Over memorial day weekend I came across an old solid cherry china cabinet with a removable hutch, for sale by a friend on Facebook for 50 bucks! It should be known that I have been on the hunt for a vintage buffet table for my dining room but have yet to find anything in my price range. And when I say price range I mean cheap. I regularly check the consignment stores and have been to local flea markets and antique stores. But everything is too expensive for how much work I would have to do to get it where I want. I see photos of those french country shabby chic homes in magazines and that's where i want to live. I am aware that those are staged scenes... in those pictures table lights are magically on even though you cant see the cord, and nobody owns a television. It's just not practical.
So back to the cabinet... my dad helped me pick it up and bring it home. Unfortunately the red stained cherry wood completely clashed with my walnut hardwood floor. My floor has an orange undertone and the cabinet is red. So i let it sit there for a week. An entire week of not touching it and just thinking about how to make it work. I did a little research on stripping and white washing wood. Looked up tips on how to paint wood. I basically covered every option until I finally settled on the fact that I would have to remove the stain and varnish before I could do anything anyway. So the process began. It was stinky, it was messy, it was exhausting.
I used a liquid stripper that basically removed everything in one application. Put it on.. let it sit... scraped it off. Seems pretty simple, as long as its a flat surface. After the stripping was complete I started sanding. This part got a little messy, so I found myself regularly vacuuming up my work space (aka dining room). I like to keep things clean throughout each project. It might seem like a waste of time, but for me its like a pause to stand back and see how far you've gotten. Sometimes my little clean up breaks help me notice a better way to do something or gives me inspiration for something completely different.
After I was finished with the sanding i put it all back together and sat down across the room and just looked at it. I was slightly shocked how awesome it looked as just plain raw wood. It had that rustic country feeling that I couldn't get over. So I set off to Lowes to buy a small can of finishing wax, and a 10pack of knobs. (If you like the look of raw wood grain i would recommend using a finishing wax, it will keep little hairs from raising when the wood gets wet. Since im going to be serving food off of it, the wax was a must! Some of my friends are a little messy.) The finished product is pretty spectacular. The best part about choosing not to paint it was that I could start filling the drawers instantly. I also placed a small vase of lavender on top to help get rid of the stripper smell in the room...there was really no way to say that without sounding a little crude. Which leads me to the title question for this post...