I have a pub height table because of the dogs and it's been support for many dinners, puppy vaccinations and evaluations since 2007. It's held up extremely well over the years considering it's seen 5 litters of puppies run between its legs and chew on its chairs. I love this table, it's square so it doesn't take up much room, it's the perfect height and is very sturdy which you need to be in my house of large dogs. Here's a photo of it from Christmas 2007 (the only one I could find of it since I forgot to take a before photo) and just after I bought it. That's Ceilidh and Petal on the table and Raimi and a very pregnant Halo in front.
Since moving to my new house I have been busy painting things, deciding on colors and and working on a style for the home. I am aiming for a little of 'shabby chic' but don't want it to look like I'm trying too hard. The colors I've chosen are leaning toward creams and browns with a burst of color here and there. This color scheme does not really allow for a black table and since it sits just off my kitchen unfortunately the weight of the black in the midst of all the soft colors just wasn't working.
I started by removing the seats so I could sand and paint the chairs. Ceilidh thought she would 'help' with the process.
Once I get an idea in my head I can't rest until it's done. It's become a curse and is part of the reason I haven't been updating; I am too busy completing all the damn projects I keep thinking up for myself. So this past weekend, after deciding what I was going to do with the table, I set to work and after Speed, The Princess Bride, Nothing to Lose and Get Shorty I was close to completion (I watch movies I've seen several times while I work, it means I don't have to watch the movie but I know what's happening - I even say a lot of the lines to myself before the characters do). First, I sanded the paint on the chairs, not a lot but just enough to scuff the surface and take a lot of the shine off.
Then I painted on the first coat. I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about the brush strokes because I knew I'd be doing more coats. The paint was great, it took under an hour to dry and was the perfect color. It's called Loop and is a pre-mixed color made from recycled paint. It does have a smell but it goes away very quickly. Best part about it is the cost - it was $13.88 at Walmart for a gallon can so guess what color a bunch of stuff is going to be over the next little while.
Since the seats of the chairs were a cream color and over the last few years have gotten dirty, what with being a favorite place for cats to lounge, I wanted to cover them with another fabric. As it happened I had some curtains from my old house that I brought with me. My current house doesn't need curtains so I used one of them to cover the seats. I'd chosen the curtains in particular for the old house because the blues matched the feature wall color I'd chosen and also used in this house.Perfect!
Before putting the seats back on I wanted to 'distress' the chairs and table so I gently sanded the edges and corners of the furniture. Where there is typically more wear, like on the rungs, I sanded a little more, and just scuffed it enough to show up but not look battered.
I also only did two coats instead of three or four so it would show the paint brush strokes. Since the base color is black it shows the strokes a lot more clearly than if the base color was a lighter shade or wood. If you wanted the brush stroke effect on a lighter chair you'd have to paint it dark and then paint it light again. Sounds like a heap of work to me. It doesn't really show up here but in person you can easily see brushstrokes.
A simple color change on the table and chairs considerably lightens the weight of the room. You can see the French doors are the feature color and almost exactly match the chair seats. I'd read up on how to 'distress' or 'antique' furniture but they sounded like a ridiculous amount of work involving multiple coats of paint, candle wax, more paint, then scraping off wax. Who has that kind of time? I think my set looks great and although it took me about 15 hours to do it was totally worth it. When it warms up outside I'll be clear coating everything so they are easy to clean and protects the paint a bit more. And that is that - the only frustrating part was after the application of the seat cushion fabric I had to buy longer screws because the added thickness of the fabric caused the existing screws to be too short. Simple physics outdoes me again. In all, this five year old table got a great facelift and cost me under $25 (paint: $13..88 + sand paper: $2.86 + screws: $3.99 + tax = $23.84). New table ... ultra cheap!