I will have to apologise ahead for my writing skills.. I’ve got none. I have been bullied, ok maybe that’s bit of a exaggeration, I have been asked, begged, told to and yes, even bribed, to start a blog. I actually had to go and google what blog and blogging means. I always see that this and that person is a blogger but I was never curious enough nor have enough patience for computers and being online for other than checking my social media. Anyway, here I am and probably make complete fool of myself but sure anything to get them (No, I’m not going to name names) off my back.

I found this IKEA set as most of my project starters in someones unwanted “pile”. After taking it home I got to work on sanding down/off all the old wax (oh my word how tough it was) and general grease and dirt. I used 80 grit sanding paper at first and when I had most of the badness gone I switched it up to 120 grit sanding paper. I went through meters of sanding paper as the wax just clogged it up…literally! After overcoming few urges to just light the whole thing on fire I finished the sanding and washed it all with sugar soap. Then I hosed everything down, rinsing away all the dust particles and leaving to dry overnight.

The following day I started priming. Chairs, bench and table frame and legs all got covered in Zinsser red Bin primer. I don’t trust anything else, this is the créme de la créme of the primers available in Ireland. I’m an old school girl and I don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to prepping the pieces, the better the prep the longer you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour I believe.

When it was all bone dry I hand sanded (120 grit) to smooth away any roughness. Hoovered up all the dust and wiped down with a cloth damp dipped in white spirits. And then the painting started, I always do 3 coats to get an even finish and no dark shadows peeking through. And I hand sand in between the first and second coat with 180 grit paper to make sure the finish looks very smooth and professional. I used Danish company, Crown paint in Aged White, eggshell finish.

While the framework was drying I moved on to the tops. I had previously sanded them all alongside the framework and I wanted to create grey stained finish. So I dipped an old piece of rag into General Finishes Dark Chocolate Milk, available here and covered the whole surface rubbing it in with the grain. In between I also dipped the cloth into water just to make it easier to get an even dark finish. When it all dried I did the very same with GF Snow White and after drying put on a coat of clear matt varnish by Ronseal. When the finish was lovely and dry I moved on the cutting the lines/grooves in to the top parts of the chairs and the table. I measured the “boards” marked lines and set up barrier with clamps (I don’t trust myself to cut lovely straight lines with a big heavy saw) and plugged in my circular saw.

After the lines were cut I used hack saw to create the board look on the edges and folded 120 grit sandpaper in 2 and sanded inside the freshly cut lines. After hoovering away all the dust I started staining the lines. I used skinny art brush and brushed the same paint I painted the frames with into the caps and wiped with wet cloth so the paint is only in the caps and not in the “boards”. That is the reason why I cut the lines after I had it all stained and one coat varnish done, I would not had been able just to wipe away any overspill if it wasn’t already varnished.

I tested if I should go for white or dark caps as you see on this picture. White won this time.

I did 3 coats of white in the grooves. And then put additional 3 clear coats of varnish over and sanded between each coat with 240 grit sandpaper.

Next step was assembling it all and delivering it to my client.

Thank you for reading,


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