This grotty old table was close to its final moments. Firewood was on the cards. A dismal farewell for a piece of wood that has fared us pretty well over the years. The memories are etched into its simple grain. It’s held more homework books and pencil shavings than I can even begin to recall. It’s shared numerous birthday cakes, Sunday roasts and candle-lit dinners. It has survived callous abuse of craft knives, cheap kids’ paints and muddy cat paws. Within its corners and underside it has generous reserves of last Christmas’ lunch (don’t ask, please). And if you look carefully you’ll find cemented smears of tomato sauce. Plus eye out the legs and you’ll discover a discreet collection of kids’ artwork.
So its end was near, but I couldn’t find a suitable replacement. I wasn’t keen on a brand new table, its replacement needed to have some character, a few stories to tell – some past abuse. Finding this ideal table was an elusive search for the Holy Grail. It didn’t exist. But then one day I realised it did, and it was just a coat of paint and some elbow grease away from me. So, that’s the story of this table.
Restoring the table wasn’t a one-day job. It took several days. Step one: sand, sand like hell. You’re still vibrating an hour afterwards. Once sanded, prime it. We only painted the sides and the legs. Leave to dry for 650 hours. Once the primer had thoroughly dried we painted on three coats of Dulux Overtly Olive. The photos don’t show the true colour, but in straight-talking English Overtly Olive is paint shop jargon for ‘pale green’ or ‘Sage’, to be slightly more descriptive. It’s not Olive green per se. The top of the table was varnished with a brush-on satin teak stain.
You like it? I can’t believe it’s the same table. Cat and kids are required to shift around the table with absolute caution. Ketchup is off the shopping list. Christmas lunch will be served from the coffee table this year. Yes, we all know this will last until next week. But let’s momentarily savour the start of a new beginning. Well, sort of.