Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Driftwood" Finish Table

So...two whole months between posts, that's totally cool, right?  It's only because I've been so busy acquiring working on new projects that I haven't taken the time to document them.  (To my husband. Who is the only one I've been brave enough to show this blog to just yet. Ahem.)

So anyway, on to the latest project to actually get finished.  Sneak peek!!!

Although, in more bad-blogger news, I did not take a before picture of this particular table.  I was not feeling all that optimistic about how it would turn out, especially since this was a Craigslist curbside freebie.  That was set out right before a typical Savannah August afternoon monsoon.  Niiiiiice.  Just for illustrative purposes, here's some similar tables that I saw on CL recently:

In fact, the second set is pretty identical, except my coffee table did not have any smoked glass, and it came with only one side table friend.  Ahh yes...revel in its round-edged, light wooded, chunky-yet-straight legged 80's glory.  Why did I even bring it home?  Not to mention brave the pouring rain to hoist this heavy-arsed thing into the truck? 

Well, as it happens, I've been sort of looking for a table ever since the foster dog chewed the corners off my cute-but-particle-board-topped coffee table about 5 minutes after the hubs and I got married, NINE YEARS AGO.  I wanted something that looks good, but way cheap, so I wouldn't be upset when the kids inevitably scribbled and sharpied and glitter-glued it to death (RIP, previous dining table).  Free sounded just about right.  Even though it was the CL equivalent of a blind date (curb alert with no photo provided), I figured worst case scenario I could always refurbish it into usability, or re-free it if necessary.

When I brought it home and placed in the living room, I was thinking that it was probably a bit too tall to mesh with our sofa and loveseat, but I was prepared to live with it for a day or two to think it over.  Then hubs walked in, made the yuck face, and proclaimed that he'd had the exact same table once upon a long, dark time ago when he was married to She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  That did it...this table ain't stayin' in my living room!!

My next thought was that this would be a good opportunity to test a paint technique I want to eventually try on the monster 90's pine armoire in my bedroom.  I absolutely fell in love with the look that Kristy @ 4 the love of wood achieved with this piece:

Even though I've seen similar finishes since then, this is still the one that takes my breath away!

The only problem is, I didn't have real grey primer, just some grey enamel underlay from Ace Hardware's mistint shelf.  And I didn't have any water-based white primer, just oil-based. Nor did I have gel stain on hand. But what I did have? Impatience to get started, and lots of it.  So I used the enamel underlay and watered down off-white latex, along with my trusty clear and dark waxes and a cute jute rope handle and and this is what I wound up with:

Unstaged...pretty cute but kinda, yawn...

Now that's what I'm talkin' bout! Look at that texture!

Rope handle + dark wax = making me smile

 Awww, can't we keep it?!

After getting the top whitewashed I realized that I wasn't really getting the look I was aiming for -- not surprising since I wasn't using the materials I should have, plus the top of this table was fairly well pre-distressed, and I didn't want to sand all that goodness away.  But I was really digging the beachy vibe, so I went with the flow, and wound up with something that reminds me of a driftwood finish.  Um, LOVE!  Here's hoping that someone else around here in coastal Georgia sees it on Craigslist and loves it, too!!

(PS -- major props to my mom, who not only made the 8 hr trip from VA to visit us, but then spent a couple hours of her visiting time helping me wax this table in the oppressive August humidity that stubbornly insists on lingering even at 10 pm.  Thanks, Mom!)


  1. So pretty!!! Wish I were in Georgia!

  2. oooh! i love it! and i think you did a great job making the mish-mash of paints work for you!

    thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment today! i'll be following you now so keep those posts coming!


  3. I like how that turned out! I just love CL for things like that and it doesn't get any better than free! :)I'm excited to start following your blog!
    -Robyn from http://www.tipsfromtheheart.blogspot.com

  4. Should I stamp my approval on this one?
    Seriously you did a great job! Regardless if you had the same products or not, you tried, experimented, and achieved a great look and that is what I admire the most. Trial and error is how we create beautiful things just like this new to someone's table. Let me know if it found a new home.
    Kristy @ 4 the love of WOOD

  5. Oh my! I sent this link to my daughter. Her apt. has a beachy feel to it, but she is still using the coffee table (identical type) we gave her when we bought our park model trailer years ago. Following you now! came to your site via It's All Connected!