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.