I gave them two coats of homemade chalk-style paint, in my new favorite color, Dover Gray. After seeing how pretty it looked on the round cottage table I finished recently, I knew it would look great on this big guy too.
The sun was hot, so it dried really quickly and I was able to use my palm sander to distress them. See how the wood looks more aged under the paint with the dark stain?
While I was working on the boards, my husband cut about 18 inches off the length of the counter. There were two reasons for this. First, it had two full panels and one partial panel across the front, so it looked a little off-center, and also because it was just so blooming huge, so removing 18 inches was still going to leave it being a little over 9 feet long.
Now both panels are centered on the counter.
Here’s Big Blue going gray.
And here he is after getting two coats on him. You’ll notice that we removed all of the upper trim. It will get reattached when the top boards get put on. You’ll also notice funny white spots in this photo. This is what happens when you have your camera sitting near your husband while he is sawing wood and sawdust gets on your lens, but you don’t notice it at the time.
I used my palm sander over the whole thing to “age” the wood, distressing some areas heavily. I liked the distressing when looking at it in sections, but when I stood back and looked at the whole counter – it just looked fake distressed to me, rather than naturally aged. I pondered for another day what I should do about it and decided I would do a wash of off-white paint over the gray and see if that helped it look more natural.
I brushed a light coat of white paint over the wood, a section at a time, then used a wet rag to wipe the paint all over the wood, so it filled all the grooves well.
I rinsed the paint out of my rag several times and just kept wiping off the paint, being careful not to remove all the paint from inside the grooves, until it looked the way I liked. That’s the benefit of using old painted wood – it has lots of chippy areas for the top coat to cling to. It almost has a zinc appearance now.
I let it dry overnight, then waxed the whole thing the next day.
I’m listing it on Craigslist with mixed emotions. I really want to keep it, but it won’t even fit through the front door of our house, so that’s out of the question. It could possibly fit in one of the rooms in our outbuilding, which we are just starting to remodel, so if it doesn’t sell, it will have to go there. Either way, I really enjoyed working on it.