My Restoration Hardware Table

LAST UPDATED: Nov 20, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Sep 05, 2014 | By: Julie Blanner

I’m not writing today’s post to whine, complain & pout. Well, maybe just a little bit. Maybe you can relate? Of course most of you would read all about a table & really do your research before making a significant purchase. I’m not most of you. I’m a little schoolgirl who got all giddy inside finding a great deal on a beautiful piece after spending two months searching for the unattainable. I had a dream. The dream of a long antique wood table that would only look better with age & the wear of our family. A table that would seat our family, friends & their children – all at the same table. A piece with a history that would add character & charm to our home. After months of searching online & calling stalking antique stores, I found an unbelievably gorgeous 10′ table that made my heart skip a beat. It was just 24″ wide. Yeah, narrow.

Buying, building or finding harvest & farm tables

In the midst of endless calls & visits to antique stores, Craigslist searches & word of mouth campaigning to friends to keep their eyes open, I was also looking into alternative options. I kept returning to the Williams Sonoma harvest table, the Restoration Hardware trestle table, the Restoration Hardware baluster table {which I eliminated because it was veneer} & having one made. I have not seen Williams Sonoma’s table in person & was a little concerned about veneer due to the description. Not to mention, it’s heavy price tag. I loved that Restoration Hardware’s trestle table had a history behind it – even if recently constructed. The boards were reclaimed & sent from Europe, with nail holes exposed. The soft subtle patina is gorgeous & there’s not much better than solid wood. So, you won’t be surprised that on my bi-weekly scout {stalk} to the Restoration Hardware Outlet, I had to make the table mine & finally put my mind to rest.

Should you purchase, build or find a harvest farm table?

There she is, in all her glory, just after it was delivered. I snapped this quick iPhone photo to share my excitement with Chris. I didn’t realize it would be my last. Yes, dramatic. That evening, excited to share our first family dinner at our new table, I ordered pizza. Please don’t judge. One of the girls {I’m not naming names} put her sweet little greasy fingers on the table. No big deal, right? WRONG! I immediately panicked. Why would I buy a table that could add such anxiety? I did what any lunatic mom would do & pulled out my Mrs. Meyers cleaning spray. One spray & I knew…bad choice. As panic ensued, I started wiping the mess away with wet paper towels. It was all downhill from there. That’s the moment I realized that this was a catalog table. Looks gorgeous in a catalog, but not in a home that is lived in. I had a couple glasses of wine while Chris researched.

We considered tung oil – I had used it for my harvest table & had good luck with it, but that was a $50 table from Craigslist, this one cost a bit more & we wanted to really protect it from water so that I don’t have to continue drinking a couple glasses of wine a night after dinner to relieve my anxiety. Restoration Hardware’s solution? “Clear furniture wax can be applied to protect the finish from minor spills. Use coasters or placemats to help prevent marks or stains. Avoid mineral oil as its usage could discolor the wood. Wipe the table clean with a soft, dry cloth after each use.” Placemats & dry cloths? Clearly no children have been harmed in the testing of their furniture, because they have not been child tested. The finish washed off with water. I love the idea of wax, but again, little to no protection against water. Chris kindly spent hours researching products & we settled on Waterlox. It’s supposed to be the best protection with minimal sheen. It’s a non-toxic tung oil & resin finish. Sounds great, right? The guy at the woodworking shop we purchased it from highly recommended it. While it will provide the best protection, I’m not in love with the finish & how it altered the appearance of the table. You can see from the photo below the difference in color from the protected top to the raw legs.

Should you purchase, build or find a harvest farm table?

Should you purchase, build or find a harvest farm table? The details of my Restoration Hardware table.

Now, the difference from the table to the unaltered leaf {below}:

Should you purchase, build or find a harvest farm table? The details of my Restoration Hardware table.

Should you purchase, build or find a harvest farm table? The details of my Restoration Hardware table.

Now I’m contemplating to continue with the best protection or lightly sand to remove it & use traditional tung oil that was used on Chinese ships for waterproofing & risk a little wear & tear, which is what I wanted in the first place. Heavy thoughts for a Friday afternoon, aren’t they? So why am I writing about this? First, it’s weighed heavily on my mind for the past week. Second, there is a lack of quality information on this subject. After all, Restoration isn’t going to tell you in store that you can’t wipe it clean with a damp washcloth. In fact, I was told that it has a protectant coat on it, is their most popular table among families & is child friendly in store. I’ll keep you posted as I continue to test, learn & finally complete the breakfast room. For now, a little recap:

wax – offers only minimal, short-term protection & sits on top of the finish, so doesn’t alter or ever so-slightly-alters appearance.

tung oil – some protection, only slightly alters the table.

Waterlox tung oil/varnish – best protection {per Waterlox}, darkens the wood up to 5 shades.

Of course there’s always lacquer & varnish as well.

Several readers have commented with some new products that they’ve had success with as well – take time to peruse them and see what’s right for you.

I’d like to take a moment to thank my husband, Chris as he has worked diligently to make me happy through this process. When I purchased the table, I thought I was checking a to do off my list & he has spent countless hours trying to make it right. I promise to resume to amazing recipes & home decor tomorrow, but hope you have found this helpful.

Have a great weekend!

Julie

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