• Deb MacCallum

Old Becomes New Again


The beauty of old furniture with classic design and flexible dimensions, is that pieces can have an endless amount of lives with multiple looks and locations. This lovely maple double pedestal table with a five foot pine table top, two fanback Windsor armchairs and four fatback side chairs was purchased from Country Living in Calgary in the late 90's and was perfect for our lovely home in NorthWest Calgary. It goes from a five foot kitchen casual eating nook, to a grand dining room span of eight feet.

There is storage inside the table for one leaf. The other was wrapped and kept in the hall closet.The quality is exquisite and we assumed it would be ours for a lifetime. Funny how life changes. When you move 4,000 miles away, you really get picky about what items go with you, and what gets left behind.

I took my husband, but I left the table. I couldn't sell it though, and it has been languishing in our little rental home in Calgary for the last ten years. The finish on the tabletop is faded, and the leaves don't match, and at first glance it simply doesn't look relevant anymore. There is no wow factor.

So, time for this Cinderella to go to the Ball. I started with the tabletop. I put the tabletop together, all eight feet of it and randomly distressed and sanded those perfect leaves so they too looked like they had experienced the same amount of family life as the main table. That was painful, but necessary. Kind of like disciplining your kids I guess! I applied General Finishes Java Gel stain with a brush and rubbed it in with a rag. Over two days, I did this about four times. Just lightly each time, until the finish came out even.The tough poycrylic finish in the stain, will make the tabletop finish quite durable when cured. That takes about a month. At this point, the tabletop started coming back to life. I could have gone a lot darker, but I was really liking the way the stain was looking... almost like an old hickory finish. I decided to leave it alone and work on the pedestal.

The double pedestal is gorgeous, but in order to go with my big picture furniture design, I needed a painted finish, so for the next owner, Cinderella is dressed in white, with a stained antique finish on her tabletop. I turned to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, also carried by Interiors to Inspire in Calgary and choose Old White. I loved the details on the edge of the tabletop, so I stained them and wrapped the edge in white to tie in with the pedestal base.

I love the elegant simplicity of it all.

The chairs were also in great condition with minor cosmetic dings which fit in beautifully with the distressed tabletop.

I decided to go with a two-tone look on the chairs as well. They were not fun to finish, but the end result was well worth it. There is a rotered detail carved into the chair seat that was a natural separation for the paint and the stain. This was the end result. I loved it.

The paint on the table and chairs will be sealed with a clear wax finish which will protect the paint and make future clean ups easy as well as preserve the beautiful white finish. Perfect for a casual kitchen nook, and more than ready to handle the extended family dinner or seasonal celebration! Available in April at the Spring All-In-House Sale in Northwest Calgary. Details coming soon.

#paintedfurniture #anniesloan #upcycled

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