dark, but as we kept going, we loved it more and more.

It took an already beautiful table to another dimension. 

It is gorgeous.

As I was leaving, she told me she's ready to tackle the chairs next.

Although I absolutely loved working with my mom on this table today, especially seeing the joy on her face as the finished product revealed itself before our eyes, painting chairs is a whole 'nother ballgame.

I'm afraid I may be tied up that day.