The Mini Harvest Table Project
This table has been hanging around for a while in my summer studio. I knew I wanted to change its look, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it…until now.
It has been sitting in our basement this winter and has kind of become a catch-all for things left behind, and not quite put away. For a while it made a great folding table in the laundry room. But it just seemed a little too nice for that.
So I decided to sand off the shiny poly finish and deepen the colour of the wood. Pine has a tendency to go a little goldy orange, and that is not a look that really appeals to me. The more I looked at this little table the more I began to see it as a mini Harvest table. Perfect for a small home, condo or even modular home for someone wanting a farmhouse vibe. There are a lot of character marks on this table and when I looked at the underside of it, I really began to appreciate how old it must be.
The top you see now, is actually the underside of the table. Someone flipped the boards on the tabletop and decided to begin again with a clean slate. I left the underside in its original state, just because I thought the marks were so interesting. There are paint stains, water rings and splatters of all kinds. I wasn’t the first one to repurpose this table after its use as a probable dining table came to an end.
Who doesn't love a Harvest Table? There are some gorgeous ones out there, but we don't all have the space for one of these beauties. This little table inspired me to do my own version; a compact or mini harvest table. It's a small footprint, but with a livin' large farmhouse vibe.
It’s not the perfect unmarked surfaces I am drawn to, but those that have been marked by useage and the passing of time.
As I began staining the table using General Finishes Antique Walnut gel stain, I started taking a closer look at the marks on the table. I think it may have been used as a work table in garage for a while. I see holes and marks that looked like things were nailed or fastened to it.
The original hinges must have worn right off it, and the little indent shows where they had been attached originally. New hinges have stabilized the table and it opens up to a roomy four feet by four feet with both wings extended. It’s a nice size when it is all opened up, and very compact at four feet by two feet when it is folded down. It is not a common design these days. I looked for comparable tables on the internet and it is unlikely you will find one like this as a brand new table. Not even at Wayfair. I love that somebody rescued this table and now I am able to repurpose it yet again. It is not just cats that seem to have multiple lives!
Look how pretty it is now with this rich stain on it. The rub on gel stain has a poly component to it, so there is a layer of protection built in. I also rubbed it with Clapham's Beeswax Furniture Polish when the stain had dried, and now the surface glows. Wax applied sparingly creates a beautiful lustre without a waxy build up. I bet Fusion's Hemp Oil would be gorgeous on this as well.
I painted the table base with chalk paint. Old White was the perfect colour choice to enhance the old time feeling. I used clear wax to protect the paint, and dark wax to draw out the details of all those time worn scars that bring so much character to a piece like this. Nothing like the patina of of time!
I wanted to team up a couple chairs with the table, but I didn’t have anything suitable so I decided to repurpose a couple trendy Italian imports that had originally been a part of the furnishings in a Class A motorhome we had owned at one time. These chairs are Scala by Domitalia and are still available through Lifestyles Furniture in Iowa. I really liked the chairs and when we sold the motorhome, I had kept them… not quite sure what I wanted to do with them. I just liked the style of them. Originally they were finished with a rich expresso solid stain, which was too dark to go with this table. So I started by painting the wood to match the table. Old White was the tie in between country pine and the sleek modern Ash wood chairs. This time, I lightly sanded between coats and created a beautiful smooth finish. This wood had no character marks at all. It’s gorgeous surface is still unmarked and glows with youth. It needed a little different treatment to fit in with what I had in mind.
Right now, it just looks a little sad. So, I took off the seat cover to get rid of the motorhome vibe.
It looks better already!
Then with my 220 sandpaper, I began rubbing off a little bit of the paint, and distressing back to that lovely expresso stain that was on it originally. Better. Old is the new look I had in mind!
Next it was time to deal with a new seat cover. For this job I choose a plain upholstery weight fabric reminiscent of a grain sack. The seat itself was of course in great shape with a cushy foam on the seat base covered with a lightweight protective layer and already to be topped with a new fabric and tons of staples! I decided to put an ink transfer on it to further tie into a farmhouse look. Graphics Fairy is my go to for these types of things. I can get lost for hours on that site! I found this lovely wheat motif and printed it reversed, on freezer paper. I tested it for placement on my chair.
Then, taped the area I wanted to land it on. You have one shot only at this. You don’t want to mess it up. Once the ink touches down, you are committed. I taped two corners, so I could carefully lift up and check my progress as I rubbed the image into the fabric. I like to use a spoon with a flat edge as opposed to the credit card approach a lot of people recommend. I find I get a crisper image with this technique.
A quick fit to the seat and it is ready to be attached.
I love the way these chairs compliment the table! Not matching, but married with together with paint and technique. The old and the new come together; a multi-generational dining set if you will!
Compact, display worthy, yet functional
Add a few more plain wooden chairs and it is a family table!
Party’s over and the table is all tucked in
Til next time.
All paints and stains, no matter how quickly they dry, need a curing time for the full protective capacity of the products to be activated. These pieces will be available after Easter weekend in my online shop. Table and chairs are sold separately. For a small fee they can be delivered to areas around Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John, or picked up at anytime in Browns Flat, New Brunswick. Please send me an email for purchasing details if you are interested in these pieces!