Apparently I’m stripping my kitchen table.

This was not what I had intended to do today.

Or at all.

See, I got this kitchen table from my sister and it was cute but not super cute (sorry, Mel) and of course everything that’s going to be in my new super cute kitchen needs to be super cute so obviously something was going to need to be done.  I looked at it and decided that it needed a little more sanding to really distress the sort of distressed look that it had going on.  (I’m going with a distressed look because let’s face it, any furniture in my house is going to be distressed anyway because- well, it’s in my house.)

So I got out my sander to do a little additional distressing but I realized before to long that in addition to the paint and the spots of previously sanded off paint (did I mention that the table was already minimally distressed?) the table had been treated with a clear coat of sealer.

Now I know that that is standard operating procedure when going for a distressed look but I can not for the life of me figure out why.  Why do you paint something and then sand it so that it looks like it’s been used for years and then put a protective finish on it?  Why not just use it and then over time your worn in look might look even better because now it’s actually worn in?

Back to my point.  Do you know what happens when you sand polyurethane?  It gets cloudy and makes your piece of furniture, say a table top for example, look dusty.  Not exactly the look I was going for.  So I thought I’d try a little paint thinner, just to take the clear layer off.

It made no difference.

So I spread a little stripper on there, just for a minute, just to take the top layer off.

Do I need to mention that it didn’t work?  Let’s not belabor the point ok?

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristina
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 15:23:49

    I wouldn’t even know what to do with a sander. I am in awe of you.

    Oh, and make sure to check my blog tomorrow. Not only do I give you a shout out, but I think you will enjoy the post.

  2. Annette
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 15:27:43

    You’re a far braver woman than I am.

  3. Julie
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 16:17:06

    I reupholstered cushions. Does that make me cool? My mom did strip my table, I think, and then sand it and paint it white. She’s a good mom.

  4. Alison @ hairlinefracture
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 16:57:09

    I had to smile about the distressed look for furniture being right for your house–that’s exactly what my husband and I say about ours!

  5. the letter Bee
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 18:21:58

    That is SO not what I thought this post was going to be about. But it was still cool. :p

  6. Jami
    Jan 19, 2009 @ 18:39:19

    Oh not another nudity post? Those are always so interesting.

    I’m sorry about the table. I think they put the clear coat on to keep it from getting water damage.

    Distressed. That just covers so many things about my home. Don’t mind if I borrow it.

  7. Jen
    Jan 20, 2009 @ 00:48:38

    When I saw the word “stripping” in conjunction with your name, my mind went straight to project-involving-paint-thinner. Sometimes your energy for home improvement leaves me utterly exhausted. This is one of those times. If it was my table I’d probably burn it.

  8. robyn
    Jan 20, 2009 @ 10:48:02

    oh the hits you’re going to get! One smart blogger I say. This sounds a bit like a Laura Numeroff book. If you get a distressed table…

  9. bythelbs
    Jan 20, 2009 @ 10:55:37

    Robyn—Numeroff book, ha!

    This is something that fascinates me about you. You just never stop taking on new projects no matter the state of your current ones. My lazy self has a really hard time comprehending it all.

    I am very confident that you will end up with a super cute table for your super cute kitchen. Eventually. Go you!

  10. E
    Jan 20, 2009 @ 12:44:14

    Stripping is THE WORST! Finishing furniture is really not a problem. You stain, you seal, you’re done. How is it that adding one extra step-really just adding “re” to the word finishing, makes this a task that no sane person would ever willingly undertake? I think it has to do with the law of entropy, except that that doesn’t really work, since stripping creates disorder which should be easier to achieve than staining and sealing which are creating order. Maybe it’s just because the stripper smells so bad and thrashes your hands……

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