Several weeks ago this wonderful antique red and white enamel topped table found it's way into our home. I've always loved the look of these tables. A little bit retro, a little bit antique.
A mainstay in any farmhouse kitchen in the 1940's, enamel top tables usually served as an extra work surface in the small kitchens of the time. This particular table is the perfect size for a kitchen desk. I've always wanted a kitchen desk.
When we brought the table home, given where it had been (in an out building, collecting dust, dirt and bugs) it was in very good shape. The enamel top was dirty, but it could be cleaned. The wooden legs and drawer had chipping and peeling paint, but it was still sturdy and there were no obvious places suffering with wood rot.
The first project was to clean the enamel top. A few soap and water washes brought up the bulk of the surface dirt. There were a few age spots in the enamel where it turned a light grey color. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did the trick! (I love the magic eraser product... it truly does remove just about anything!) While still showing some age, the table top came out beautifully.
My first thought as I looked at the table legs was to clean, sand, strip and repaint the piece. After some well placed advice from family and friends, I've decided to leave the table as is. I will do just a bit of light sanding to remove loose flakes of paint, but the cracked and peeling paint gives the table it's character. I will apply a low sheen sealant and leave the piece as it is.
The issue now at hand is finding room and making it fit into the kitchen! I've learned over the years of buying furniture and creating living spaces how important it is to measure a piece to make sure it will fit! Something will have to go in order for the table to come into the kitchen space. If it doesn't work out so the table can live in the kitchen, it makes an excellent craft table. One way or the other, there are still years of use ahead.
As I look at the table I can't help but wonder about the meals that were prepared, or the pie tins that were filled on it's trusted surface. I can only hope it came in as handy for it's first owner as it will for me.