This may be the piece of furniture I've spent the longest time and most effort on....
A year ago I bought a coffee table on eBay that was described as a "French Provincial parquetry topped coffee table". I won it for around $30 and was SO EXCITED to have scored such a bargain.
That is, until I picked it up and saw that it was actually a Chinese style and had layers of thick reddish lacquer on it. My before photo is not big enough to share. I saved the photo from eBay and it's about 2 cm by 2cm so won't show up.
I have literally spent a fortune in paint stripper to no avail and finally used the belt sander on it to remove the lacquer. It took about an hour of sanding to cut through the mess.
However what was meant to be parquetry was actually only 0.5mm thick veneer laid on plywood. Can you believe it? I tried to rescue the parquetry look but in some spots I'd actually sanded through it. Easy enough to do when your sanding through 5mm of lacquer to get to less than 1mm of parquetry. In the end I decided to paint the top as the table has a lovely shape but wasn't looking any good with the plywood showing through.
See the plywood peaking through on the far left hand corner and the right hand bottom corner in the photo above. and the centre of the photo below.
I then painted it all stark white and loved it. (no photo). But then I thought it would look good antiqued as it would show the carving details. So I painted the table in a limed white and glazed it. I have finished it now but really thinking I preferred with without the antiquing glaze but not sure I can be bothered at this stage to repaint. What do you all think?
I'm probably not the best at antiquing - I can't find the actual "antique glaze medium" that the USA bloggers talk about and I've looked everywhere. So I made my own glaze using burnt umber acrylic paint and I just think it makes the table look dirty. I'm much more of a clean white lines person....
I'm not selling this as I really like the shape of it and our currently coffee table was given to us by neighbours and is a bit country cottage for my liking.
So what to do??
I'd really appreciate any comments - good or bad. If you know how to glaze furniture please give me some hints on where I'm going wrong. I've got a few eBooks (Christa/Mike's one, Perfectly Imperfect etc and haven't been able to learn anything from them - they are great books but I haven't seemed to be able to emulate their work...)
and here's that end of the loungeroom with the country style coffee table (this is now for sale, going very cheap)