"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Operation: Table

I've been wanting to refinish my kitchen table for, oh, five years now. *sheepish grin*

A friend/former boss gave me the table and while I've probably spent more refinishing materials (about 50$) than the table's worth, I can't see any point to buying a new table because this one's just perfect for the space.

At any rate, I woke up this morning and decided that today was going to be the day! I was just itching to work with my hands after a long fall spent glued to a computer. Tonight, I am exhausted and incredibly sore, showing just how much further I need to go to be fully recovered. But I'm half-way there (I hope)--the table and chairs are stripped!

I had the stripper at home, so I just had to dash over to the home store to get the rest of the supplies this morning and then I was able to start a little past ten. I worked until about 6, including two stops for food and one excursion back to the home store to get more stripper. This job required a lot more stripper than I would have expected!

This is what the table top looked like at the beginning:

The issue there is, of course, the big black water marks. I decided to focus on the table top first and see how close I could get to restoring it before I bothered to strip the rest.

After stripping:

Better, but barely.

After applying bleach (table's wet):

A further improvement.

After sanding:

Okay, not fantastic, but not bad. I planned to sit the chairs on the table to strip them, so I didn't go any further with the table top, knowing it would get a pounding.

Even though I'd bought stripping gloves, they were almost useless by the end. I thought my left hand was cold, then I couldn't feel anything, so I pulled it out of the glove to find my fingers red and raw. OUCH!!! They're fine now, no pain, so no major damage was done, but still!!! I learned that stripping of the furniture kind should only be done in full body armour!!! I had my sleeves rolled up for a spell and I kept on getting little flecks on my arms. OUCH!!! The worst was the glob that hit me in the corner of the mouth. That left a mark that I hope will be gone by Monday. :-S

Tomorrow will be sanding to smooth out any rough spots, then I will use the time left to begin rubbing oil into the wood. The final step after that will be a second coat of oil buffed in with 0000 steel wool. Based on how much time it took me to strip the table and chairs today, I'm not expecting to be done tomorrow, but that's okay. At least, I'm done with the messy and painful part!

I've missed this so much, the working with my hands thing. You just know your day was seized when there's a knot between your scapula and your arms are spotted with little acid burns and you've got a bruise on your elbow and a scratch on your wrist and you're trembling with fatigue. These are truly the best days of a life.

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