I paid a small fortune at auction for a very large, rustic oak, dining table. The table was handmade for the original owner; the timber alone coming in at £1000. So, you spend £1000 on lovely oak timber, engage the services of a carpenter to make a very fine table and then what? You have it stained orange of course!

It’s only a hunch, but I’m guessing there isn’t much call for oak tables stained with orange varnish. So without further ado, I engaged the services of my husband to sand down the table surface. It should have been done weeks ago, but the table is far too heavy for me to lift, so I had to wait patiently for help in the muscle department.

sanding in progress

 We must be mad; stood outside in a howling wind, sanding back orange varnish. What better way to spend a cold December day.

Lovely outdoor work for the middle of December!

And here’s the table washed off – isn’t it lovely! I really like those burred edges and the graining is quite unusual for oak. I’m not planning of covering up that lovely timber with varnish, so will use a wax finish to bring out the graining and protect the woodwork.

The top finished; now for those orange edges...

There are 6 chairs to paint and re-upholster, to go with the dining table. I’ve bought some linen fabric decorated with teal peacocks, but I haven’t tried the fabric against the chairs yet, so I’m hoping that the pattern repeat isn’t too large for the chair seats. If it is, I’ll have to go to plan b (nope, I’ve no idea what plan b is yet either:-)). The chairs have been in storage for a couple of weeks and one of them has been blessed – a barn owl has dumped all over the back of it and left me a pellet on the edge for good measure. I look forward with glee to cleaning up that chair:-( 

I’ve decided to use Annie Sloan ‘Country Grey’ for the dining set – it will match the linen fabric well and the colour is so versatile and timeless.