I bought a table from an actor lady who had lived in New Orleans for no more than three months before deciding the city just wasn’t for her. I started to tell her it takes longer than a few months to know if something’s right for you, especially a new home, especially in New Orleans, but I stopped myself. Maybe a few months was all she needed. Plus her mind was already made. She was anxious to be rid of the small bit of furniture she acquired. Most of it, including this table, was bought secondhand. That was in June of this year . So in just seven months, the wandering table has had at least three homes.
I’m currently stripping the paint and plan to later refinish. Stripping paint by hand is tedious, painful even. And yet, satisfying. It’s like unwrapping a gift. Or the curious feeling of staring at yourself in the mirror after taking makeup off. Every strip is a new surprise. One knot was so pretty my heart jumped. Beneath layers of red, blue, purple and brown is not a table, but the skin of a tree in disguise. I wonder where the tree lived, how tall it was, how many years it stood before its death.
This is my first attempt at a refinish and I can admit that I’ve beat the little table up a good bit. I’ve dented the wood and sanded grooves into it by accident. With the help of some hand planes, I hope to restore some of the wood’s integrity by the time I’m done.