When I was younger, I had this thing for restoring furniture. I used to spend hours bent over very old and very average pieces scraping away at old varnish, sanding until my hands were raw, and then refinishing with an oil or a wax or or a stain, until it looked brand new and beautiful. There was something that I loved about taking something that was unremarkable and dull and harnessing power tools and making a mess everywhere and getting dust all in my hair and making it beautiful.
The very first thing that came to mind on day one of my single days, was that I wanted to restore furniture again.
So i’ve been a busy girl.
The first thing i’m going to share with you sounds nuts.
While my dining table was okay enough, I felt it was just okay and I hate the chairs. So i’ve been sizing it up for weeks, wanting to do something with it, but not your run-of-the-mill sand and revarnish. I’ve been waiting for it to speak to me… show me what it wanted to be when it grew up. But for the longest time I had nothing.
Then I had this idea.
What if I glued Aluminum foil all over it?
So thats just what I did.
So this is how I did it.
I mixed up 2 liters of wall paper paste. (I tried using craft glue to begin with, which was expensive, messy, got all over my face, made me say the eff word, plus made for a marathon of elbow grease when I had to scrape it off) I cut the foil up into squares and simply pasted the table and laid the foil over it. No preparation with the dining table necessary.
When I got a little gung-ho with the glue, the foil began bubbling and it wouldn’t dry, so I had to scrape it all off and start again.
This was a major pain, and I actually had to do it twice. Had I not had a dining table covered in glue and tin foil specks I would have given up. I swear on the second try I actually swallowed tin.
So the third time, I actually took my time with it. I put on the music channel, poured a glass of wine, and slowly slowly, carefully laid the foil on the table and smoothed it with a scraper. When I had smoothed it down, I would create very subtle creases in the foil by moving my hands over it and crinkling it up. This gave it more character.
The legs were easier because I was more rough on purpose and wasn’t concerned with it looking perfect. I wanted the legs to look more beat-up.
When the glue had dried, I spread black acrylic pain all over the table and as it was drying, smoothed it off so that only a residue was left, making the finish look older. The black would stick more to those creases I had made and gave it texture.
With the finish just how I wanted it, I then gave it two coats of varnish. Because I couldn’t be bothered shifting the table out into the garage to varnish, I did it inside.
Inside my very small living area. With not many windows open.
Best not to do this ever again I would say. It was a bit fumey and I started to see Leprechauns crawling in and out of the walls.
So…… What do you think?
You can use this same technique to refinish nearly anything. And once you have the technique down pat, it really takes no time at all. You could use this technique with bedside tables, old picture/mirror frames or transforming old jars into vases. Not only is it easy, its extremely cheap. To re-do the entire table cost me $22, several glasses of wine and a few hours. I have been scavenging for new dining chairs to complement the table, and then I will burn those old rickety chairs and laugh at the flames. Goooosh I hate them.
I have a few more tricks up my sleeve that i’ve been dying to share with you all, but that post will have to wait for a few days, as I haven’t quite finished my current project, but I promise its a very, very cool thing.
Talk soon lovers.