Friday, December 17, 2010

Vanity Fair, Take One

Momma bear has a vanity table that has been in our family for years. There is actually a photo of my grandmother on her wedding day sitting at the vanity.

The vanity has been painted and repainted a number of times. It went through a reinvention around 1995 when Sissy and I fashioned a skirt for it out of a sheet that matched our parental units bedding. It was terribly dated and totally tacky.

Momma has asked DF and I to paint the vanity for Christmas. All she asked for was sage green. DF and I went to Home Depot yesterday and got the necessary equipment to complete the project. I thought we were just going to paint it. I was wrong.

This afternoon I hear puttering out in the garage. I find my DF in the middle of ripping the ugly skirt off the vanity! I shrieked, grabbed my camera, changed out of my jeans and we got down to business.

So sad.

DF starts inspecting the edges of the vanity. I watch as he slowly circles the edge and starts shaking his head. It's a sad state of affairs. Lots of holes, lots of staples, lots of nails. 


Me, attempting staple removal.

DF steps in and takes the bulk of the offending nails and staples out of the side. Not pretty. He then started in with sanding. Optimistic that sanding would be all we would need to do before priming.

Sand man.

Uh, not so much. We quickly realized that in addition to this vanity being in my family for the last 65+ years, it's clearly been painted and repainted about 6 times. DF immediately jumps in the car and heads back to Home Depot for paint stripper while I watched the DVR'd episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. 

DF gets home with this:

Stripper. I thought you'd look sexier.

Which he promptly spilled down the front of his shirt. After a quick change, and a spray onto the top of the vanity, the power of chemistry did this:


I'm not kidding. One minute to react. There had to be 3 layers of white, plus two yellow, plus you guessed it, more white under the yellow. DF is now on a mission. He wants to strip this baby down to the natural wood. Um, I'm not really qualified for this....but ok! I'm up for it. 

Sigh. That was 4 hours ago. 

He started up working on the top:

 Then the sides:

DF let me do about 5 seconds on one side. My hair looks so shiny! 

Let's get some leg work in too. (Note it is still sunny out.)

Man, those legs suck!

And so, about five hours later, it finally felt like we were getting somewhere. He gives up stripping the legs and delegates that responsibility to me. Which I must say, I did an excellent job.

DF announces he is ready to start sanding. I'm still bitter that he didn't let me buy a sander with a handle at Home Depot but he claims we don't need it. That's right folks, he wants to do this the old fashioned way. By hand.

Still sanding. With care.

Next comes spackle? Grout? Ridge filler? I don't know what it's called. He filled in all those little holes with this white gunk, let it dry and you guessed it, more sanding.

Looked like cream cheese

OK, I'll admit it. It's starting to look amazing. 

Notice how great the legs look?

I didn't think that this project was going to be so time consuming! I'll let you in on a little secret. About two thirds of the way into this, DF tells me he is working so hard on it because someday he hopes the vanity will be in our house, in our little girls room. And maybe someday we can tell our grandkids about how hard it was to refinish such a little table. Swoon. I love his determination and sense of nostalgia. 

Well, that's it for day one folks. Tomorrow we finish sanding down the legs and finally priming and painting this sucker. Oh by the way, DF says we are using spray paint. I don't know how that's going to work, but I'm trusting him. And I'll post about my one real excitement in this project: the vanity drawer. 

Going to go take the rest of my nail polish off and head to bed. I'll probably dream of stripping. 

...stripping PAINT. 

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