Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Evolution Of A Table

I recently refinished my dining room table.  I bought it a few years ago from a garage sale.  It's massive and I love the oval shape of the table and the square, tapered legs.  When we first moved into the house, I painted the entire thing white.  And then I was on the hunt for mismatched chairs.  I finally gathered six suitable ones after some focused thrifting and then painted them all a neutral grey.  I was quite happy with the outcome for quite awhile, but the tabletop had crackled some when I had painted it and wasn't holding up well.  Especially because a certain little tyke loved to do art projects on the table and there were always marker/paint/pencil/crayon marks smeared across it.  One day I got tired of it, decided I was ready for a change, and ran to the store for supplies.  I wanted to strip the table top and stain it, leaving the legs white.  I thought it would add a bit of warmth to the room.

*May 2010

*Ocotober 2011

I decided I would refinish the table indoors because it is huuuuge and heavy.  The weather was beautiful so I opened all of the doors and windows on the main floor and plugged in a few fans for some nice air circulation/ventilation.  I also threw a piece of plastic under the table and on the floor.  I wasn't too worried about the tile though.  Next I applied Paint Stripper to the table top only and followed the directions.  I bought the low fume version as I was indoors. Then I let the paint bubble off and scraped it away (using my heavy duty gloves).  It took a few coats and I finally realized that things moved much quicker when I applied large quantities of the Stripper to the paint.  I ended up running to the store for more. This was the hardest part by far.  Stripping the paint took a lot of elbow grease and patience.  The detail around the edge of the table was definitely time-consuming and stress-inducing.  I found that steel wool, mineral spirits and a toothpick worked wonders (along with a lot of deep breaths and self-motivation).  

Once the back-breaking-paint-removal portion (and cleanup) was finished, I moved on to sanding.  I made sure to sand every last bit of paint off,  plus the old varnish underneath to reveal the raw wood.  Then I wiped everything down really well to remove any loose sawdust.  

I then stained the top with Minwax Special Walnut and applied a Satin Polyurethane to protect the finish.  I didn't want a thick, heavy gloss...just a touch of sheen.  I also think a finishing wax would have worked as well.  After that, my mismatched grey chairs did NOT look right.  So that meant I needed new chairs.  Ha.   I scoured Craigslist for chairs and finally found four X-back Ballard Design chairs for a great deal.  They were already a beautiful cream and in perfect condition, so I repainted two chairs from the kitchen cream for the ends and my table (and my dream) was complete.  Although I still need to touch up the table legs.  It's never ending.

I just love how furniture/homes and decor are always evolving to fit needs, styles or life-changes.  It keeps things interesting.

Next up: I want to add open shelving in the dining room to house my milk glass collection


  1. GOOD. NESS!!! You know what I do? I just D.I. it and buy new! LOL! That's how talented in the furniture reviving industry I am. :~P

  2. That looks great! I need you to come do my table next, I also have a white table with so many marker, crayon marks on it, it desperately needs to be redone.

  3. The comment above is from me but I guess I was signed into my husband's google account. - Leslie

    1. Ha. Thanks Leslie! I'll definitely come help. It's fun to see the transformation. :)

  4. Looks awesome! I love the X back chairs too! Good job!

  5. I don't like reading your blog. It reminds me of everything were missing out on together....I'll never be happy will I?


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