my first furniture refinishing project. french side table.


 A work in progress….my first antique refinishing project!

Not sure how I got myself into this furniture refinishing hobby…but I think it started about 3 weeks ago when I was 8.5 months pregnant…unable to sleep.  and maybe it has something to do with the fact that we’re moving to a new house in a few months.

So here we go.  Husband and I have a beautiful house in the works.  Rustic beach theme;  white washed floors; furniture inspired by restoration hardware and the latest reclaimed wood craze.  

not the inspiration picture i was going to share.  RH fail!  sorry folks.   

The kitchen has an attached morning room which can hold a dining table big enough to seat 8.

are you hungry yet?

have a seat…stay a while!

So we decided that Husband will have a Man Cave in lieu of the formal dining room. 

yummy bookcases

luxurious chairs
blue shag carpet?  not sure on this one.

I totally get the Man Cave…a place to hide from the kids and wife.  A retreat to hang with buddies.  Dark leather chairs.  Book shelves.  Cigars…if he smoked them, that is.  

And for every Man Cave, the wife deserves a chick room….mine will be a shabby chic guest bedroom.  He agreed.  (If you say it confidently, they can’t say no!)  Hurray!

Stick with me, we’re gettin’ somewhere…

Did you know that people post FREE stuff to Craigslist everyday!?!?  It’s sort of sketchy…or is it?  Seriously…try it.  Go to > your city > free.  I’ll admit that I have a problem.  I’m addicted.  I check it throughout the day for french doors, glass pane doors, shabby chic furniture….

My favorite posts thus far:

  • “10 free packages top ramen.  You know you’re hungry!”
  • “FREE can of used tennis balls.  Good for a dog or kids.”
  • “Free Arrowhead 5 gallon plastic jug.  Not advised for water as I’ve been storing my coins in it for 10 years.  Come and get it!”

So the sketchy part is that I’m usually reading these posts in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.  Driving to a random house to pick up something on a curb isn’t very smart or safe.  So what’s a girl to do?  You call your buff cousin to go with you on late night dumpster dives…(I’m sure he didn’t expect to spend his Saturday night like that!) 

Safety tip:  NEVER go alone.  Always tell someone where you’re headed (facebook posts are clever…then 500 people can be searching for you).  

We returned with a GREAT french glass door find.  Will post reveal once I’m done with it.

Today, I went to pick up a shabby chic 3 drawer dresser.  It needs some work, but I think it will be great in my new shabby room.  Before pix to be posted soon.

Anyway…all that is a very long way to get to my first project…

i started with this.  an old antique side table with beautiful features.
very nice details.

not so nice top!

i sanded with a medium grit paper.  wiped clean with a rag and bleach.  then applied an oil-based primer with a brush.  Zissner cover stain.

i tried to get it on as evenly as possible, using my trusted Purdy brush.

after it all dried, I brushed on some random strokes of light gray, yellow, and baby blue oops paints.
Random strokes.  Too many drips!

Same drip.  Different angle.
  I probably wouldn’t do the random brush strokes on top like this again. These stroke marks were visible through the glaze, which then led me to do dry brushing.

Let is all dry overnight.  Lightly sanded all over to get to the bare wood in places, focusing on parts of the piece that would be touched a lot, trying to replicate real aging.  Then mixed a light honey stain with glaze, using a foam brush to get into nooks and crannies.  Waited 3 minutes.  Wiped off with clean cloth. 

Not quite as dark as I want the glaze to be.  
More sanding and glazing needed.  The great thing about glazing is that you can do it over and over again until you get the look you want.

Now we’re talking!  Sorry, it’s REALLY bright here in So Cal during the winter.
Without the flash to show a bit more details.

Will be perfect in the new shabby room don’t you think?
Viola (as Kelly Bundy would say)…or Voila as I would say!  A cute French side table.

About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.