the green alligator farmhouse table.

Before I get on with today’s post about the Green Alligator farmhouse table, two things.  First, the Vintage Holiday magazine with the article about my vintage Christmas ornaments is on stands now!

I was so excited to see my name in print for the very first time!

But in addition to my feature, the magazine is jam packed with great vintage holiday decor including an article featuring Pam Kessler from House of Hawthornes (if you aren’t familiar with Pam, you should check her out).  If you want to pick up a copy, I’m told they can be found at Target and Barnes & Noble.  If you’re a local, I found my copies at Cub Foods.  I picked up a couple of extra copies and plan to have a giveaway later this month, so stay tuned for that.

Second, I have to report that my ‘product differentiation‘ really paid off.  I sold my sleigh bed yesterday afternoon.  So, just over 24 hours!  Possibly a new record.  I truly believe it was the paint that made the difference, don’t you?

And now, on with today’s regularly scheduled post …

A while back I mixed a custom color that I called Blue Alligator.  Not because blue alligators are a real thing, but because the surface of the piece I was painting was ‘alligatored’ and the color was a pretty blue-green.  I found a lot of conflicting information on the web about what causes an alligatored finish and I don’t want to contribute to that further by pretending like I’m an expert.  All I know is that sometimes the finish on old pieces will crack and separate leaving a bumpy surface similar to that of an alligator’s hide.

Well … anyway … I really loved the color I mixed for that dresser which was a combination of Miss Mustard Seed’s Kitchen Scale, Homestead House Upper Canada Green and Loyalist.

So I knew I wanted to use this color on something I was keeping for myself someday.

Flash forward to a week or so ago when Mr. Q and I brought home this drop leaf table.

Technically, that’s not a true ‘before’ photo.  I’d already removed the leaves and added new casters.  I’ve done a few of these tables over the past several years (here, here and here).  I’ve kept two of them for use in my own home.  One is being used as the desk in my Q branch, and the other is now being used as a desk in Mr. Q’s study.  The one that Mr. Q is using used to be on my front porch.

I found it so handy to have it in that spot because it made the perfect surface for close up photos for the blog, like this one …

But it was easy to move out of the way when I wanted to take a photo of something larger, like a piece of furniture, in that spot.

So after Mr. Q commandeered that table for his study I quickly realized how much I missed it and started looking for another.  I find that tables like this are fairly common in my area, but prices for them on Craigslist can be all over the place.  I was holding out for a bargain.  When I saw the ad for this one at $25, and only 15 minutes away, I jumped on it.

After I got it home I started by removing those leaves.  I’ve already turned one of them into a sign, and I’ll do the same with the other.  And as I mentioned, I added some new casters to the legs.  As much as I love the look of old metal or wood casters, I will be rolling this table in and out of position frequently.  And I have a painted floor on my porch.  So I decided it would be wise to add new rubber casters to this one to save my floor.

Next I stripped the finish off the top of the table and then waxed it with Homestead House white wax.

Qtip of the day:  when using white wax on bare wood you need to decide how much white you want to see before you start.  Full strength white wax on bare wood will leave obvious white areas in the grain.  If you want a more subtle look you can either wax first with clear wax and then add white wax over that, or mix some white and clear wax together to get a ‘reduced strength’ white wax.  For this table top I started with one coat of mixed wax, and then followed up with a 2nd coat of straight up white wax.  White wax will be easier to blend over a base coat of clear or mixed wax rather than on bare wood.

This particular tabletop had some black spots.  Had I planned to sell this piece I would have probably opted to go with dark wax on the top.  But since I’m keeping it, and I wanted a lighter surface for taking photos on, I just chose to ignore them.

My next step was to mix up some Blue Alligator milk paint based on my recipe.  That’s when I discovered that I didn’t have much Miss Mustard Seed Kitchen Scale paint left.  So my ratio this time was a bit off.  I used a little more Upper Canada Green and a little less Kitchen Scale.  The resulting color is just a bit more green than the Blue Alligator.  Thus, I give you, Green Alligator!

Fortunately, I love this color just as much as the Blue Alligator.

Possibly even just a little bit more.

I used clear wax as my top coat over the paint which darkened up the color just a tad.

By the way, I took all of these pictures on a rather gloomy day so you can see why I love this spot for photos.  I get great light here even on the most dismal days.  With November and December just around the corner, I know I’ll be using this spot a lot in the next couple of months.  Since this porch isn’t heated it can get pretty chilly mid-winter, but you’ll still find me out there taking photos even when I can see my breath in the air.

The chalkboard is made out of the framed mirror from a dresser Mr. Q picked up the other day.  You’ll see more of that dresser and it’s mirror harp soon, but in the meantime I whipped up this chalkboard.

I simply removed the back panel, took out the mirror, flipped the panel over to its smooth side, painted it with black Rustoleum chalkboard paint, and reattached it.  Easy peasy.

I freshened up the wood frame with a little of Miss Mustard Seed’s hemp oil.

It wasn’t until I was editing the photos for this post that I remembered that I had planned to embellish the frame with an old metal number plate, so I added it quickly and took one more photo.

It’s a small detail, but I love the small details, don’t you?


40 thoughts on “the green alligator farmhouse table.

  1. Congratulations on your feature, so happy for you! Can’t wait to get my copy 🙂 I’m sure it’s the first of many. Love your green alligator table. I’m a big fan of casters too!


    1. Those casters are going to save me lots of lifting of that table. I added casters to another piece at my house too, I’m hoping to share a post about that one later …


  2. I am headed to Target to find my own copy. Congrats! I love the table and that it is a bit more green than blue. And I love casters – where did you pick those up?


    1. The casters are just basic new casters from Menards (our local big box DIY store, similar to a Home Depot). I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for them, but under $10.


      1. Hey forgot to mention I love the chalkboard as well particularly the piece you added on top of the frame just makes it!


      2. Thanks Victoria. I have a stash of random embellishments like that metal number plate and I often forget about them. They add a nice little finishing touch when I remember them tho!


  3. The table turned out great. I like the color and I like the light wood top. Your magazine article is exciting. I’ll have to pick up a copy. I love those Christmas issues.


  4. Wow. The bed sold quickly and yes it was because you painted it black! I will look for your magazine when I am out and about, that’s great. And the table turned out great, I love old drop leaf tables. The color is perfect ( except that song by the Irish singers, ‘they’ll be green alligators and long necked geese, some humpty back camels and some chimpanzees’ is now in my head)


  5. Congratulations on being featured in Vintage Holiday..can’t wait to pick it up. I love the little table…it’s all about the legs for me and painting them makes those curves pop and that is a nice vintage green color.


  6. Congrats on the article about your “non-collection” of lovely old ornaments! Taking an old table and altering it to make it totally functional in the home is such a great way to create a unique piece. I like the softness of the white wax tabletop with your custom green, a fresh contrast to a wood top.


    1. LOL, yes, I tried to impress upon the magazine that I am a ‘non-collector’ but I’m not sure it came across in the article 😉 Your comments are always so beautifully written Kim, thanks for that lovely compliment!


      1. I neglected to mention that I have passed up pieces that were “aligatored,” but now see how that annoying finish can actually be transformed into a very interesting bit of personality in the piece. Thanks for the compliment!


      2. Oh yes Kim! The next time you see an ‘alligator’, don’t past it up. Milk paint especially brings out the texture in the finish and I think it looks amazing. And you’re welcome 😉


  7. Congratulations on your first magazine feature! I can’t wait to see it. I love the color of the table and the information on the wax. I am always learning something new from you. Thank you!


    1. Thanks Susan. I often mention that I have an unfortunate tendency to learn things the hard way myself (by making mistakes), so I’m always glad when I can save others from that same fate.


  8. Got my magazine and was really happy to see your article leading off the whole magazine! I got mine at County Market in Hudson, WI. Your pictures are every bit as great as the others in the magazine…if not better. Loved the little pages from an old book, nesting the ornaments…photography was great on those. Now that you are published, maybe you can show your furniture work to some other magazines! Oh, and love the alligator green as well…you just have the knack for color.


  9. Beautiful as always. Hadn’t thought about removing the leaves from a drop leaf. In fact thought at first you were referring to removing tree leaves! What a great idea. Loved the re-do of your sleigh bed, but love your new headboard even more. Is it an antique you painted?


    1. Yes, my new bed is an antique full sized headboard that I converted to a queen, and I painted it in black milk paint. And I love it way more than my old sleigh bed 😉


  10. Love your alligator green table!
    Congratz on being published in a magazine.
    I’m in SC and not sure where I might find a copy but I’ll look!


  11. Love the new been alligator color. I also like the top too! Might just have to pick up a copy of the magazine. I liked a lot of the articles in it when I read your copy ir should I say glanced through it. The number on the top of the new chalk does add some character to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love the color! I am a green fan. I just painted a LBD last week and put a little number plate on the top drawer. I do love the details! They add just the right touch. The table is perfect.


  13. I bought the magazine and enjoyed reading the feature (actually it was more drooling than reading for me). I have passed up a few of these tables because of the drop leafs, but now I’ll be scouting them out and following your lead. Thanks as always for so much inspiration.


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