Out of the tomb (or out of the garage)

We started refinishing our kitchen table during Holy Week. We’ve had this oak table for 13 years – and it has been loved on to excess. There’s sculpey clay in all the cracks. No need to remove the leaf in the middle- you can’t! – multiple milk spills have dried and formed a sort of organic glue sealing the three wooden sections together. It has been through a carefully and artfully completed antiquing process thanks to the Peanut and his fork. This table is a treasure with wounds offering years of stories from my family…but it badly needed some help.

Now, I love all of these adorable embellishments on my table – I mean my mom won’t even clean Peanut’s lip smudges off her glass door after he visits…you know the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! But the table was looking REALLY bad. So holy week seemed like the right time to start. We were cleaning everything else up – why not finally address the kitchen table.

Rob sanded and sanded and sanded and sanded some more. He stained. We were getting really jazzed at this point. It looked so nice. We went out the next afternoon to start applying the polyurethane and saw — fly poopy!!!!! On the beautiful, pristine table top!!!! I vowed that I would make it my lifelong mission to remove every fly from the face of the earth before my death!! Upon realizing the futility of my mission, we started cleaning up the table. It took a little bit, but the poopy came off. The wiping removed a smidge of the stain too, but it really wasn’t bad, and besides I was growing impatient with cramming my family around a 2′ x 4′ plastic table in the kitchen. So, with my limited patience with the project and newfound loathing for fly excrement, I encouraged Rob to forge ahead. He applied 3 coats of polyurethane over the next couple of days.

My brother had encouraged us to allow the table to cure for a couple of days – in order for it to cure. 24 hours was all I had left to give it – I could wait no longer! We brought it in the house last night. Ahhhhh! it looks so beautiful now – a warm honey color. The character is still there too. The sculpey clay (bright red – oh by the way) couldn’t quite be sanded out of every single crevice, so it is now hermetically sealed under 3 layers of plastic polyurethane. The forked antiquing allowed for stain to settle darkly in those areas where the Peanut had once demanded that he be fed instantly. And the milk, well it took a cro-bar to pry the table apart for sanding and staining, but I noticed last night that there are still dried milk splotches under the table that have now fused with the wood.

Here’s what makes it all worthwhile.

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  1. Wait, I think I see a flaw on the… just kidding!Tell Rob he can do all my p’u’-ing jobs from now on.Also, in the trade, we do indeed call it antiquing, but we don’t do it nearly so enthusiasticaly as mr.temper. parle’ vous le spank?

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