Our First Couple’s DIY

If you have been reading my previous posts, you know that I have been traveling and wedding planning this past month. Although it has been great, it means a lot of time away from my special guy as he is working two hours away. Thanks to technology, we have been able to Skype, call, and text non-stop all month, but actual time together has been more rare than we are accustomed to. This past weekend, I was so excited for George to come to my home town where I have been wedding planning. We made the most of our weekend together, not with a typical romantic date, but with a less traditional bonding time. We undertook our first Do-It-Yourself home improvement project!

My dad recovered this antique table and set of chairs from a relative who recently passed away. The set is very old and was in very bad shape. Most of the chairs were tottery and broken, the surfaces were scratched up and in various states of rehab. Some areas where sanded or colored different, but most edges were rough, and some green paint remains were visible. To me, it almost looked to be in a state of un-repair, but my dad is a fix-it man, and he had a vision.

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Before

Mom and I had some imperative business to be taken care of at our favorite store Kohls, so I let the boys get a head start surveying the project and choosing a starting point. We returned on some serious male bonding, as Dad was showing George all of his secret sanding and wood glue tricks. Dad has been the home improvement type and with years of experience, he has come up with lots of creative tricks. I really liked seeing the first man I loved share his wisdom to the man I will marry!

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Before: The Boys working on the table

I joined in on the hard work, and quickly began to sweat. We choose a very hot day for this project. It started off so well, as I sanded I just kept thinking, “Wow! How cool is this? It is so satisfying to be working together to finish this table that we will use together in our apartment.” This is way better than just spending a lot of money on a finished table from a store. This way every time we eat on it, we will know that we (re)built it with out own hands. Well my feelings began to change as the day got hotter and my fingers were numb from the sand paper. (I gave up on the electric sander because I felt like the vibrations shook my entire body). My expressions changed to “lets just give up and buy a table!” “who’s idea was it to put so many dumb curves in the legs” “we are not doing this again”.

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Those dumb curved legs that took FOREVER to sand

We choose a dark color to stain after we finished the hours upon hours. I began to get excited again after we began staining. I loved the dark color and I was beginning to picture the beautiful set in our apartment.

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The Before and After of the Chairs

11 hours (plus probably3-4 more on the sealing), we have a beautiful antique oak dinning set! If you look really hard, it’s not perfect, but I am so proud of our hard work and the gorgeous final product.  I take back all of the negative thoughts I had in the process. It was definitely worth the hard work  and time to have the satisfying feeling when the project was completed. I love the look, the feeling of ownership, and having a piece of my family history in my home. When I eat on my beautiful oak table, and can remember my great-cousin Jackie, my grandma, and the special day of hard work with George and my Dad!

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The finished table!

Now that I have one set under my belt. I decided what’s one more…. Look what I found at a garage sale today.

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It’s a nice a sturdy oak coffee table, that we can refinish to match! George, what are you doing next weekend?

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How about another date?

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