Pinterest Win Part Two...Step away from the Mojito...
When you get home, do a quick clean up of the table. Flip it over and see if the legs are removable. If they are, take them off (mine were removable, so my legs are off and my table top is sitting on two saw horses). It is easier to sand pieces than trying to maneuver around things. Wipe all the grime off the table with a clean wet cloth. Now, break out the sander, slap on the 80 grit and get to work. If you have a mask to protect yourself from inhaling sand, awesome…if not, you will be blowing sand out of your nose for a week…which can also be awesome, depends on how you roll. The biggest tip I can give with sanding…sand in the direction of the grain. How can you tell which way the grain is going? You can’t. So grab a necklace and dangle it over the table. If it sways left to right? It means nothing. If it sways front to back? Again, it means nothing, unless you have started drinking…if this is the case, slowly set down the necklace, and go sleep that off before you start a project like this.
On the left is the table before I started sanding. On the right is after sanding.
So back to, “How do I know which way the grain is going?” I don’t know. I will tell you what I do. I find the longest lines and follow that direction. The main point is, once you pick a direction, you have to keep going in that direction. Do NOT sand in a circular motion because in the end, you will see it and you can’t fix it. Try to move back and forth in the same direction throughout the entire table. Sand down to the original wood. You need to sand all of the shininess off, then go even further and make sure there are NO traces of the previous stain, paint, or shine. It took me 35 minutes to sand the first table (because I had to sand the legs) and 35 to sand the second table (these legs were metal, so I only had to sand the top). When you are done with the first sand, wipe it down with a hand towel or cut up t-shirt. Now you see some spots you need to sand a little further? Go for it. Once your sanding is done (I used two 80 sheets for each table), you need to really smooth the top. Yes, it feels smooth, but I promise when you go to add that finish, it won’t be nearly as continuous as it felt after that first sand. I do not like my table to feel store-bought smooth. Why? Because then there is no character. I like a little roughness, which you won’t even be able to feel until you are done, because it will feel smooth even when it isn’t until the finisher is put on. So, to clean up the wood threads that you can’t see with your naked eye, throw on that 120 grit and do a quick sand across all of it. It may not seem like it is doing anything, but I promise, it is. And if you want to skip this? You can! This is all about learning what you like. Taking that 120 grit over the entire table shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes, and I promise, I think it is worth it.
Sanding is done! The best thing to do here is clean. Maybe I am a bit of a freak, but do it…please…I will sleep better knowing you did. I have a designated area for these projects. I grab a shop vac and clean all of that sand off the floor, and I even vacuum the table and get as much as that sand off as I can. When you think you are done? Grab a clean, dry rag (cut up t-shirt or towel) and wipe the heck out of that table. Then look at that rag and see what a terrible job you did of vacuuming….and to think, we yell at our husbands for not vacuuming properly! Don’t worry; I won’t tell if you don’t. Now, get that vacuum out and do it again. The table, the floor, the legs, anything surrounding the area, your arms, your legs, your hair…get all that sand out of the area! You need to repeat this until you can wipe that table and pull back to find a clean rag.
Once you have accomplished this, put all the sanding stuff away. Clean slate…now, don’t you feel better? Remember when your husband decided to do a nice thing and prepare you a Prego spaghetti dinner and managed to dirty seven pans, four bowls, three plates, six knives, a spoon, two measuring cups, every flippin’ spice that dates back to 2010, and an ice cream scoop (even though he failed to present the finished product that included ice cream) in the process? No, ladies. THIS is NOT how we roll. We clean as we go. This is our superpower. Don’t let me down.
*Side note-If you are the kind of wife with a sense of humor, and you happened to borrow the husband’s sander, make sure you put it back in the most random place possible…a place that makes NO sense what-so-ever….like, in his sock drawer. Why? Because two can play that game. Remember that.
We will wrap up this project next week….you will NEVER believe what the finished product looks like!
Talk to you soon!
- Your Top North Texas Real Estate Agent - Brenda Debus