that came to live with us. Specifically: an office chair, a desk, rolling side table, two lamps, and an occasional table. They were sad and very moderately priced. We wanted to make them happy so that they could give back to us by providing storage and light, primarily. Also we wanted to transform them just for the joy (or heck) of it. Before I mislead you... this is more of a fractured fairy tale.
How do some people refinish wood so well? That's my question, because I clearly don't. The chair was first. To cut a long story short, I mangled the Don Draper of office chairs. Bad. I stripped (with Eco gel!) and sanded, and huffed and puffed and Danish waxed. I think where I really went wrong was in assuming that my skills would be superior enough to pull off a natural finish. In reality the nature that shines through is pretty defaced. I thought I was sanding with the grain. Whatever.
The results thus far have been discouraging enough for me to lose all momentum. This means that my front porch is covered with an assortment of thrifted furniture. It all looks exactly the way it did when I brought it home, except for the chair. I have a naked chair on my porch for all the world to see. It's embarrassing. I finally picked myself up and drove back to the hardware store, spent an obscene amount of money on supplies and plan on getting back to Don Draper tomorrow with some fresh sandpaper (not to mention Minwax stain and some (water based!) poly. Yes; I do realize that calling it "poly" makes me sound like a wise, old furniture-refinishing guru, but I feel I deserve at least this much. Let me call it poly, much as I refer to perfume as "EDT" or "EDP" (despite the fact that I own three bottles of "juice" and my sister says it makes me sound like a sales associate who has been at Sephora too long). Sometimes it's about the length of the journey and not the destination. If I had to make a motivational poster to illustrate this point at the moment, you would see a naked, old chair in all it's roughed up glory, vinyl flapping in the breeze, waiting for the process that ends in poly.