In China, the concept of color is a little different, particularly when dealing with household items. I spent half an hour arguing with the men who delivered carpet to our first apartment because we had ordered tan and what they brought was gray. They insisted it was the same color. Later, we ordered dark forest green couches and they came a lovely bright grass green. Again, we were told essentially, "same same." The worst was when I chose chocolate brown curtains and what arrived at my house was, well, what would you call the color of what comes out of a baby the first few weeks? Yeah, that. And I was told, "sometimes the color is a little bit different."
So I shouldn't have been surprised when I asked for a coffee table to be made to match this lovely antique piece:
And what I got was this traffic sign yellow table:
But honestly, this seemed like a fun challenge to me and truth be told I'm kind of bored these days so I went to work sanding off the brightness. I did it once already, but it was still pretty bright, so here's attempt #2:
I'm not sure if I'm quite done (well, I haven't sealed it so I know I'm not) or if I might try to even out the color on top, but at least it isn't stopping traffic anymore. Now useless note to self: be more specific when describing colors to Chinese workers.