Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My knight in a red pickup truck.

The other day, my friend Jennifer came over and, after a brief but thorough eval. of my dining room, decided my table needed a little TLC.

She is a firm believer in Briwax and believes it can cover many of the ills of cheap furniture. What we were working with was a pretty nice, albeit dated, dining room set that Trey purchased as a housewarming gift for me when we moved in five years ago. He bought the whole thing, table and 8 chairs, at a resale shop in West Dallas for $250. Some days, our marriage is held together by the thin thread of our mutual love of a bargain.

The table and chairs have seen better days. Apparently those better days would be those in which a thick coat of reddish lacquer was all the rage. Jennifer promised me that by simply stripping the top of the table and rubbing it with Briwax, it would be like a whole new piece of furniture. She came over to help me and stayed about 27 minutes. I think it was her way of empowering me. Honestly, I thought if I acted clueless enough, she'd just go ahead and do the whole thing for me. I was wrong. After a few hours of stripping, sanding, and waxing, I did finish the table. It looks great.

Unfortunately, I am absolutely incapable of leaving well enough alone. I decided the whole thing would look even better if I stripped and refinished the chairs, too. Over the weekend.

Here's what the chairs looked like before.

I quickly realized my "easy little weekend project" was indeed going to do a lifetime of sanctification in one fail swoop. See what I'm doing here? I'm scrubbing off the acid I put on the chairs, trying to peel away that lacquer.

And, I'm wearing a HazMat uniform because I kept burning myself with the chemicals.

Here's my garage three days later.

Not a whole lot of progress. I had only partially stripped two of the eight chairs and was in a fetal position on the garage floor sucking my thumb, crying.

I asked Trey if he wanted to help me and he laughed. LAUGHED. He knew I was in way over my head and wanted no part of the fiasco that had become our dining room set.

In a moment of great compassion and pity, he told me I could call someone to help me strip the chairs. I'll still need to refinish them but at least a professional will help with part of it that was causing my great angst.

Craig, of Craig's Furniture from Craigs List (awesome), showed up this morning bright and early to take my blues, and my chairs, away.

When he saw my garage, he laughed too.

Hopefully he can take the lemons I have given him and make some sweet, sweet lemonade.


Kelley said...

Yea! First to post a comment! :) I have stripped furniture before and it is a bear of a job! Take a picture of your table so we can see how it turned out! Can't wait to see the chairs! Tell Trey you'll drink some more fat and maybe he'll let Craig refinish them as well!

Henley on the Horn said...

You are too cute! That sounds JUST like something I would do!! And your sweet friend was trying to help & now you have an even bigger project on your hands! I have been there so many times!!!

Susan said...

Trey and Michael would have too many similar situations to share over a burger...a table in similar shape sits in my garage awaiting my sander to get into those little annoying grooves to get yucky old white high lacquer enamel off so that I can stain dark and paint black. Hmm...does Craig come to Arlington. If so he can rescue my $15 garage sale find too~!!!!

emily said...

I love that you got sweet Craig to come pose for a few photos!! :) Thats a good blogger.

Sarah said...

Ok, as I began reading this post, the thought was running through my mind--"Oh, great....another one of those overachieving decorator types, who completely redecorates her dining room in a quick weekend. Gag me."
So you can imagine my relief and (I am sorry....) sheer glee! that I am not the only person who would have this happen to them!
This is exactly why I do not even begin projects. Because I know this sort of thing would happen to me!
(And you did not find Craig on Craig's List! :-) Too funny.)

Holli said...

I want to know how much you paid him to take his picture? and how did you ask him?
Sir I just want to make sure you bring them back so if you could stand here and turn to the side. Great can now check if you are on America most wanted too! Thanks and see you soon!

Bill said...

And I told you the sad tale of my efforts some 35 years ago. My table was never refinished. Instead, I sewed a to-the-floor tablecloth and just covered that sucker up. Where was Craig then?
Thankful this is going to end well!!

Pick Up Trucks said...

Hope they turn out, looks like a nice set of chairs.