A long time ago in a land far away I painted a table.
Not this table.
It was a table I found in the trash next to a dumpster at our apartment complex. It called out to me—sitting there next to the bags of egg cartons and lemon rinds and pizza boxes. I couldn’t resist. I picked it up and dusted it off and primed it and painted it white. And then? For the crowning glory, the sprinkle on the sundae, the finishing touch—
I painted a cornucopia on the table top.
I know what you’re thinking.
And you would be right.
A table just isn’t a table without a painting of a bountiful harvest.
I thought it was glorious.
I thought that table was the finest thing since sliced bread and bags of salad with dressing inside.
I wanted to preserve it for all eternity.
So I sealed the top with a finish sealer. I went to the hardware store and bought the sealer they recommended and followed those instructions to the letter.
It was glossy.
It was beautiful.
That cornucopia table top would be there when my grandchildren showed up.
And then something terrible happened. Something that is still difficult for me to talk about. Something that made me shiver and shake and fear for the future of my table.
The entire table turned yellow.
Not a pretty yellow. Not the color of the yellow corn peeking out from the center of the bountiful harvest. An awful, icky, paint-dripping looking yellow.
And all because I used an oil-based sealer.
Do as I say and not as I did.
Save yourself the heartache of an ochre colored feast of plenty.
When sealing your painted furniture (especially when it’s white) DO NOT USE AN OIL-BASED SEALANT.
Use latex instead.
You’ll know it’s latex because you can clean it up with water.
Now I know better.
This table top was just refinished this weekend.
See that chippy paint?
See those beautifully sanded lines?
See that brush with LATEX sealant on it?
The table is sealed and ready to go.
It’s hanging out on the back porch with some chairs and a rug and an owl in the nearby tree.
I know it’s not a cornucopia.
But it’ll have to do. 🙂