Monday, November 16, 2009

Worth the wait...

Years and years ago I was looking for a "new" bedside table. I went where I always go when I need new furniture- out junking! I checked out all my favorite second hand shops, hit a few yard sales, and even poked into an antique store or two. I found a table just like this one, in a shade of Pepto pink, which was covering layer upon layer of old paint. I loved the shape and size, but the price tag of $60 was way out of my range. After finding that first little oval table, I found many more just like it on other junking situations. They were always covered in multiple layers of paint, and they always carried price tags of $60-75. I kept looking, I loved this table, and wanted one for my own. I just didn't want to pay that much money for something that needed hours of work.

A year or so ago we were helping a friend move. In her garage was that same oval table, covered with the prerequisite layers of paint. I said, "Oh! I love that table! I've been looking for it for years." She promptly gave it to me. I put it in my garage, and kept thinking how nice it would be when I had time to strip off the old paint, sand it smooth and give it a fresh coat of white. Two weeks ago I bought stripper and the necessary tools, and went to town. Donning very attractive yellow rubber gloves, I painted the stripper on. To my surprise I was immediately transported to the garage in the back driveway where I grew up, in the summer of 1984. My mother and I were busy that summer. I was newly married, waiting for my husband to finish up his career in the navy. Mom and I searched yard sales and junk stores, and came home with tables, chairs, even a sweet little hand made jewelry box. All of them in poor shape. All of them bought on the ultra cheap.

Mom taught me how to apply stripper, how to be patient while it worked, bubbling up rainbows of old paint. Then we'd scrape the gooey stripper and paint mix into an old coffee can. After that we scrubbed the entire piece with steel wool, then we sanded and sanded some more. After that I'd paint or stain the piece. They all turned out beautifully. I furnished our first little apartment on a shoestring, with some totally wonderful pieces of furniture. And I learned important skills while I was at it. Both of these were wonderful accomplishments, but best of all were the uninterrupted hours I spent with my mom. We laughed and talked like we never had before. It was a magical time.

After stripping the table seen above, I sanded it and dressed it up in white. When the paint was good and dry I waxed it to give it a nice finish. Then, with great happiness, I carried it to my room, and tucked it next to my bed. Just where I have been imagining it for the past 12 or so years. It was worth the stripping, sanding, painting and waxing. And it was so worth the wait. The memories it brought were an added bonus.

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