The Old Elephant Table

We call this “The Old Elephant Table” because someone once said that it had “elephant legs.”

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A friend acquired it for us at an auction in St. Louis almost 20 years ago. My grandfather made a makeshift leaf for it; I recovered the chair seats, and we made do with it for much longer than planned. Finally my decorator friend had heard me complain about it long enough, and said, “Have you ever thought about painting it? Couldn’t do much harm if you really hate it so much.”

I didn’t HATE it; it was just so dark and heavy. But I never would have had the guts to paint it white without that kick in the pants.

I used Cece Caldwell’s Simply White clay paint  because I left the table in the dining room while painting it and wanted to make sure it was safe to breathe. (Cece’s line is eco-friendly with no VOCs.) And because I am too lazy to do any prep work (read: sanding). There was some marring on the table top, and I just wanted quick and easy coverage. Cece’s worked great for that (two coats).

Fortunately my sister came to town during the mess and jumped right in. She is brave with the dark wax and brought some Annie Sloan Dark Wax to show me how to use it. We worked it into the detailed areas, esp. on the legs and the little braided trim with a toothbrush and then rubbed it back off with a cloth. It really emphasized the interesting details. LOVE!

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We finished the table with a coat of the Cece Waxing Cream applied with a cloth and buffed it out a few times. My sister can go to town with the buffing cloth. I guess that’s why she has muscular arms and I don’t!  Next, she couldn’t wait to get her paintbrush on the chairs. We slapped on the Simply White, distressed some edges with sandpaper, and waxed and buffed. Kristin thought it needed a little something. She knows I love the fleur-de-lis, so she stenciled one onto the back in silver and gold craft paint and even went around it with a toothpick to make a little dotted border. She’s goooood.

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Then it was on to painting 5 more chairs! Not fun. I quit halfway through and hubby finished the job out of desperation to get his dining room back. Ah well, all’s well that ends well!

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P.S. Did you guess that only one chair is reupholstered thus far? Tee hee. . .a little ongoing project for me. . .might add another coat of wax to the tabletop, too!



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