I have begun the renovations on my parents home that, though they had fantastic plans, they never had the chance to bring them to fruition. I have been very reluctant to begin out of many fears that are difficult to name. My parents have owned quite a few houses-all of which were fixer-uppers-which they transformed into cozy, gorgeous homes. When they purchased this house it was so dated and they had many plans to update and renovate and they were very excited about it!
They named this place Good Day Acres and we had so many good days there together!
I tackled the dining room this week beginning with the farmhouse table my father built but never finished. They wanted a table large enough to fit all 13 of us right away when they first moved in so my dad just threw this together as a temporary fix. His plan was to take it back apart and plane all of the wood and properly join the top and turn the legs.
Almost every evening at Good Day Acres one of us would shout, “OH MY STARS! EVERYONE COME AND LOOK AT THIS SUNSET!” They are truly the most magical I have ever seen in Ohio even over the lake! The other night I was looking at one of those sunsets and felt inspired to make the tabletop represent those Good Day Acres sunsets.
As planing and joining are not a part of my skill set I decided to fill the cracks and sand the ever living heck out of it. I rounded the corners-a thing my parents always stressed as vital to saving baby eyes and general horrendous bruises and it is also a thing I genuinely enjoy doing.
Next job to recreate a sunset!
So many who saw the photos I posted on Instagram as I was working asked how I stained the table and I’m not sure it is what anyone would expect: After sanding to a 400 grit and cleaning with tack cloth I mixed Wilton Gel Food Coloring with organic vodka I had in the kitchen. We don’t eat food coloring but I am not above it for projects like this! It is a fab fun hair dye and it also makes some seriously gorge yarn and roving! I popped up to the store and picked up pink, orange, teal, sky blue, and purple and added blobs of them to the vodka until I got the color I wanted as I tested on a pine plank.
I looked back at old sunset photos and decided how to arrange the colors and brushed it on liberally and layered intentionally. After it dried it went back and added more until I was satisfied and let it dry again. Next I sanded with a 400 grit to smooth the grain that the vodka dyes had lifted and to further blend the colors whist also muting them a bit.
Finally I used a top coat I ended up hating and it makes me sad. I didn’t think I had it in me to to keep up with a beeswax finish so I used a spar urathane and I am so disgusted with it and myself. Never again.
I still have to decide if I’m doing anything with the underside and the legs, work on the chairs, and finish a few details in the dining room like quarter round and new outlets but I do feel much better already. I’m also considering painting the woodwork white but omfg I hate painting windows! We will see…I do not have my mother’s patience with these things. In one house we had old windows with many teeny glass panes and she took them all apart, stripped and painted the wood, and reglazed every teeny pane! For now this will do.
Yours in Hope and Sunsets,