I put the large mirror above the banquette because hanging mirrors and pictures higher up on walls creates the illusion of higher ceilings, because it draws your eye up…or something. Also because it reflects sunlight and chandelier light into my adjacent kitchen. Plus I just like it there. To finish up the space, I displayed my metallic prints of the LA Farmers Market in 1946 in frames from Ikea and grouped them in a set of 4. I love these prints because theyre vintage and they’re food themed without being too obvious. The mid-century fruit bowl was a lucky find at Goodwill for $2.
Ohhhhhh this table…. Let me tell you about this table.
I found this beauty on Craigslist in the free section at about 9pm one night. The owner basically said “Come take this piece of sh.. off of my driveway.”. I was like “LOOK THIS IS FREE LET’S GET IT” and we hopped in the car and headed to a very dark, questionable neighborhood about 20 miles away. Jvee, already regretting his decision to take me, had doubts about it fitting into our SUV but we made sure to ignore all safety precautions and drive home with our seats so pushed forward that our faces were basically touching the windshield. We got it home where I proceeded to get into all kinds of trouble during prep.
Step One- I washed all of the dirt, grime, and cat prints off with hot soapy water.
Step Two- I stripped all old paint using Citristrip, which is safe for indoor use. Annoying but necessary in this scenario.
Step Three- Since the leaf was missing, I filled in the center separation with wood filler and wood glue. Don’t get wood glue all over the floor like I accidentally did. DO.NOT.
Step Four- SAND. I used my electric sander that has apparently has a feature that sucks up the dust. Except it doesn’t suck up all the dust and I ended up having to block off the dining room Dexter style with plastic drop cloths. Don’t do this at home. (I have since gotten permission to use the roof of our building for future projects.)
Now it was time to prime and paint. It was recommended that I use oil paint for a durable smooth finish. I had my doubts about it because of cleanup and fumes but decided to give it a whirl. I HATED IT. I couldn’t get the paint to the consistency that I wanted. I kept adding fume-y thinner to the fume-y paint and then more paint back in to that. Ughhhhh. I had to clean my brushes with turpentine and then store the used turps until I could take them to the hazardous waste center (they are still in my storage). THE FUMES. Someone said to store the brushes in ziplocks in the freezer between uses. Well, I didn’t do it right and all of our food tasted like oil paint because of THE FUMES.
It creeped me out. I started feeling really guilty about VOCs and the hazards of working with those harsh toxins in my home and around my dogs. I mean, I won’t even use bleach in my home because I’m unreasonably paranoid about it! And then I started thinking about how we were supposed to EAT on this table. In my usual obsessive state, I decided to look for an eco-friendly paint to try. That brought me to Safecoat Naturals, a plant based oil paint. I decided it was the perfect time to try it. We purchased their primer, pearl lustre paint in white, and clear acrylaq.
After priming, I lightly sanded down any drip or brush marks with a wet/dry very fine sandpaper (the black kind). I did about 4 coats of paint, lightly sanding with the wet sandpaper in between coats to keep it smooth. A coat of Acrylaq topped it off and created a hard candy coated shell. I am happy to say I am pleased with the experience and the result!
And here it is. The free dining table that I refused to give up on.
I’m sitting here waiting for the flooring men to finish installing new floors in my apartment. I’m itching for them to get done so I can clean. Not only because I just heard one of them pee in my toilet and exit without washing his hands, but also so I can set up for our DIY project. It’s way past due and we need a place to sit while we eat. I finished this dining table weeks ago but I’m waiting until the room is done to reveal the ‘after’.
So, finally, we’re doing our DIY banquette seat and rehabbing some chairs I found on Craigslist.
I’ve had the idea and materials for months but am just now prepared to make it happen. Especially since the new floors are laid and the chandelier is up, I’m motivated.
Whenever I bring up a new project to Jvee, I have to be equipped with visuals and a few reference photos. Here is some of my banquette inspiration: