The new baby is back home with mama.
Last month I took little Miss Arthur Court lily table to Ma and Peter’s house so they could help me with silver-leafing it, since Pete is a pro. The material gets a bit expensive in quantity, and we bought twice as much as we needed, but Pete will happily silver/gold leaf anything that stands still too long, so he kept the leftovers.
For those who don’t know, gold/silver/copper leafing is basically adhering small, wah-fer thin sheets of metal (in this case imitation silver, or aluminum, which is what the table is made of) to a surface. It’s as thin as tissue paper, and disintegrates in your hands if you’re not careful. It’s a delicate and somewhat tedious process, but the end result is pretty cool.
Not to get too technical (though that’s kind of the point here): you brush the liquid adhesive to the clean, sanded/steel-wooled surface, wait several minutes for it to turn tacky, and then, bit by bit, lay the sheets of leaf on it and pat it down with your fingers (or an artist brush) til it’s smooth. It took me a few hours, but there was a lot of surface to cover. Pete then told me to finish it off with a coat of clear gloss varnish, which will hopefully keep the silver leaf from rubbing off, through wear, enthusiastic admiration, whatever.
To refresh your mammaries, some before pics (on the right is after I steel-wooled it):
For anyone who remembers my first post about the table, Pete suggested I paint it like a flower, an idea I loved, til this:
At first it reminded me of a 4-H project I did when I was 11, then I decided it looked more like some sort of fungus or plant disease. So I steel-wooled the top again, then silver-leafed over the rot. (Refer here to first pic–et voila!) Now this baby is proudly displayed in our downstairs bathroom, upon which a lovingly curated selection of books on poo awaits whoever sits on the can. Lucky duck!
And while we’re on tables…
I bought this lil guy several years ago at some creepy tag sale in an Elk’s Club parking lot for 5 dollah.
I thought was cute–simple, stable, and solid wood. But it was pretty beat-up, with chunks out of the legs, water stains, and a few meth burns on top:
After banishing it to the basement for a few years, I was finally ready to deal with it, so I took it apart (it seems to have been someone’s weekend project, with penciled measure marks underneath), whipped out my Makita, and sanded the crap out of it. At first I couldn’t figure out what kind of wood it was–it has the grain of mahogany, but was much too light. But when I was finished sanding, I had obviously removed whatever bleach or pickling agent was used to lighten it, and it turned this gorgeous (i.e., mahogany) red. So I brushed on a few coats of clear semi-gloss varnish, and here tis:
It now sits inside our back entry, holding keys and mail. The perfect storybook ending!