De-stressed to Perfection

It’s done. After two weeks, our garden table is de-stressed to perfection.  This morning, I kept running the palm of my hand over the table’s silky surface, in admiration of the skill with which it has been stripped.  Finally, it is ready to paint! 💃💃


Exhibit No: 1 – two weeks ago

I am no handywoman. I’m not a DIY-er. I don’t fix, paint, repair or re-plaster.  In fact, I am an all-round un-handywoman. Oh, and I hate housework. I don’t whistle, hum or sing as I flick a duster around, I do it through gritted teeth.   My quest to become a domestic goddess during Lockdown having failed.

In January 2020, I promised my significant other I would sand down and re-paint the garden table and chairs.  I painted them mahogany last year, and I would be the first to admit, I did a crap job. The chairs weren’t too bad, but the table was a sight for sore eyes.  The unevenly spread paint had blistered and peeled off necessitating the use of a tablecloth.  

The thing is, I don’t ‘work’… per se.  (Oops, just got out of the ellipsis habit). I’m at home all day, while everyone else is working (even during Lockdown), so I am the ideal candidate to do jobs around the house.  However, much of my time is spent sitting down looking blankly at a computer screen.  Often there is a confused look on my face, which means I’m procrastinating while waiting for inspiration.  Which, sometimes, can take several days, or weeks and often prompts the comment, ‘what have you been doing all day?’ So, taking all my idiosyncrasies into consideration, I’m a pretty good nightmare to live with.

When Lockdown came around, I still hadn’t stripped and re-painted the garden table or bought paint stripper.  Unfortunately for me, Lockdown coincided with a spell of excellent British weather, so we hauled the table out of the garage and onto the patio into the sunshine.  We dusted it off, then I covered it with a tablecloth, with my significant other’s words ringing in my ears.

‘You always say you’re going do things, and then you don’t. Why don’t you just say you’re not going to do it, so I can!’ 

Several tablecloths later, Lockdown started easing its grip, and we were all given free-er rein to go about our everyday lives. By that time, I was overwhelmed with garden furniture guilt.  Donning a mask, I rushed out to join the one-way system at B and Q to buy paint stripper and a tin of paint.  My plan?  To strip the table and chairs, then paint them light oak.


Exhibit No. 2 – after day one

The instructions on a can of stripper are straight forward enough, even for the DIY deficient.  Slosh it on, leave it for half an hour, then strip away

Happy days, I thought, allocating a couple of hours out of my busy procrastination schedule to do the job.  But, by the end of the day, I hadn’t managed to strip half of it.

A week later, progress was still going slow.  My plan to strip and re-paint the table and chairs light oak had gone out the window.  The consensus was that, if I was going to do the chairs as well, it might well turn into a lifetime project.  So, I went back to B and Q and swapped the tin of light oak paint for another tin of mahogany.


Exhibit No. 3 – today

Two weeks on and it’s finally finished. I can’t stop admiring my handy work.

Don’t let anybody tell you that stripping a table is a doddle, because it is not.  Although it may be more of a challenge for a procrastinating un-handywoman.

I will be slapping on the mahogany paint this afternoon, then all we need is the sunshine, so wine o’clock can once more be outside.  Well, it is July.

Thank you very much for visiting my niche-less blog! If you have time before you leave, would love you to tell us what you think. All the best, Tessa Barrie

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