Friday, April 26, 2013

The Ugly Table.

My living room leaves a lot to be desired. Amongst other things, the walls are mint green. A color that I accidentally painted them - a year ago. The couches have seen better days. The TV is precariously perched in such a way that I expect it to fall over if anyone ever breathes on it the wrong way. The fireplace and mantle are actually okay. But then there's the table. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. It's solid contender in the World's Ugliest Coffee Table Contest. 

First of all, it was a chew toy for Hobie when she was a pup. Second, TC bought it many moons ago off the back of a very questionable truck full of furniture. It's essentially orange, which is not helped by the honey color floors, which are not separated from the table by an area rug as they should be. Why no area rug? Because. Just because. There are too many reasons and if I even start on that list my head will surely explode and that will make a mess that I'll have to clean off my ugly mint walls and I just am not in the mood for all that nonsense. 

Last weekend I decided that things in the living room had nowhere to go but up, so I decided to try my hand at refinishing the table. I did little research, didn't do nearly as much prep work as I should have (although I did rake the yard before I set it out back) and basically went into the project blind. This approach has worked sporadically in the past and I just couldn't justify putting one extra bit of effort into this godforsaken table.

I texted my friend Sally a photo of the table with a can of black spray paint sitting on top. Sally is a bit of a furniture refinishing master so naturally my text just about sent her over the edge.

"Noooooooo!" she scream typed. "Have I taught you nothing?! Do I need to come up there?"

She went on with messages like, "Please use real paint!" and "How do you live without me?"

Well, I don't know how I live without her. Life is good when she's around, but I'm still getting by.

I did sand the table and even followed her vague directions about how to properly distress a table. 

Distressing is no joke. It's definitely an art that I have not mastered, and probably never will. 

I would sand a little, panic, and then run to Pinterest to look for inspiration. Then I'd sit down and have a glass of lemonade to mull over my exact plan of action. Then I'd go back to the yard and sand a little more. Then panic. Then stare at it while I raked the yard. And then back for more Pinterest and more lemonade. 

And so the table and I went, around in circles, while I tried to not completely screw up my make-this-table-bearable project. When I finally decided that the sanding process could last forever, I threw in the towel and whipped out the poly for the finishing touch. 

A few coats later and a ill-fated sanding attempt (don't try it even if the Home Depot guy tells you it's fine) the table is done. And it's better than it was before. It's not perfect, the orange peaking out isn't actually as bad as it looks in this photo, but I can tell you this: It didn't make my living room any worse. Which, really, is huge progress around here. 

Actually, I kind of like it. Once I paint my mint walls a light grey this weekend its going to look even better. 

And thank you Hobie for photo-bombing. You've done enough damage to this table thankyouverymuch. Let's not have a table chewing relapse, please.