Wednesday, February 13, 2013
If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed me pinning the Restoration Hardware Provence table and accompanying Ana White plans. I am not sure how this plan flew under my radar, but I'm totally in love with the look.
As soon as I saw it, I really wanted to dive right in and build one for myself. We've been eating at a 2'x3' table since before Christmas -- I sold our old table and haven't had a chance to build a new one. I'd like this design to be our next table but I really wanted a chance at a trial run before building my own.
This is why I'm SO happy to be working with Sweet Pea Interiors in Fountain. I knew that this table would sell easily in the shop, so I went ahead and built it as a test version.
And I LOVE it. Love, love, love it.
But, alas, it is too big for my dining room, so off to Sweet Pea it goes.
I made a few changes from Ana's plan in order to get closer to the Restoration Hardware look, and because I had several reclaimed 4x4 posts in my yard that I wanted to use.
Ana's plan calls for 2x4s and pocket hole construction. I did use 2x4s for the top part of the frame (under the table top) and also for the V supports, but for the legs, stretcher, and end supports I went with 4x4s. If I'd had enough of them, I would have used 4x4s for the V, too.
Since you can't use pocket holes to join 4x4s together, I used my (new!) table saw to cut lap joints. I'm in love with the joints where the end supports meet the legs -- I love the hefty, farmhouse look of them.
For the table top, I used 1x6s cut down to 4.75" on my table saw. I really like ripping off the curved edges of framing lumber to use in table tops. It is a pain in the rear to work with framing lumber, but its got a great, rustic vibe. And, it's cheap. Bonus. Having said that, I think when it comes time to build my own table, I'll build it out of higher quality lumber -- lumber that is straight, precisely milled, and nicely planed. I don't mind spending that kind of money on a table for myself. I've offered the same option to clients, but the price always scares them off. I can't blame them -- it usually doubles what I have to charge for a dining room table.
For the finish, I primed the table base with dark brown primer and then painted it with flat paint that I custom mixed from leftovers in my garage. The top is oxidized with strong black tea, vinegar, and steel wool. I think this is the first time that I've oxidized in sub-freezing temperatures. It adds a whole new element of unpredictability to the process, one I'll avoid in the future if I'm working on a client piece. The two photos above are probably the most accurate in terms of color. The top came out much darker and blotchier than I've experienced before. I don't know what to attribute it to besides the cold. The wood stayed wet much longer than usual, which I guess gave the tannins more time to react with the oxidizing solution.
It's funny...I don't mind if something doesn't come out exactly as planned as long as I'm building it for myself. But when I'm building for someone else and it doesn't go as planned? It worries me and I end up pouring unending hours into the piece. Whew. Working for myself is much less stressful.