Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dining Room Update

I realize that I haven't written a real update in... practically forever. So I thought I'd just jump in and let you know how things stand in the dining room.

You know I've been working on this room for a while, and its still not finished, but when we started, it looked like this.

As you recall, we added a chandelier back in October, and then just waited it out. I needed to know how I really felt about this wide pine plank "wainscoting". And here is the really terrible truth... I couldn't stand it. It was stained a dark brownish color, which prevented you from really seeing the grain. It also hid a crazy amount of mold that accumulated during last summer's endless humidity wave. Additionally, this room is on the north side of the house and is incredibly dark. I decided to just paint it all white. Well, linen white technically speaking. 

After three coats of shellac and three coats of linen white, the room was already much brighter. I felt guilty for the longest time about painting the trim because it is true to the historic character of the house, but I took solace in the fact that I could walk around the corner into our office to see more pine planks if I really wanted to. So the next step was paint selection for the walls. This was also a tough decision to make... I really liked Sherwin William's "Smoky Blue" but then I painted a swatch on the wall and felt scared... it was such a bold color and I didn't know if I could handle it. But facebook voted...

And I still wasn't sure. So I told the guy at Sherwin Williams (who knows me on a first name basis) to just pick a color. 

He went with Smoky Blue. 

Once I finally had done allllll of that painting (it was ridiculous) I decided to get rid of my table and chairs and acquire something new. As you may have guessed by now, there is something wrong with me that causes me to take on endless projects. The new table and chairs were much of the same -- endless. 

I began stripping the table first, that was the quick part. 

I really liked how the wood looked completely naked and I tried many different methods to see if I could get it to stay that way. Wax, "white wash" stain, etc. All that ended up happening with those methods is that I made more work for myself and had to strip it back down when I wasn't happy with the result... again.

This photo doesn't look that bad, but it was much more white-orange in person, like that classic 1980's look that everyone has come to hate in the 2000's. It was a fail.

The search continued as I decided I couldn't really leave it naked or light colored because the yellow hue of the oak would find a way to shine through. I experimented with different stains and finally settled on a combination of half "weathered oak" and half "classic grey".

With the stain and poly complete, it was time to tackle the chairs. Oh... the chairs. 

First, I cleaned them with a cleaner that also contained a deglosser. But I'm never one to skip the proper steps, so I sanded them down and then washed them again. By this point in the dining room overhaul process, it was May, and nice enough to set up my paint tent once again and paint gun these bad boys. 

As you can see, the chairs had other plans. These photos were taken after three, yes, three coats of primer. They just flat out rejected the paint. Not interested. Chalk this up as fail # 2. Realizing my only option was to sand these down AGAIN and then do a coat of shellac, the old fashioned way (with a brush... like some sort of Neanderthal) I groaned and moaned and whined like a baby, then finally, sucked it up and did the shellacking. 

I'm fairly certain that I will be buying an additional gun that I can use exclusively for oil-based products moving forward. The problem with old woods rejecting water-based paint is common enough that I know what to do when it happens, so odds are good I will have to do it again sometime. A gun would really streamline the process. 

After all of this, I was finally able to paint the chairs the linen white that I wanted them. So, let's talley the painting that went into the photo below.... 

3 coats of shellac on pine
3 coats of paint on shellacked pine
2 coats of Smoky Blue
2 coats of misguided stain (later stripped)
1 coat of the correct stain
3 coats of poly
3 coats of primer on chairs
1 coat of shellac on chairs
1 coat of paint on chairs

In the photo directly above you can see that I rearranged the room a bit to accommodate a very large seagrass rug generously given to me by a friend/co-worker/boss' daughter. It has a navy blue border which works perfectly . 

With the room painted, furnished and trimmed with a rug and curtains, it's looking pretty good. We're still missing out on some wall art, but I'll leave you with the sight for my source of inspiration. 

Good chat. 

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