I finally painted two out of the three tables that I scored for $10 total back in July.
For the first table my original plan was to sand and stain (Minwax Dark Walnut) the top, which I did, and then paint the base white and glaze with brown, which I did. Unfortunately it did not look good--at all. The brown glaze went into the details of the table, but then was streaky on all the flat parts. Also, I could still see the brown flecks that were in the original paint job through the white.
When in doubt, paint it black! Two coats of black paint, lightly distressed, a layer of Martha Stewart metallic glaze in black coffee, sealed with Minwax finishing paste and I was happy. I also coated the hardware and hinges with gold Rub n' Buff.
I added the detail of the gold Rub 'n Buff to the insides of the doors because I had to sand them down a bit to get them to close again. It took me a little bit of time to come up with this solution though.
Since I had the trouble painting the first table white, I decided to paint the second table black as well. Although it wasn't to create a matched set--they sold separately.
I chose to strip the top with a very harsh stripper. It worked nicely, but was so stinky that I would not use it again. Instead of using more toxic chemicals like stain, I used my new favorite technique on the top--coconut oil.
I absolutely love the color of the wood with the coconut oil!
I finished the table the same way as the other, except thankfully I didn't have trouble with the doors closing.
When I have issues with pieces, I wind up taking a lot more time to finish them then they should take. I get discouraged and overwhelmed. Thankfully they came together in the end and when they sold quickly, they renewed my energy to keep painting!
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