A couple of months back, I met Kate, who was the purchaser of this stool that I upcycled...
She happily took her new stool home, all the way to the other end of my street...turned out we are same-street neighbours :)
Anyway, she rang a couple of weeks back and said she had bought a table in a fierce bidding war an online auction, and the table wasn't quite what she was expecting (haven't we all had oopsies like that!). The table that looked so elegant in the auction photos looked too 'nana-ish' for Kate, once she had it in her home.
Here is the table so you can see for yourself...
A nice looking table, but I thought it was pretty Nana-ish too.
It is also alot smaller and shorter than it might appear in photos.
So, I gave it the usual clean down with sugar soap and hot water, then coated it with Smooth Surface Sealer (my favourite waterborne adhesion primer). I left it a couple of days to cure, then tested it to see if it was ready to top coat. The sealer scratched right off! Argh! I left it another day, thinking this was odd, as we are in late spring, so the days were warm but not hot, and not at all humid, which can affect paint curing. Next day, same problem, and I knew my stick-to-anything sealer wasn't going to stick, so I sanded it all off, down to bare wood. It was then that I began to suspect that the wood had been contaminated with Nana's old faithful furniture polish. So once I had sanded it right down to bare wood, I applied a white spirit 'grease and oil remover' all over it, before recoating it with Smooth Surface Sealer. Left it overnight after a very warm day and then tested it the following day....and still the sealer scratched right off.
Here was when I felt like crying but instead I took a deep breath and sanded the sealer off.
Down to bare wood.
I hate sanding.
Then I went to my favourite paint shop where I explained my dilemma. The lady confirmed that indeed, the table had been contaminated with oil and there is no way I could have known that, but luckily, she had what I needed which was Zinsser BIN, a shellac-based primer and sealer that cleans up in meths. She explained that because the timber had oil in it, and so did the sealer, they would kind of work together and the sealer would stick...hallelujah!
She was right, it did stick, and thankfully even though this is an 'oil-based' product, you can still use a water-based paint over it.
So here is Kate's table, all finished...
I didn't take any photos of the in-between parts because the table looked terrible and I really didn't need a reminder. Plus I didn't want Kate to see her table like that!
Now it is all finished...with a paint surface that isn't going to scratch off....phew!
I think that it turned out beautifully,
and that I have succeeded in escorting Nana out of the building.
Best of all, Kate is thrilled with it - she said it had turned out better than she ever imagined it could, and the smile and relief on her face proved it...I had turned her auction disaster into something she was pleased to have in her home :)
This table I only distressed lightly - it is a delicate wee table so delicate distressing seemed to fit, plus I couldn't get any of the previous dark finish peeping through (which I often like to do) because I had to sand it all off.
(Yes that is a shadow of my hands taking the photo. LOL)
I am a better painter than I am a photographer, I promise!
Thanks, Kate, for giving me the opportunity to rescue your table, which gave me the chance to learn all about oil contamination and shellac-based primer!