Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Smokey Situation

When Jeremy and I first purchased our new home, we knew we would be in the market to purchase a table for our formal dining room. In our old house, we only used the dining room to eat, and had converted the breakfast nook into a play area for Little One's toys. In our new home, we didn't need to do that, so after we closed, we went out and purchased our favorite table...easy peasy. Should be a simple, happy it-just-gets-delivered ending right? Well, no. The table was on backorder and was going to take 4 months to come in! We were so bummed, but loved the table and just decided to buy it anyway and wait.

In the meantime, I was keeping a close watch on Craigslist and happened to find a table that was a similar style for $300. That's $700 cheaper than the table we had bought and were waiting on. So, we made the drive out to go buy the used table and cancelled our order for the new table. Again, should be a simple just-come-home-and-clean-it-up kind of ending, right? Of course not! The sellers were HEAVY indoor smokers, so I immediately knew I'd need to reupholster, which wasn't a deal breaker. The table has good bones and is really sturdy and solid wood. Unfortunately, we did not realize that wood could absorb the smoke smell and that the chairs were badly yellowed from the nicotine until we had already paid and were loading up the car. The chairs looked white against their red carpet, but in the harsh light of day, they were yellow. I felt sick all the way home thinking we'd bought a dud table, but we quickly formulated a plan to save the table. 

Here's a pic of it in all it's yellowed glory. Did you know nicotine leaves a yellow film on everything it touches? Trust me, it does. 

I did some Google searching and found that a 50/50 vinegar and water solution plus a scrub brush would break down the nicotine layer which was critical in getting out the smell. Literally 15 rinse and repeats later, the yellow film was coming off of the table top! I had one bucket of cleaner that I'd dip my scrubby sponge in, would wipe the table, then rinse my sponge in a second bucket of clean water before putting it back in the vinegar solution. After each section I scrubbed, I'd let it sit for a minute then wipe it off with a white cloth so I could see if the nicotine was coming off. Tedious, but it worked and greatly reduced the smell! The vinegar did not work on the painted surfaces, though. Boo

Next step was to take apart the chairs and prime the painted areas on the table and chairs with an oil based primer. See the difference between the  primed chair and the nicotine coated chair? Yuck. 

After everything was primed, I started the first coat of a latex enamel paint. I'm about halfway done with the first coat now and still need to do another coat and finish it with a clear coat. I'll share more pictures and details on the products used when I'm finished!

I still need to get new padding and fabric for the chairs. Our dining room is sage green...a little unsure of what fabric to buy! So far, these are my favorites: 

Left: Premier Prints Ozborne Twill Powder Blue      Right: Heather Bailey Garden District Nouvelle Rose Canvas Dove

Which one do you like? Any other suggestions on fabric choices? I'm really lost when it comes to picking fabric! Be back soon with an update!

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