Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Timber and chrome console table

I have had a few different ideas floating around in my head for a console table for a while now.  I never could seem to settle on one plan though.  Then one day my mom and dad were cleaning out their shop and came across a piece of old barnwood.  Rather than burn it they decided to check if I wanted it first.  YES PLEASE!

It was the perfect dimensions to become the top of my console table.

So I got to work.

Here is the barnwood in all its natural beauty.  I wanted to keep the general rustic appeal of this piece so all I did was give it a light sanding with 60 grit 3M (the best) sandpaper so the sharp edges would be smoothed out to ensure no one risked a sliver or ripped clothes.  I didn't even square off the edges.  I like that the one end was cut at a slight angle.

Then I wiped it down with Minwax Pre-stain Wood Conditioner and stained it with Minwax Jacobean stain.  

And finished it with 3 coats of polyurethane.

Next came the metal base.  Although learning to weld is on my bucket list of things to do, and my father even has a welder in the deep recesses of his storage shed,  I wasn't confident that I would be able to get the corners matching and the seams, well seamless, on my first attempt.  So off to the local welding shop I headed to get a quote on two metal bases, 35" in height, and 10" in depth, using 2" wide heavy metal.  After a quick calculation in his head he decided he could keep the total under $100.  After I committed, he asked how soon I would need them.  I desperately wanted to say immediately, however, my honesty had me replying that it was just a project for my home so there was no real rush.  2 hours later I received a call that my table legs were ready!!!  He ended up being held up waiting for material on a big project and it was the perfect little filler job.  The price was bang on $100.  Not the least expensive legs in the world but many of the other options I was pondering in my head would have came to at least that.  And each base was perfectly matching, and the seams were smooth!!!

I sanded the bases with 120 grit sandpaper and then primed them with Zinsser Bulls Eye primer.  I painted it on but I would recommend using spray primer.  I just didn't feel like forking out more money and I already had this primer at home.  So I carefully sanded between each coat of primer 3x.

I screwed the bases to the studs in my workshop so that I could work all sides without having to wait for the paint to dry.

 One thing I learned while researching how to get a realistic chrome look was that a glossy black undercoat enhances the reflective qualities of the chrome paint.  So three coats of Rustoleum's gloss black were sprayed on.

I picked up two cans of Dupli-color's Chrome spray paint from Napa Auto Parts.  It seemed to be the best chrome paint under ten dollars a can.

I sprayed three light coats and the last coat I applied a little heavier to get a smooth finish.  Then you MUST walk away for five days.  Touching this paint within the five days will tarnish the chrome.  It has to be fully cured before it is handled.  Trust me.  Also, you cannot apply a clear coat.  It will ruin all the reflective qualities of the paint and leave you with a flat grey.  I tried it on another piece of metal.  Just to be sure.  It's true.

Then I attached my bases to the barnboard plank.  I used a framers square to make sure It was square to the edges and not to the uneven ends.

Check out that gorgeous texture! 

A few days after I had the table completed, my Mom informed me that she remembered the origins of the barnboard and why they had it in their shop.  It came from the McMillan homestead where my grandfather (who passed away in a tragic accident when my mom was 4) grew up.  I loved the table before, but now it has a special story to go with it.