Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Picnic Inspiration

Whenever I complete a DIY project, I always think it is my favorite...this project definitely became my love for quite some time because it is pretty much beautiful.

It took a while for me to realize that I had paid no attention to my sunroom and didn't even have a kitchen table!  I was so focused on getting my living room squared away that one day it dawned on me that I needed a place to sit and eat.  The hunt began for something.  What it was that I was looking for, I had no idea!  This cluelessness didn't last for long though because I quickly became inspired by picnic tables!  I actually saw a picture in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine - May 2011 and it was exactly what I didn't even know I wanted...does that make sense?  The girl on this magazine page to the right is a smart cookie, what a fabulous table idea!  

My picnic table project began by measuring my sunroom.  It is long and skinny with a big pillar type structure in the middle of the entryway so I was working in a difficult space.  Once I figured out the dimensions, I got my wood working helper to create this masterpiece.  He didn't quite understand at first that I wanted a really beat up looking table that is super rustic and looked seriously old so I had to go with him and pick out my own wood from The Home Depot.  I looked for imperfections throughout the wood...the more knots, kinks, and scratches, the better!  The table came together and was delivered to my place still looking so raw and clean.  For the rough and rugged look I wanted, I knew I was going to have to beat my table up. Courtney is always ready to DIY, so I called her and her man Ben to help haul it over to their place because my Jetta can't carry a large picnic table on it and my space is definitely not one for a project this to their garage we went one Saturday afternoon.

So Court and I DIY all the time and so her fiance, Ben already said he wanted no part in our weekend projects.  You should've seen how fast his mind changed when I took a chain, hammer, screws and anything else I could find to do work on this table (distress it).  Ladies, get your main squeeze to help on this one...they'll like it, swear!  We went to town on the table until
we felt it was pretty marked up.  Then it was time to stain it and it is definitely a 2 person project.  ***Make sure to cover the floor before starting because it is such a liquid base and will drip everywhere if you aren't careful!  I bought Minwax Red Mahogany for my stain because it was perfectly rich!  I'm not sure if this was the smartest process but we stained the pieces of wood individually and wouldn't move on until it was wiped clean (we used old rags - make sure to have plenty on hand)....speaking of hands, make sure to wear gloves!  For the most part, the stain is consistent
throughout the table but some areas are lighter/darker which looks super neat.  The wood acted as a sponge to the stain so it felt like forever before it was dry but a couple hours later and it was time to coat it in gloss! I used Semigloss Fast-Drying Polyurethane to cover the table.  You want to put the top coat on to give the table the finished look and so that your table is protected from stains, food, rain (if outside) never know!  Between each stain I would let it dry and then sand the table with a light grit sand paper.  The coat become a little chalky looking but that is fine!  Wipe it clean and then gloss over. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Become bored and anxious. Let it dry and you're done!

VoilĂ !  

Better Homes and Gardens - June 2011

Courtney and Ben helped me take it back to my apartment and then my next project was to start looking for chairs.  Ever notice how ugly some chairs can be when you really start paying attention to them?  The search for my chairs seemed never ending until my mom showed me this magazine clipping which would soon finalize everything. Director chairs...duh!  It's so simple and I am so lucky because my mom just so happened to have 4 laying around in her garage that she wasn't using (this is seriously lucky, I know).  They were really ugly and so I thought about painting them and getting new slips for them but they are the old school chairs and I couldn't find slips at the store to fit them but I did find slipcovers at Pier 1...and they were on sale (lucky again).  I jumped around to 2 different stores to collect a set of 4 and it was well worth it.  The slipcovers were so on sale it was a steal at $10/cover compared to the original $40/cover.  I got 4 slipcovers for the price of 1 at original price which is really unheard of.  
Anyhoo, I now had a complete kitchen table with 4 matching chairs! That blue chair is now painted gold and I have an old church pew at the opposite end of my table.  LOVE this table and this room!

Total Cost:
Table Labor & Supplies - $210
Minwax Red Mahogany Stain - $7.56
Minwax 1qt. Semigloss Fast-Drying Polyurethane - $10.46
Gloves - Personal supply
Drop Cloth - Personal supply
Wiping Cloths (for stain) - Old shirts - Personal supply
Paint Brushes - Personal Supply (make sure to use one for oil based stains / top coats to limit air bubbles)
Utensils for Distressing/Beating the Table - Personal supply
Chairs - Fo Free!
Slipcovers - $40 (4 @ $10/cover)

Total: $268....Not too shabby

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