Welcome to another 'how to..' blog.
I was delighted to be asked by a repeat customer to upcycle a recent purchase of hers - a farmhouse style table and chairs for her kitchen. Although the table was pine and the chairs were oak, it was the style of the chairs and chunky table legs that she fell in love with and who says you can't mix woods.
My client has a cream kitchen, so although she didn't want her table and chairs painted cream, it had to match her kitchen and colour pallete all the same. With a great choice on the market these days - like Farrow & Ball, Colourtrend, Dulux and many more, my client settled on French Gray from Farrow & Ball. Contrary to how it sounds, this colour has a green hue to it and would be described more as a soft, sage, green with a hint of grey than grey with a hint of green.
So, it was my job to brighten this set up and give it a new lease of life.
As usual, the first job was to give it all a good cleaning with sugar soap and some scuff sanding. There was additional cleaning required to remove the wax on the chair sets and the table top. My client wanted the table top and seat pads left in their original state and while this was easy with the chairs, a lot more work was involved with the table top. An additional product of wax and grime remover was required to remove the old wax present. This is important to do before sanding, otherwise the existing wax clogs up your sanding pads and prevents the sander from actually doing its job. After starting with a 40 grit pad, I eventually worked my way up to a 240 grit pad which ensures that the wood finish is perfectly smooth. As no coloured stain was required, it was ready for rewaxing or varnishing. In this case my client preferred a wax finish. Two coats of clear wax later and the table top is good to go, however, we still have the legs to do.
As the legs had been scuff sanded already, it was time to prime the legs and frame along with the chairs. As chairs are rather fiddly and time consuming, I decided it was time to invest in a paint sprayer for this job. So, in order to save time and my sanity in the long run, I had to cover all the seat pads and table top so that they didn't get sprayed. Luckily I had plastic padding handy from a recent delivery, so I used this to cover all the wood. A great way to reuse the plastic which was going to be binned anyway.
Now we're all primed and ready to go (I even primed 4 chairs of my own at the same time). I can safely say that Eddie (my paint sprayer) and I are going to be very happy together. Ha Ha!
With the table legs being pine, some bleed through was spotted on the table legs, so I went over these with a stain blocker to prevent further bleed into the paint.
Now, we're ready with the French Gray. My client had opted for an eggshell finish. This has a very subtle sheen to it (less so than the satinwood option) and is easily wipeable and durable. For those that don't like a shiny gloss finish to their paintwork, eggshell and satinwood are very popular alternatives.
Following the guidelines from the paint and/or spraygun manufacturer, it is important to thin your paint for the paint sprayer. This will ensure a smooth and clog free application. Oh, what a dream! What would have taken days by hand (did I mention chairs are a nightmare!), took a mere couple of hours by sprayer. Giving plenty of time for the paintwork to dry. As this type of paint needs a few hours to dry before recoating - and it is winter here now, so not great drying conditions - I left it overnight and did a further 2 coats before the product was finished. Remember to ensure that you clean your sprayer immediately after use to prevent clogging. I am delighted with my Erbauer spray gun. It's a great compact sprayer, easy to set up, use and importantly, to clean.
PRAYING THERE'S NO HOLES IN YOUR PLASTIC COVERS
The best part of all is peeling away the plastic and tape. It's always a little daunting - just in case you missed a bit or the paint sneaked in somewhere. At this point if there are any touch ups to do then a small artists brush is perfect for the job.
The paintwork and waxed wood still needs a few weeks to cure to it's best durability and during this time careful, light use is recommended, but the table and chairs are ready for use all the same.
And there you have it, a classic style of farmhouse table and chairs that combine the beauty of natural wood with a modern revamp to fit our homes and trends. Although it is great that we have such high quality of paints available to us, there's something still cosy and homely about mixing the classic of unpainted wood with the new.
If you have any questions about this project or are interested in having similar work done on your own furniture, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Bye for now. Beverley