I’m trying to do projects to keep myself busy and to keep from dwelling. Dwelling on the bad only makes things seem worse than they really are and it really accomplishes nothing except for making me feel crazy. So I’ve been trying to do a project here or there. I’m still decorating my apartment which means that I’ll have some projects for awhile.
A few weeks ago my mom bought me an antique table for a steal. It needed a little elbow grease to get to the point of useable but it’s a great piece of furniture. My great grandpa was a carpenter, my grandfather took up woodworking as a hobby and my dad wanted to be a carpenter. The most I’ve ever done was sand and stain a $15 cd rack. It’s been an experience and I understand why the men in my family enjoy woodworking. I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands. It’s really something when you put in all this physical labor and then you get this amazing finished product at the end. Lately I’ve felt more like tearing my place apart. Fixing something up is much more gratifying and satisfying.
I first made an ass of myself when I went to the hardware store to ask for advice. I acted like I knew a few things when in reality I hadn’t a clue. I felt a little humbled afterwards because everyone has to ask for help and advice sometimes. The gentleman was really nice and gave me step by step instructions. He showed me his suggestions for products and gave me advice on a few techniques. I then bought my supplies for the first few steps of the process.
I went home and set up a station in my dining room and began to strip the old varnish from the table. It’s a messy ordeal and you have to be careful not to knick the wood too much. Once the varnish came off, I started to see how amazing my table was going to look. I also noticed that the table seemed to be made out of two different types of wood. I had no idea how I was supposed to go about staining it.
I sent my dad an email and asked for his advice but he said I should go to the almighty guru, my grandpa. So I sent Pops an email and then I called him. We had a round of phone tag but we eventually talked. I was to stain it all one color and to do it in a cherry since the table naturally had a red hue to it. Once again I tromped my way over to the local hardware and bought supplies. I deviated from the plan a bit. I bought a red oak stain, I’m really glad I did too.
So I sanded and sanded and sanded the table some more. Next I began staining. I have never been so excited about something ever. The table looked so cool after that stain set in. I could really visualize my end product. The last step happened to be the hardest. Applying polyurethane is not an easy feat. I applied a couple coats and the table looked a little worse for wear. I had bubbles and you could see brush strokes and they were still there even after I sanded the finish. I knew I needed some advice but I figured the guru wouldn’t want a late night call. To the almighty internet I went. A few youtube videos later, a new brush and my table looks great.
I’m really proud of myself, a feeling that hasn’t happened enough. I had some trial and error, I asked for some advice, I humbled myself and I achieved a nice finished product. I also finished something that I started. I had follow through. These are things that I need in my life. I’m glad that I’m starting to see it. It’s ok if you mess up a little, you can always fix it later. Who knew that restoring a table would give me some life knowledge haha.