Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cottage Color

Growing up in Maine, summers were a precious commodity.  Every spare second was spent out at camp - about 15 minutes away on a small pond.  My grandparents had an old cottage there that has since been replaced by my parents' modern house, but I vividly remember the colors of the old camp.  Everything was a cast-off from somewhere else, usually covered in a hand-crocheted afghan, an explosion of mismatched colors that somehow all coordinated. 

A few years ago, I found Maine Cottage in a magazine, and have been hooked on their colors and furniture and fabric ever since.  Of course, nobody who actually lives in Maine can afford them, but still, it's nice to look.  And it all reminds me somehow of the old camp.  Worn out wicker, creaky wooden chairs, painted furniture.  All put together with a glass of lemonade on a warm summer's afternoon. I mean, who wouldn't want to live here?




So, when I inherited a small side table from my mom's friend, I decided to try and give it a 'maine cottage' look.  I had the local paint store color-match a swatch I printed out from online and went for it.  This is the look I wanted...

 ...and this is the table before. 

Cute, but water-stained and had seen better days.  So I bundled up and took it outside for a good sanding.  I knew I would paint the legs, so I didn't bother with them (phew!).  The top was a different story. I wanted to get to the original wood and then do a paste-wax finish.   I sanded for about half an hour just to get all the water-marks out, and then spent another half hour on the curved sides and drop-leaf joints.  My hands were numb by the end.  Not really a project for the dead of winter in Maine. 

 Close enough.  Then came the fun part - staining, sanding, and then a coat of smelly paste-wax. 

(Note the super-professional Nylabone prop.  Because that's how we roll in this house.  Whatever is handy...)

I didn't prime, so it took a couple coats.  But I was inside, toasty by the fire, so it was okay.  Here's the before-and-after.  Not exactly Maine Cottage, but it cost me $3.00 in supplies (sample jar of paint).  Whee!

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...