At my cousin’s place last year I commented on a beautifully carved rosewood table in his garage. He responded “Really? Do you want it?” And of course, I did! Apparently he bought it years ago and both his first and second wife hated it and it was headed to their fire pit...that night!!! Turns out I saved this beauty from becoming ashes just in the nick of time!
Console Table: Rosewood Goes Rose Gold
Even though it photographed pretty well in the before pic, in reality the finish was in rough shape. And I had been planning to do something with it since day one. Just wasn’t sure what that something would be. But one thing I did know was that I would never find the time (patience) to sand this intricate beast down to the bare wood for staining.
I had recently done a project using gel stain on an old piece that I had not sanded down to the bare wood and I was amazed how beautifully it turned out! So I planned to do that on this piece! I went out and bought a dark walnut stain and got all set up for a simple gel stain make-over.
There was a foot that had been split off at some point and had been glued back on, very crooked. I think my favorite cousin may have been on the sauce when he attempted that repair. ;)
So I gently wedged a mirror scraper into the split and that sucker popped right off. Then I sanded off the adhesive with 100 grit sandpaper and re-glued it (straight!) with wood glue.
Once the glue was dry I lightly sanded the entire piece with 120 grit and gave it a good cleaning with TSP.
I then added pads to the feet by cutting pieces from a square felt sheet and trimmed them to fit, using an exacto knife.
There was an unusual carving on the bottom that reminded me of a face! I’m pretty sure that was not the intention of the carver!(?) But it creeped me out nonetheless!
So I put painters tape at the back and filled the ‘eyes and mouth’ with wood filler.
Ready for the gel stain transformation!
I started at the back to make sure it would give me the results I had achieved last time…and…it did not! Maybe because this piece has more gloss on the finish than the last project. It was not covering the ‘scars’ no matter how hard I tried. And it was not toning down the original cherry red finish at all!
I was still not going to have time to sand this down all the way. And I had already spent my budget for this project on the gel stain. So I was determined to find something in my inventory to complete this project! I thought perhaps a colour wash would give it a nice rustic look. So I used half white chalk paint and half water, brushed it on with a round bristle brush, and immediately wiped it off.
It looked blue! What?! And again, it wasn’t covering the scars.
Next I decided to dry brush, using white chalk paint. I went over it very lightly, with barely any paint on the brush, making sure not to dab the paint into the carved details. And eureka! I loved the way it turned out – it had a rustic driftwood white/grey look with some of the natural stain peeking through. Gorgeous!
Except…right up until I put the marble top back on! The marble just didn’t gel with the driftwood look. I don’t know why, as they’re both neutral colours, but it just wasn’t working for me. I considered many options about replacing or transforming the top at this stage. But decided that was just crazy, as this was a custom carved piece of stone designed for this very piece! I needed to make it work!
I wanted to tone down the white/grey so I went looking through my stash and found a little 2 oz jar of rose gold paint I had recently bought (impulse buy).
I figured 2 oz was not going to get far on this large piece. So I started with the legs and figured I'd worry about the rest later. I dry brushed it on and turns out I had more than enough to do the entire piece and still have a few drops left!
So there it is - miles away from my original make-over plan. But I must say, I’m kind of digging it - at least for now. Maybe in a couple years, when my daughter is a little lower maintenance, I may strip this down to the bare wood and go with the walnut stain...