Thursday, April 29, 2010

A table for Growed-Ups

When Zac was in college at his more adult house (the one after the shitty college house shared with immature, alcoholic roommates), he had this table in his dining room. That was actually set up as a dining room. Not a beer pong room, or a keg chair room, or anything ungrown-up like.

But they never used it. EVER. It sat there covered in a table cloth, with place settings mind you, for a couple of years until he moved back up to Northern Virginia.

It had been sitting in storage until we moved into OUR house. Yes. MINE. MY HOUSE. ALL MINE.

Sorry. I was maniacally laughing in my head while typing that.. I'm not crazy.

I think.

Anyway. This table was pretty sad looking.  It had HUGE UGLY white heat marks, and the poly finish was cracking to all hell.

*ignore my fatty self in non-flattering attire*

I decided that this table would be my first real DIY refinishing job. I have never done anything like this before... I had no idea what I was doing, but I pressed on. I had Zac buy me some stripper (not the naked dancing kind. sorry kids) from ACE and a scraper (that's the technical term right? I have no idea). He came home with a huge jug of this Citristrip stuff.

It smelled, well, wonderful! No stinky fumes and it painted onto the table quite nicely with my nice expensive paintbrush.

Let me just tell you, before you run out and buy this seemingly harmless bottle of orangey smelling goodness, this shit sucks ass. Pardon my french.

It dries super fast. Turns almost white then blends in with the table. Why, you ask? Because it is working it's secret sucky magic. It is out to get your furniture and destroy it. Whoever thought this stuff was a good idea was a moron. ACE should stop selling this crap. No wonder all the other bottles looked old as hell when I returned it.

After you let it set for the recommended too long amount of time, its time to scrape away. And by scrape, I mean SCRAPE WITH EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT cause this crap is going to take ALLLLL day to get off. Not only is it almost impossible to scrape off completely, it only comes off in thin layers, so you are literally scraping till the wood bleeds. Can wood bleed? That would be awesome.

*I had to get Zac to help... I REALLLLLY wanted to just throw the table over the side of the deck at this point and call it quits*

Then, while you are scraping, so much thick, nasty gunk comes off, you have to go through about 4 rolls of paper towels just to keep wiping off your scraper. If you don't wipe you just spread it back all over the table. It's gross. It sticks to EVERYTHING, and does NOT come off of fabric. I tried.. or maybe I just suck. Who knows.
*After scraping for 3 hours, then one coat of KILLER Stripper and an hour of scraping*

What I do know, is this stuff is the devil and you better bet your pretty ass that I got all my money back and bought the harsh stinky stuff.

Dear smelly varnish stripper that ate through a pair of gloves and made my hands burn like shizz, I love thee. You worked miracles and I want to marry you.
*After coating and scraping 4 times*
*All sanded and beautiful as it is!*

It took me an entire weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening to completely strip down the table (at least 5 times I might add), sand it and stain it with an Ebony stain. It is GORGEOUS! And I am super proud of myself and my sunburn. Stupid sun.

*pats self on shoulder*
*pats self on shoulder some more*
*and more*
*ok one more time*

I'm done.

My mom said the table is white oak in the middle, the largest slab, and red oak around the trim and the legs. I know nothing about wood... so I am going to believe her. Either way, the wood is beautiful as it is... but I wanted a darker stain. I actually wanted to paint the table black, but in my mind the black stain would be similar. DUMB-O. It still looks fab, and I got a good arm workout from all the scraping.

I still need to put a coat of poly on it to protect it, but the weather hasn't been warm enough for me to justify  opening all the windows and spend all day doing it.

So let's recap:

 What do you think?!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1 leak, 2 leak, 3 leak, floor!

With home ownership comes fixing things, frustration and empty bank accounts.

Who knew?! Apparently everyone but me. I guess I just thought money came out of my parent's butts and things fixed themselves, when I was growing up. WROOOONG!

[I WILL post pictures soon.. I have lots. I'm just being lazy]
The weekend of March 26th, we had lots of help fixing things around the house. Zac's oldest brother built us a pantry; our cabinet doors were hung; shelf liners were meticulously cut by myself and Zac's sister-in-law Jen and placed inside the cabinets for protection against the nastiness I could not seem to remove; plumbing issues were fixed, and fixed again; and our door frame to the laundry room was replaced because it was too small to allow us to bring in our washer and dryer— so it was cut out!

Now, I don't know what is wrong with this house, but practically EVERY valve attached to some water producing mechanism was seized or leaking.

1 leak.

I wanted to do some laundry. But I wasn't allowed. When I turned the water on at the main valves, it started pouring out all over the floor in the laundry room. Hand tighten the valves? Check.

Why did no one do this before?!

2 leak.

The kitchen sink and basement sink are dripping copious amounts of water all over the cabinet/floor. It's ok. I like putting my cleaning supplies under the sink and watching them topple over because the bottom of the cabinet is warped!


3 leak.

Oh HAI! My name is outside spigot. If you turn me on, I will only spit out an iiiity bitty bit o water…if you open up my valve a little more, I will dump water all over the place, causing your precious new flowers to unbury their roots and run down the hill! But I must warn you, if you turn me back off I am going to continue to leak for 2 days until you notice, adding another $50 or so to your next water bill. SOWWY!


Saturday morning, when we got to the house after packing everything we owned into 3 pick-up trucks (times 3 or 4 more trips), we noticed water pouring out of the siding on the back of the house.

"Gee. Where is all that ice coming from?" I noticed icicles hanging down while standing underneath our deck, so I went upstairs and commented on it, and low and behold- there is a huge sheet of ice on top of the deck, icicles on the kitchen window, and water pouring down through the siding of our house.

I can't wait to get our water bill!!

The tubing going from the wall to the toilet was not tightened enough, so the toilet upstairs was running ALL night, and dumping gallons of water all over the bathroom and outside the house. Now we have an ugly water stain on our ceiling in the kitchen close to the window, and slightly rippled siding.




On another note.. I stripped and refinished Zac's college table. Turns out it's a beautiful red oak. I still need to seal it, so I will be sharing soon!!! Don't give up hope on me yet!