…question from a struggling college student

I want nothing more than to help a struggling college student that cares about her kitchen table look! I received this email yesterday and am sharing it in the hopes that it helps others. I know there’s a lot of confusion about getting this weathered wood look.

“Hello I just watched probably 10 of your videos! I am moving into an apartment in Chicago and have recently picked up a round oak table at an estate sale. It is that awful yellow golden color. I really liked the video you did on the restoration hardware inspired white table. Eventually I want to get the soft comfy chairs to go around the table so my place looks comfy and cozy!

Question:

1. Do I have to use a sander in order to get that yellow color off before painting?

2. How much do I sand before I start painting?

3. And what number sand paper do I use?

If you could help me out in any way possible! Thank you.

Sincerely, a struggling college student haha” (Attached photo)

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As you can see, what College Student (CS) has is your typical, dated, wood pedestal table. It looks like it is in great shape and a round table can work in so many spaces. In fact, DH and I bought a white round table for our first home and I still have it (even thought it is now used for kid’s crafts!) I think it’s always a good bet to buy a round table.

So, like I’ve said in the past, the biggest factor in getting your weathered wood look is that you MUST HAVE A TEXTURED WOOD. You will most likely see this kind of texture in older furniture that is oak. When I say texture, it means rubbing your hand on the surface and feeling ridges and lines. The reason you need these ridges is that this is where the paint will pool and the “non-ridge” part is where the paint will be lighter. This contrast is where you will get that beautiful, weathered look as you see below.

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CS, do you see how your table is shiny? I hate to tell you this, but it’s because it is not textured, it looks like there is a layer of poly over it. Even if you sanded this poly off, you still will not get these ridges and undulations that naturally come in oak. The closest you can come to getting this look would be to paint thinly on your table to try to achieve a contrast. I say this hesitantly because it may be hard for you to get the look that I know you want. But, you can get a pretty distressed look like on my kitchen table by painting this way. Paint thinly and then take your 100 grade sand paper and sand the edges to achieve this. I did not use any wax either so that it could continue to weather.

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I hate to disappoint with this information, but if I may, I do want to encourage you that you can still get a beautiful and dramatic look just by painting a round pedestal table. Here is one that I recently did myself.

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Also, until you can afford those comfy chairs that your referenced, I would also think about painting them. It looks like you have nice, solid wood chairs there and I have painting many similar ones for clients that turned out beautifully.

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I wish you all the best in creating the space you want. I am confident you will because you’ve already selected this set. This is just the beginning, College Girl! 🙂

…video short on topcoat

My video short is 15 second so don’t look away! This is just about how darn easy it is to apply this liquid topcoat. Take a look:

Did you catch it? That’s literally how easy it is.

How to use Rust-Oleum Topcoat:

  1. Shake your can and pop it open like any can of AS. It will have the consistency of liquid glue and look like it too.
  2. Use a clean brush like your regular paint brush. I used my Wooster brush that I actually paint with.
  3. Paint on the topcoat as you would any furniture paint. You can use this topcoat on natural wood for a protected surface or on your painted pieces instead of your wax.
  4. It may look a bit white/have white streaks. Allow it to dry.
  5. DONE.

I did not buff or pull out a lint-free cloth. I let my piece dry for about an hour and it was done. I like to let my pieces dry at least overnight as a rule of thumb, but after an hour it was dry. My beautiful knots and marks were still visible.

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I know many of you have questions and so I will answer those in the next post. Big fan of this product and how easy it is.

 

…dare i say topcoat?

DA DA DAAAAAAA. (Insert scary and intimdating music here.)

Was there drama around me discussing Rust-Oleum on my site? Yes. Do I still think discussing options for new products out there is important? Yes. So, if you have strong feelings about the topic and feel the need to balk at me for writing on such matters I would recommend closing this email. I’m about to say something provocative – I LIKE this topcoat!

And what’s even more provacative than this? YOU will too!

Bah-ha-ha-ha. (Sinister voice.)

I love painting furniture and have been painting for over 12 years now. What is my least favorite part of the process? Waxing and buffing. It is a lot of work. So, when Sue from The Treasured Hunt told me about this topcoat, I was very interested. Before you judge, let me show you pictures of what happens when it is used on a natural wood surface.

You will see the lighter, freshly sanded wood top here. The darker strokes are the wood with this topcoat applied.

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This is exciting, Guys. This topcoat will give you a protected, finished look on your stained or sanded down wood regardless of paint. It can clean up your dingy, stained wood too like it did on this table. No, the wood will not stay as light as it is straight after sanding, but it will bring out the beautiful worm holes and knots in your old wood.

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I was so pleased with the rich, consistent results that I decided to use it on the legs of this table as well. I had not touched the legs and base because I like the oldness of it, but at the same time I wanted to clean it up a bit. I am so happy with the results. You can see the difference below. I don’t think the darkening of the color takes away from its beauty.

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Here is the final result of my workman’s table aka, my new writing table. You can see that once the topcoat has settled the table still looks old and authentic. What is the difference between topcoat and wax? The application.

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Do I have your interest? Check in tomorrow and I will show you how to apply this liquid topcoat. Spoiler – it cuts your waxing time in half.