Thursday, June 14, 2018

Refinishing a Table And Chairs For a Child's Kitchen

Above you can see the finished table and side chairs.

       It seems as though I have been looking for the right table and chairs to compliment some antique dining room furnishings in our playroom forever. I wanted something simple but elegant. The legs of the table needed to be at each corner underneath. These should be turned, and the top needed to be generous, so that little ones could set up the table for tea time. I have seen many tables and chairs over the years come through resale but none of them were quite right. They were usually too small, too juvenile, too shabby, too country... well, you get the jest of it. But, at last, I spied the perfect table and it wasn't in a shop, folks. I found it while walking through our neighborhood. The perfect table was abandoned by the trash heap of a neighbor with a sign taped to it saying, "Free." 
       Oh! How I love that four letter word, best of all! It was free! The most important word in my vocabulary. I turned the small table this way and that, and saw that some old carpenter had built it sturdy and heavier than he ought. It had spindle legs and appeared to be made of solid pine. I was so over-joyed; I decided to carry it home before someone else discovered the gem. Of course, in reality, few would covet it. It was the kind of table that only an old woman with memories of a forgotten, romantic childhood would value.
       And at least half of my childhood was romantic indeed. This half being managed by a couple of elderly grandparents who begged my parents to leave me with them whenever they had too little time or help, which wasn't often enough. These were the grandparents I played hooky for and longed to be near to - even if I had to fain illness. (That means lie, people.)


The dining area, finished and kept to scale.
Above, I've turned over the table after scrubbing it down with soap, water
 and sand paper. I've decided to paint the legs of my table to match other
furnishings in the nursery. Here you can see that I masked the surrounding
 table top so that paint will not get onto it's surfaces.
The table took only one morning to refinish it. I left the top stained
 and sealed it with wood varnish. There is a slight break were the wooden boards
 on the table top have come unglued a bit. I chose to leave this defect alone.
 The table is charming defect and all. There is plenty of height on this piece too.
 Any number of chair styles may fit underneath it without cramping the
 legs of at least four seven year olds.
Not long after, I picked up these two slatted, child-sized, wooden chairs
 at resale for two dollars each. I left the slats varnished and painted only the
 chair backs and legs in the same colonial blue as my table, hutch,
and hoosier. I will need two additional chairs either matching these
 two or not.
I've added two child ladder back chairs and set the table.
The place settings include dinnerware, glasses, silverware and
 a tablecloth all to scale. This can be done by using juice glasses
 and desert plates originating from adult place settings. The
scaled down silverware was originally made for a child.
Refinishing Child Tables & Chairs:
Mary Jane teaches etiquette and manners to kids.

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