The Table is Sealed. Oh, and Ideas for the Pantry

The nook table can finally be used, yay!!!

It could have been used before, but we didn't because I wanted it to have a fun pattern painted on it, and then it needed to be sealed so said pattern didn't get completely fucked up when Zoe bangs the shit out of the table with utensils, toys, probably even her head at some point. You know, those kids are crazy.

Last week when I talked about the table I discussed how I didn't like the way the Minwax poly was turning out. The first coat had awful splotches

And the third coat had some bewildering oily film on it after about 9 hours of dry time. Last Tuesday we were at HD getting materials for other jobs and I picked this baby up

Let me say this before we go any further - I purchased this on my own, in no way does Varathane know I bought their product to use on our table, but I want to give you guys an honest review of what I thought of it. Here it goes:

I bought this for several reasons.

1) HD has an incredibly shitty selection of poly
2) No odor
3) Heavy use formula
4) Semi-gloss
5) Fastest drying

I did not like that it was water based because in the past Chris and I have found that oil based products usually weather the storm of every day life a lot better than water based, but I figured I'd give things a shot.

While I LOVE the pattern on the table, the Minwax poly had left things a little yellow (which, to their credit, they warn you about on the label). It's terribly hard to photograph though...

...I know I'm being super annoying, but I promise, there is yellowing there.

Upon opening it looks a lot different because it's milky, as opposed to yellowy/clear (yes, that's a formal term)

Honestly, the second it went on, it just felt better. It went on like butter - it was really smooth and easy and didn't bubble up nearly at all. Most poly's bubble when they're over brushed, but the Minwax would bubble after just one stroke, and this didn't bubble at all after 2 or 3 (to make sure I was getting even coverage all around).

It advertised itself as having no odor, and that was of course not true. I don't think I've ever encountered a product that has felt the need to advertise that it doesn't have an odor and it actually not have an odor. Though to Varathane's credit, the odor was slight and didn't make me want to barf (or pass out) like Minwax's.

Minwax claimed to have a drying time of 4-6 hours which was utter horseshit. It usually took upwards of 8 hours, and was still tacky. Varathane said it would take 2-4 hours, and that was actually completely accurate. It was about 1/2 dry at 2, had some tiny spots of wetness at 3, and was completely dry and ready for another coat at 4.

With Minwax I had to sand between every single coat, and with Varathane I could apply another coat before I needed to sand it (if it was left for 24+ hours they advised you sand before you added another coat).

In the end - I am completely sold on using Varathane instead of Minwax. I used 3 coats of Minwax and 2 of Varathane - though they do suggest you use at least 3. I reasoned that I didn't need to because I had another 3 already under it. We shall see how it weathers the every day life storm, but I'm definitely WAY MORE satisfied with this product and am happy to have made the switch. I have never been pleased with Minwax, so I don't know why I thought this time would really be any different.

The most important thing, now we can eat at the table

This room is coming along now, and with one task completed, it's time to move on to another. Eventually I'll get chairs for this table and refinish them, but because our sports ticket table isn't done yet I'm borrowing 2 of our 6 unused chairs for that table. This room also needs to be painted (I HATE the gross peach color, so it will be the same greenish shade as the kitchen) but it needs a decent amount of prep work before that task can be completed (patching and some texture work). So, for the time being I'll turn my attention to the "pantry." Which looked like this when we moved in

And now it looks like this

I know, the before is better, right?

This isn't really a pantry as we actually do have a small one in the kitchen, this is more of a "cooking closet" I guess. The reason we have all this crap here is because we don't have the most storage in our kitchen (fairly decent size, but because of doorways, etc., not a ton of cabinet space), so we resolved that using this cabinet for spices, etc. was the best use of space for us. Of course it would look beautiful being used as a china cabinet or display of some sort, but that's just not practical for us. The downside is that it's not super attractive to see all that stuff behind the leaded glass doors

And now that Zoe is getting more mobile, she's getting more dangerous

We used to always keep those doors open (because we're lazy) but they obviously need to be kept closed now. With the doors closed though, you can still see the hot mess inside. Of course, I should organize it more, but spices and soy sauce aren't very glamorous even when they are organized. So I thought covering the glass in a fun way might be interesting.

Of course I turned my attention to Pinterest. I found several cool ideas. I really liked the idea of a frosted pattern

diy "Frosted" Privacy Window.
found here

But for 2 reasons I didn't want to do anything frosted. 1) with all the divided light on that window it would take forever and 2) although I don't want to see anything in this cabinet, I'm sure a future owner of our house will - because it is an awesome little cabinet - and so I didn't want to do something that would take them hours to reverse (oh my god could you imagine scraping that all off? I would hate me.)

So I kept looking. And then I stumbled upon these two images

I did this with sepia-map giftwrap inside curio cabinet glass when the cabinet was being used for plain storage.
found here

Love this house. Love the privacy/storage flexibility they created for this piece by lining the glass with  Kraft paper & an old coffee bean sack(?). So many possibilities!
found here
And I LOVED the idea of using a piece of fabric or paper to attach on the inside of the doors that would get some more fun pattern in the room, it would be cheap, and temporary. If future owners don't like it (or I get sick of it), I could just take it down. Easy as that.

Now I just have to go about finding the right fabric. I don't want to use the same one as the curtains because I don't want to be too matchy matchy, and I'm not sure what the cushion seat covers will be for the future chairs - but again, I don't want to be too matchy matchy. The best part is I don't need to be practical about the fabric because it's not actually being used, so I can go with something that would otherwise normally be really annoying to work with because all I really need to do is tack it in place. I think I smell a trip to the fabric store for Zoe and I in the near future :)


Cheryl said...

My husband uses the word Varathane for poly - like Kleenex and Band-aid for tissues and adhesive bandages! We haven't used any for about 25 years but he's always had good results with it and won't buy any other brand.

I would probably use a solid color, subtle stripe or small print behind the "pantry" doors. You already have a lot going on in that room with the curtains & table.

Or maybe corral your pantry items in colorful boxes to make for a more uniform look through the glass. Even if some things are taller than the boxes it might be enough to calm the chaotic look.

meryl rose said...

I NEVER thought of little boxes to corral items. I might have to do that because I really do love the glass. THANKS!