Brad's Coffee Table

This post is about our friend Brad's coffee table.  He used some of my leftover milk paint to create a beautiful creation on an old table he found in his barn when he was a kid.

I'll let Brad tell the story behind this piece.

The story of my table:

"When I was about 14 I wanted a bedside table. I found one out behind the shed on our farm. It spent most of its life outdoors through all 4 seasons. It was used as a sawhorse and a bench for cleaning tractor parts. The pine top had a bottle of used engine oil tipped over it when I rescued it. Sand the wood as I might, I couldn't get all the saturated oil out of the wood so my solution at the time was to seal it with automotive primer. It did the trick and it spent many years in my teenage bedroom.

 Fast forward 20 years and the table has spent its life in my spare bedroom under a table cloth to hide it. I decided it is time the table received some love.

The base was finished in many coats of boiled linseed oil. (No stain at all) The wood was so dry that it took 6 coats before the oil pooled on the surface at all.

The sides will have the loyalist motto stenciled on it in Old English Gothic lettering. (Ducit Amor Patriae - Patriotism Leads Me).

My plan was to turn it into a tribute to the United Empire Loyalists. I'm half British on my dad's side and we've always lived in Southern Ontario; many loyalists settled here after fleeing persecution in the United States. I'm proud of that era in Canadian history and I wanted to celebrate it. The top will get a weathered Loyalist flag (the Second Union Flag or Queen Anne's Flag)

The paint colours I chose were Sturbridge White, Fort York Red and Midnight Blue. I suspect my technique for paint application was a bit unique. I was unencumbered from any rules because I don't know what the rules are! I stripped the pine top and gave it a sealer coat of white paint since my plan was to paint the colours over it and apply heat from a heat gun while the paint was still wet. My thought was that the sealer coat of white would allow the following layers of paint to crack more easily. My first attempt was with a section of blue. I was encouraged early on as I saw it starting to crackle. Unfortunately this was quickly followed with bubbling! I stopped the application of heat. It did work but the paint was going to be quite rough and very, very weathered looking. It was a bit too extreme. I could have sanded it down and reapplied the blue paint but I decided that one panel of blue looking that weathered was fine.

My final technique consisted of painting, allowing it to dry, sanding it smooth and rubbing some of the paint dust into the other colours to make it appear weathered. A light sanding of the top and edges and it was ready for a coat of wax."

 Isn't it gorgeous?  I wish I had such a beautiful piece with such history in my home!

This project inspires me to be more masculine with my finishes rather than feminine - less pastels and detail, more boldness and rustic awesomeness. 

On a closing note, my friend Alida gave me these mini Bibles she found at a garage sale awhile back to use as photo props.  I think they are super neat.

They have dates on them from the early 1900's.  They seem to have come from England.

You know how on Pinterest people do those adorable 'then and now' photos of their kids?  Well for Valentines, I thought I'd do my own.  Here is Valentine's Day, 2013.

And here is Valentine's Day, 2014.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't cram both babies into the crate and make them happy.

It was a bit of a pintrosity.

At this point, I gave up.

Sorry folks, no cutesy 'now and then' photos for this blogger.
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