Monday, February 4, 2013

c. 1690 Tavern table

Many, many months ago (ok, it was almost two years ago.. but who's counting?), I blogged about building a table for my wife.  I finished the woodwork quite quickly, but never could decide on a finish. I knew that it would be milk paint, not strictly historically accurate, but I'm not going to fool around with oxides of lead. I enjoy not having cancer.  But the color confounded me.

Original tavern tables run the full range of colors, from reds to blues, even pastels.  Ultimately, I decided on Bayberry Green Milk Paint from Old Fashioned Milk Paint.   I think it looks pretty good.





One thing I really like about milk paint is that, if mixed on the thin side, the grain will still peak through in some areas. That's kind of neat, and actually simulates quite nicely the wear and tear on a piece over 300 years.  I helped that along with some judicious rubbing with steel wool.  This represents three coats of milk paint, 3 rubbed in coats of linseed oil, and a hand-rubbed amber paste wax over it all.

There are some areas that are missing paint.  This is done with calculated indifference.  I don't want total coverage, as the originals I referenced were not painted carefully. They were working tables and, as such, weren't made fastidiously.  The top shows plane marks and plenty of tearout, if you can see past the nail heads that hold the top down to the stretchers.

I like my stuff to look old, beat up, and well used. I think this table qualifies.

7 comments:

  1. Another really nice piece Zach. I really like these tavern tables and I plan on building one once I get my lathe done. There's one in The Woodwright's Eclectic Workshop that I like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jamie. If I remember correctly (it has been two years after all), I referenced that particular book before finding the model in Nutting's book. These are quite fast and very easy to build (if you can pick a color). You could always do a chamfered square leg if you don't have a lathe up and running.

      Delete
  2. Nice job! I have been using milk paint lately too. I really like the look. I want to try making my own, there are lots of recipes out there. Have you ever tried?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never tried making my own milk paint, but I do make my own varnishes and oil paints for my furniture. I suppose one day I should make a stop at a grocery store and buy some spoiled milk. That will wait until it warms up... I expect I would get in serious trouble if I brought spoiled milk into the house.

      Delete
    2. Care to share your varnish recipes?

      Delete
    3. That would make a dandy blog post. I'll see what I can do.

      Delete
  3. Nice work Zach! A lovely table!

    Wow that table really puts the spice chest into scale. Even knowing the measurements I was picturing it larger than that. Pretty cool! Hmmmm, I wonder if I can come up with a recipe for vegan soy milk paint :-)

    ReplyDelete