I have sisters (and a mother) that appreciate this stuff too. We e-mail back and forth asking for each others' opinions on possible purchases, how we should arrange our new gallery wall of frames, what color we should paint and sometimes just fun links we come across.
The other day when my sister casually mentioned she lime waxed her table, I said "Whoa...that sounds serious..let me see some pics", not really knowing what lime waxing a table entailed. Wax just sounds hard to deal with.
She was going for the ever-so-hot gray 'washed' look on her console table, replacing the all-too-familiar (and a bit tired) cherry stain.
She liked these tables from Clayton Gray Home, but didn't want to fork over $2.5 thou.
It's an 'in' look. Go to RestorationHardware.com and see for yourself. They are exploding with gray and worn, washed looking furni.
Even wicker is not immune...Joni (queen blogger of home design and Houstonian) has deemed all wicker other than gray washed "granny", in a fun, light-hearted way of course.
Via Cote de Texas
My favorite house in a magazine from this past year, which I posted about here, has got the look going on:
These all have a bit of a country, relaxed bent to the style, but you can use the gray washed finish in more modern settings too.
Ok, so let me get to the point. After I e-mailed my sister, "Whoa...that sounds serious...let me see!", what I got back was not an 'After image'...it was this hilarious recap of her trials and tribulations with ole Cherry Console. Read for yourself. Anyone who has ever attempted a DIY (do-it-yourself) home makeover will especially appreciate.
It was way more serious than planned. But yes, the Target entry trestle table that I had in college. I was not loving the cherry finish against my light grey walls, it needed a makeover. I wanted to try something other than painting it because then everything would look all DIYed up to the max. Then I saw 'liming wax' used on something in a blog and Amy mentioned it too. The description of liming wax was that it can go over any wooden surface, stained/unstained, finished/unfinished, etc. GREAT! No sanding required! This is like magic!
I go to Lowe's. No dice. I go to Home Depot (where the friendly young paint sales guy is like, really? You're back again? Stop stalking me, you weirdo) and I say, "Do you have liming wax?"
Him: "you want what? yeah, that product doesn't exist." he says in this tone like I'm a crazy obsessive housefrau with too much time on my hands.
me: "yes it does exist, it's made by Briwax, i've seen it online"
him: "okay, well then order it there"
i hate you.
$12.95 in shipping fees and 6 days later...a can the size of a mini coke arrives with the highly sought after substance. this better be enough or I'm going to have a fugly entryway and i'm blaming YOU, Briwax.
I bust my table into the garage, flip that bad boy over, wipe some wax on there expecting it to change like hypercolor before my very eyes and was SO very underwhelmed when NOTHING HAPPENED. okay, so maybe it looked like I had wiped some day old milk into the pores of the table, but there was no whitewash/pickling effect as desired.
FAIL (number one)
I re-read the instructions: "wood may benefit from light scrubbing with a wire brush to open the grain"
SUPER! I'll try again.
Back to home depot to get a wire brush.
Scrub. Scrub. Scrub.
Wax on. Wax off.
Wait for it, wait for it.....
It looked like a miniature bear attacked the back of my table and then a bird shat on it.
FAIL (number two)
Re-read instructions, this time I go to the more elaborate online version. Ohhhh, okay, i should have used a brass brush, not a steel brush, that should fix everything. Back to the depot.
Scrub. Scrub. Scrub. Wax. Wax. Wax.
FAIL (number three)
SERIOUSLY? what did I do to you, table, to make you want to be so uncooperative?
Re-read instructions. No further insight. But at this point, I'm committed. I've already spent $40 in supplies and rearranged my garage. I WILL make this work. I must sand it.
Me: "Jason, what's the best way to sand this?"
Jason: "you can probably do it by hand, it's pretty simple"
Me: "Great, I don't want to buy an electric sander, see you in an hour"
At home depot, pick up the foamy thing with the multiple sanding attachments, certainly this should be enough, 6 sheets. Let's do this!
Sand, sand, sand.
Hate my life.
Sand, sand, sand.
Only a circle the size of my head is fully sanded and it's been an hour. My arm is going to fall off and i've already used up one sheet. Dammmmmmmmit.
I sample the wax on my sanded spot.
The white wax on the now white sanded wood just looks pale, pathetic and cheap.
FAIL (number four)
Re-read instructions, maybe I should stain it before applying the wax, it says that a little color really helps bring out the grain.
Back to home depot.
Me: "I would like this stain, please"
Dude: "that's custom, that will take 20 minutes"
really? i hate ALL of you.
Back home, apply stain on the sanded spot. Now the wood looks like a blueberry. But the wax will lighten it.
No, wax doesn't lighten it, it only makes the blueberry look like it grew mold or has freezer burn.
FAIL (number five)
Okay. At this point it has truly been weeks. I think, the stain is water based, maybe I just water it down to get just that light gray blue tint. But, i'm going to need to sand another sample spot. CRAP, my arms are too buff now and i'm questioning the size of my biceps. But i do it. and it kinda looks okay. (the color, not my arms. those are terrifying.)
ONE more trip back to the depot to get the electric sander. At this point I've already spent close to $100 so what's another $50, and i can use the sander forever. Fine, i give in.
Jason and I spent an entire evening in the garage sanding that mother. Then I had to spend some more hours the next day. How I EVER thought I could do it by hand is a mystery. Not only will I never sand anything by hand, i'm not sure i'll ever use the electric sander again. I'm pretty sure I induced some sort of lung disease and I still have dust particles settled in the nooks of my body.
Three full-size towels destroyed. Every last bit of sanding paper used, I finally get to stain it.
Love it up to the max.
But...here comes fail number six.
I forgot to do the drawer. So I had to redo the process again and make sure the drawer was going to match. Yikes.
But, it's luscious. And I love it. My garage still smells like a$$face and there's stain all over the concrete that I'm fairly sure will never go away. But, I'm done. I hope you enjoyed.
And now, when you see the pictures, you need to tell me it's the awesomest thing you've ever seen in your life because if you don't, I will probably cry.
This is what she started with:
A good buy from Target about 5 or 6 years ago:
And, here it is now: (not styled yet...I didn't give her any time for that.. I demanded a photo ASAP.)
Love how you can see the grain through it:
Didn't she do a great job?! And save herself thousands, even though there was
Three cheers for DIYers!