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What a day! The roof blew off my neighbour’s shed, such was the strength of the wind.

I did some painting this morning and was extremely cheesed off when bits kept blowing onto the ‘French Linen’ paintwork. Alas I have to have the paint shack’s doors open to get good light in there, so had to suffer the perils of the weather, and pretty rotten it was too.

By this afternoon, the weather had calmed enough to plough on with some outdoor work – the sanding of a coffee table and an oak barley twist, drop leaf table. The barley twist table was finished in that typical dark oak stain; not at all popular for today’s market. So the first job was sanding down the table top.

sanding in progress

 Perhaps I should explain, the big hairy hands belong to my hubby, not me:-)

before and after of oak barley twist table

 The photo above shows just what a difference there is when dated old varnish is removed. Of course there are some people who say that what I’m doing amounts to a crime – stripping an Edwardian antique of its original finish. But the table top was tired; there were cup rings and a few scratches and the dark finish is just so unpopular. My defence is that I’ve revealed the natural hues of the oak and all it will have is an oil or wax dressing, so the wood will be restored to its proper colour, as nature intended. The legs will be painted in Farrow and Ball ‘Elephant’s Breath’ (unless I change my mind before tomorrow:-))

Yesterday’s trip to the auction house, for viewing, was very disappointing, so much so, that I didn’t bother going back today to bid on anything. There were only 5 or 6 items that were of vague interest, but nothing to set the world on fire. I’ve got plenty of stock lined up, so I won’t be short of work for a week or two.

If the weather holds out and I make good progress with the tables, I might start the prep of an Ercol dresser tomorrow, but it’s more likely that it will be started over the weekend. I’m torn between Annie Sloan ‘Duck Egg Blue’ or ‘French Linen’; I like both and have previously painted a couple of Ercol’s in the ‘Duck Egg Blue’, so I know the colour suits the chunky Ercol style nicely, but on the other hand, the ‘French Linen’ is a lovely colour. I’ll sleep on it…