Monday, 9 June 2014

Children's Table and Chairs | Before + After |

It's been a few weeks now since I first began work on this great project, and I am finally all done! 
The children's table and chairs came to me via my mom, who picked them up at a yard sale for only $10. What a steal! At first I couldn't get past the brain-storming stage; I had so many different ideas on how to paint this set. Should I do pink and gold for a girl? Or maybe grey with a cute raccoon portrait for a boy? 

There are so many options when it comes to designing furniture for kids! In the end I decided to challenge myself to refinish the furniture as if it were going to go in my own child's nursery (I'm not hinting at anything!). I wanted something whimsical and cheery, but also classic and understated. You know, a table and chair set that would look like it belonged in the apartment playroom of a pair of hip Parisian parents with that colourful yet clean, I-hand-picked-every-one-of-my-kid's-toys-for-their-artfully-crafted-design-and-vintage-cool-look Scandinavian chic esthetic. 

So once I decided that, it was obvious. I knew what I would do!

Below are the before photos of the set. You may also remember me mentioning these pieces in my post on refinishing wood without stripping. And if the following photo essay seems like it's missing some detail, it's because I already mentioned a lot of the 'how-to' elements in my earlier post. If you would like to go back and read about how I started re-doing this set by first refinishing the wood, click here and you'll get there. 

Once I had the wood in good shape, I started on the painting. I decided to try out this 'dip painting' trend that I have been noticing in decor magazines (more about that as well in my earlier post). I settled on my colour choices (yellow, grey, white and teal) and finally I chose a simple pattern to decorate the surface of the table top. 

For some reason I only photographed two of the three chairs.

The wood was in rough shape, but the set didn't warrant a full stripping and refinishing job.

also known as the fun part

The Restor-a-Finish worked wonders on the old thirsty wood!

With the refinishing done, I got to work painting. First step: primer.

I painted the legs on one of the chairs with a classic vintage shade of aqua.

Then I used a spray paint primer on the seats and backs of the remaining two chairs.
Spray paint is great for intricate areas like the spindle backs of these chairs.
I followed up with a buttery yellow shade that I purchased at an art store (they have the best spray paint colours)!

And I painted this South Western style pattern on to the table top.
(I was inspired by part of a printed rug shown in a magazine!)

To seal my paint job I applied a coat of wax.
Clear cream wax (part of the chalk paint line) for the table top...

and my old standby, Minwax Paste Finishing Wax for the rest of the set.
I like the cream wax (especially for white surfaces, as the Minwax can leave a warm tinge), but I really trust the Minwax paste to thoroughly coat and protect my paint and keep it from chipping and scuffing. 

I hope to test out the chalk paint cream wax further, and I will post about it when  I do.
All done!


I think the set came out just great! I love the way the grain and character of the old wood compliments the bright and cheery child-friendly paint colours.

The table top needed a lot of love (wood filler, a good sanding, three coats of paint) to get it back in shape, but with the bright white and subtle grey pattern, I think it came out super lovely. 

As I said before, the Restore-a-Finish that I used to refinish the wood (yes, without stripping) worked very well. It was a small amount of work for a great pay off!

When I was photographing this set, three people wandered by and asked me if I was having a tea party.
  Well, the joke is on them, cuz little do they know, but I freakin' love tea parties...

haha... anyway, hope you've enjoyed the 'after' pictures of the set!

We had our annual yard sale this past Saturday and I it was a huge success! We sold off the last of our excess furniture and other items that we still had left over from our (larger) apartment in Stratford. The result of the sale was not only an extra $500 in our pocket, but a feeling of finally being settled in our Toronto home. It's been a long time coming, but the house is really coming together. I have all the rooms and closets organized, including the downstairs work room (which has long been nothing more than the room 'where we keep all the crap')! Well, the crap has been sold for a dollar in the yard sale and as I said, the house feels calm and settled. 

Our annual tradition is to take the money made in the yard sale and put it towards items for the home that we actually need. Last year we purchased a console for the T.V (it also holds all our records) and an area rug. This year, Chris has built the frame for a big awesome kitchen island, and so we will be spending some of our $$ on a nice piece of butcher block to finish the island. 

Come back to the 11th apartment tomorrow for the return of 'Trendy Tuesday!'

And please let me know what you think of the table and chair set! 
I'll be selling them, so what's a good price?