I found this antique table at a local Denton store, and immediately fell in love with it. I inquired about the price, and the owner told me she planned to paint it before selling it. My inner voices shrieked, “Noooo! That’s a travesty!” Since I always do what the voices tell me to do, I wrangled a price and bought it “as is.”
Now, I have nothing against old furniture being painted purple, or orange, or zebra-striped … but this beauty deserved better than that. Yes, the surface wasn’t particularly attractive, but what can you expect? The store owner told me that this table had survived a tornado and then had been stored in barn for several years.
You would look rough, too, after experiences like that! There are a couple of pieces of the ornate woodwork that have been damaged, but that only tells the table’s story. I brought that baby home and tried to think what to do with it. I figured I would polish it, and put it in the guest bedroom. But, then I remembered that I had seen a post on Pinterest about using mayonnaise to restore a finish.
Mayonnaise? Ick! The very thought of slathering mayonnaise all over it was repulsive (and I didn’t want it to smell like a stale sandwich), so I decided to try olive oil to polish it.
Armed with olive oil, a soft cloth, some cotton swabs and plenty of elbow grease, I began to polish that table. I swabbed all the nooks and crannies, and even flipped the table over to wipe down the inside (where I had to scrape off a dirt dauber’s nest — proving that it really was stored in a barn). I was very careful about polishing all of the oil off of the surfaces, so it wouldn’t stain the carpet or other furniture. Some of it took an extra swipe of oil, because the wood was very thirsty. I might even have to polish it again in a day or two, as the oil soaks into the wood.
After about an hour, the result was much better than I had hoped. It doesn’t even look like the same table!
Am I going to hide this lovely piece of furniture in the guest bedroom? No way! I’ve found a place for it in the living room, so I can enjoy it every day.
You might be wondering where I stumbled upon this amazing antique find, and I’ll share that source with you another day. That new store in Denton deserves a post of its own … and besides, I want to get there and buy all the wonderful things that I want before I let you plunder it!
Just remember to try polishing a piece of furniture with olive oil before you pull out the paint brushes. The only problem with this technique is that now I’m eyeing all the rest of my furniture. I’m thinking, “Hmmm. What would olive oil do for that?” I have plenty of olive oil and cotton swabs — but I’m fresh out of elbow grease!