I do love to paint furniture, but the idea of a family heirloom, antique table did give me a little heartburn at first. The table had been built by her great-grandfather. It is still amazingly sturdy.
I first saw the table in Stacie's 'new to her and husband's' house. A classic craftsman; home to well trained dogs and avid outdoor explorers. When I saw the table with gold accents on the legs, one painted leaf, and replaced pieces of wood, my heartburn subsided. She was right, it needed a change to be enjoyed and used in her home. We both had the same idea for easily the direction of the table re-gracing; it should still look like an old, definitely not new, with some color to blend into the feel of her home. All those years if working night shift together, we got to know each other pretty well!
When I started prepping the table, I found this on the support apron of the table, hidden for years. John was Stacie's grandfather. When he passed away, she kept the table, feeling it should be saved and kept in the family, without knowing he had signed the table. I love the stories this table tells. I imagine young John signed his name while sitting under the table., and wonder what mother said when she found it, or maybe she just smiled, and avoided scrubbing it off.
I had high hopes that with a good sanding and dark stain, we could have a beautifully worn top and painted base. Even with holding my mouth just right, it's easy to see those different woods were not going to stain evenly.
Stacie chose Versailles, by Annie Sloan, for the top, giving it a little color as she hoped for. You know that spare room that your not sure what your going to do with yet when you move into a new/old home? That's where John's table is going to live. Versailles will blend with many colors and will be great with natural wood pieces in the room too. The color looks very flat when dry, but warms up when it is waxed. Some distressing and dark wax bring keep the naturally worn areas looking like this table had been used for years. Milk & cookies after school happened here I bet.
I moved it under my large window for a proper 'after' shot. The under side of leaves were kept the wood natural, a peek at the wood her great-grandfather had used to create the table. Conversation started within the family when we found 'John written on it. The story unfolds that the table was broken when a farm fresh pig was heaved into the table for butchering! This is the most fabulous story of a piece of furniture I have been involved in, thanks Stacie, for trusting me with it, saving the table, and sharing the stories!
For those of you who were worried about John's signature… it was left untouched.