I Can Read. Really, I Can.

I had envisioned this post being entitled, “More Goodwill Hunting.” Dr. Kyle and I were discussing furnishings for the new house. It went something like this.

Me: For the breakfast room I’d like a round table.

Dr. Kyle: MmmHmmm.

Me: Preferably with a pedestal base so we can fit lots of chairs around it easily.

Dr. Kyle: Ok.

Me: And, you know, it would be nice if it had a leaf for larger gatherings.

Dr. Kyle: Sure.

Me: But I’d really like for the leaf to be self-storing, so we don’t have to find a place to put it when it’s not in use.

Dr. Kyle: You bet.

So I searched the interwebz and landed on this from Pottery Barn.

It doesn’t have a self-storing leaf, but four out of five ain’t bad. And the price was reasonable. SOLD! But not until I made a trip to Goodwill, just in case.

And behold!

photo (66)She even came with four chairs and a self-storing leaf (which I didn’t know was there until I got her home and the hubs pointed it out). BONUS! And for $70, I was one happy girl. If it had all ended here, then I could have titled this post “Goodwill Hunting.” However, the saga continues.

See that orbital sander sitting atop the table? Well, I used it to knock the poly finish off. I sanded. And I sanded. Then I sanded some more. Then I realized I was using a fine grade sanding disk instead of a course grade. Had I read the package instead of just thinking “Oh, that dark color indicates a courser grade,” it would have been ready for stain much more quickly. Lesson learned. Kind of.

Then I took myself to the hardware store to get some stain. Like, just stain. Not the junk that already has the poly in it. JUST STAIN. She pointed to the ones I had described, I chose one, and was on my way.

It wasn’t until I got home and started applying it that I realized it had poly in it. And it was a mess. Had I read the can, I would have avoided the mess, but you know how hindsight works. Instead of panicking, I just went with it and finished out the job knowing that I could sand it down and start over if I wanted to. Guess what? I hated it.

photo (67)


I’m happy with the progress of the black chalk paint below, but wasn’t loving the streaky stain look on top. Time for more sanding. This time using the course grade first, then the fine grade. You know, because I can read. Yay me.

Finally, I was ready to apply actual, real, bona fide stain to the freshly sanded (for the second time) table top. It was going to be perfect. Then this.

photo (68)Gouges! From the sander! Oh, the humanity! If you need me, I’ll be out on the driveway sanding this baby for the third time….BY HAND. Of course I could have avoided these shenanigans if I had actually read the packages of the products I was using. Don’t cry for me, blogland. But if you want to do some sanding, I know of someone in need.




8 thoughts on “I Can Read. Really, I Can.

  1. I never sand! Strip it! Use Citristrip (you can get it at WalMart or Lowes). Use a chip brush to brush it on (no odor!). Then use a putty knife to scrape off the ‘junk”. Once you get the finish off, I sand lightly with a sanding sponge and wipe with mineral spirits. It usually takes 2-3 coats, but WAY easier than stripping and you don’t end up with the above issues!

  2. I bet it will look amazing when you’re finally done. Heck, it already looks great to me. I like the black chalk paint. I love when I make a find to fulfill a vision I have! Good luck with the additional sanding.

  3. oh, that is exactly My Dream Nook Table you described there! And I was so excited for your perfect find! (By the way, I SOOOO much appreciate you openly admitting that you DO shop Goodwill – I was beginning to suspect that “I got this at Goodwill” is a mauvais ton around here). I am so sorry to have laughed at your misfortunes! I know it will come out its perfect best – I have been following your undertakings for a while 😉 Good luck!

    • Thank you so much, Jouena! I can’t resist a stroll through Goodwill from time to time. One never knows what treasures may await! And please, please keep laughing. Just knowing that you’re enjoying this will keep me sane! Merci!!!

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