My DIY Project From Hell. My Side Table Redo, Part 1.

I have been redoing furniture for such a lone time, like super long, since high school.  I love going to the local thrift store or an estate sale just find that hidden gem or that diamond in the rough. I think the best part of buying used furniture, is that you don't feel obligated to just keep it the way that it is, you can change it and make it into whatever you want.

My mother found this beautiful piece of vintage furniture on craigslist, for a great price and she knew I had been looking for a side table for awhile.  We talked about it and I really liked the bones of it, my only concern was that I wanted to make sure it was solid wood.  She went to look at and picked it up for me, and she still talks about how she scored such a great deal on it.

My plan for the side table was to strip the top, the drawers and the intricate wings and then do a stain to really highlight the wood. The rest of the body would be painted and I was leaning towards a bright bee yellow. I started stripping the wood, and something weird was happening, the chemicals for the wood stripper weren't reacting to the wood.  I used my putty knife and started scrapping away the stripper and it looked crazy.  I could see the wood turning this yellowish color, there was a layer of brown underneath that and then this reddish stuff on top of the wood.

Well, guess what? It's veneer wood.  Usually, I steer clear of veneer wood because its a thin coat of fancy looking wood on top of ugly wood, like wood wall paper. The biggest problem with redoing something that is wood veneer is removing the glue. If the piece of furniture was made in the last 50 years, the glue is extremely hard to remove. Even if you remove the wood veneer, there is still the glue to remove and you basically have to heat or wet it and try to scrap it off. Trying to remove the wood veneer and glue with out damaging the wood underneath is a horrible and painful project.  So after hours of cursing at the side table and trying to get the glue off.  I gave up. I was too far into the project to just say, ok strip it and paint it.  

I took a day off and stared at it, and evaluated the damage. There are so many holes, gashes from trying to remove the glue and the wood was totally discolored and not in good shape. The wood looked crazy and now my side table looked even crazier. I was so mad at myself for even starting the project.

I decided to fill in the holes with wood filler and primed it, white. I moved it back into my living room and am taking a break on what to do next. I need a break from this DIY gone wrong. I could always paint it white or multi-color, but I want it to be something I am going to love forever. 

Don't you just hate it, when a project goes wrong? It is the worst! I would love to hear your thoughts on what I should do next, its primed and ready for the next chapter.


Lauren said...

Okay wow. All I can think of is how you're WAY the hell more patient than I am! Just to tackle a project like this means you've earned a place in heaven while I'm still waiting in line outside! And pregnant to boot? I may as well give up now! :)

Take a break. A serious break. Then come back and see how it feels when you love at it. And giving up is OK! :)

Caitlin said...

Oh man, I can't stand when projects go wrong. I have a little side table that is begrudgingly sitting half finished in my storage room because it's gone so wrong. I hope you can salvage this! Good luck :)

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

oh man, this sounds like a rough one! and it sounds like painting it is probably your best bet. like you said the fun part of getting things second hand is you can take more creative liberties, or even let it go at some point down the road if you don't love it. i say paint it and if you still don't like it resale it on craigslist and start again!

rooth said...

Removing wallpaper was my DIY gone wrong - ugh too many hours wasted scraping away at paste that was more stubborn than I was

Erin said...

Oh no! Veneer is such a sneaky little material, hanging out looking like wood and fooling ambitious DIYers like yourself. What a bummer! It just means that something better is going to come around and blow your mind with all of its awesome potential, don't worry. xo said...

This is a nice proyect, I like old fourniture! Change the old things,it is so exacting! I will saw this one in a flashy colour like a lemon yellow ;)