From maple to marvelous!

Kaitlyn had a living room table set that was...well, let's just say "interesting."  I don't want to say they were "ugly" (because she does read this blog!) but they did need some serious love and attention! 

Fact is, this old maple furniture is a dime a dozen...I recently bought a maple dresser at an auction for little to nothing.  Which is exactly what this furniture is worth in it's original state.  But it is solid wood and normally it is well constructed and has pretty good bones.  

The biggest problem I have with maple is it does not take stain well.  But since I started using gel stain, I have found you can enhance this wood to any color you want while still getting the richness of stain!  Sure you can paint it  all but l really need my stain fix!   

A few months ago I featured an old maple dresser (here)  that I combined stain and paint for a really pretty finish.  We decided to do the same with these little tables...stained tops and painted bases.  But this time Kaitlyn went with the plaster paint look.

I stripped the tops and stained them with the General Finishes Java gel stain and then applied three coats of the gel topcoat.  Truth be told, you really don't have to completely strip the finish before applying a gel can just knock the gloss off with sandpaper and then apply.  It's the "old school" in me....

Kaitlyn did ALL the base paint and sanding.  Two coats of plaster paint and then she sanded the bases for a nice "worn" look.  I usually opt to top coat even the plaster paint with a spray on poly.  I know most people wax this type of finish, but I read that the wax has to be completely removed if you ever want to repaint...and that isn't something I want to do in the future.  The only difference I have noticed is the poly tends to give the "white" paints a teeny bit of a "yellow" patina.  But in my opinion it just makes it look a tad more aged and antiqued, which is kind of the look you are going for with this paint treatment. Durable and easy to change when you get a "let's repaint all the furniture" bug in the future! 

The final results were awesomeness! (Again, my photography skills are lacking, but you can still see the wood grain in the stained tops!)

Kaitlyn did an AWESOME job painting and sanding the bases.  It is soooo hard for me not to jump in there and do it all.  But I know she wants to learn and I want her to experience the pride I know she will feel from a job very well done!  And personally I think she did an outstanding job!   

Beautiful....I know she didn't really like her tables before....but now she will LOVE them...and that is what all this is about!