Yay for today! I have waited so long. Like, a really long time, to refinish our dining room table and now it’s done.
Over the summer I finally got clearance to take on this project from my sweet husband. Now to clarify, my handsome man isn’t particular about much when it comes to me switching stuff around and redecorating but our dining room table was a gift from his parents and he didn’t want me touching it for the longest time. Thanks to 2 kids and their love of milk at every meal, and crafting with permanent markers and glue, the table was finally deemed beat up enough for a makeover. Here are a few shots of it before.
I mostly covered it up for pictures. It was perfectly fine from afar but mostly I wanted something a little less shiny and a little more casual. My goal too, was to have something that looked more like my favorite piece of furniture in the whole house maybe even the world. This $40 craigslist gem:
Now that it’s not a million degrees out, I borrowed a card table to be a stand in, had Joel help me get the table into the garage and set to work refinishing it.*this post contains affiliate links for your convenience*
I worked in smaller sections, poured on the stripper and spread it around evenly with the paint brush. You have to make sure it’s on there thick enough so that it wont dry while you’re waiting for it to soak into the finish. The container will say how long to leave it. This one said 15 minutes. The longer you leave it (and it doesn’t dry out) the easier it is to scrape off the finish.
It was a good amount of work to get this table stripped. It’s an Ethan Allen table and was done really well so it wasn’t easy to undo. For that reason, I made sure to let the stripper soak in as long as I could.
I put the peeled up finish into a plastic bag as I worked.
You can also use the peels and move them over to a section that needs to soak longer. The peel still has the wet chemical on it. Might as well reuse while you can.
Because I use the thicker stripper, I just painted the legs and the sides of the table in the same way to get the finish off of them.
After the table was completely bare, I sanded it really well. First using a coarse sand paper (a 100 grit) and then using a finer grit (250) to make sure that the surface didn’t have any sanding lines in it. Make sure you sand with the direction of the grain of your furniture. If not, it’s noticeable.
Again I worked in sections at a time so that it wasn’t drying to quickly and wouldn’t look streaky. With stain, the more you put on, the darker the piece could be. I spread the stain kind of thin so that it wouldn’t get too dark.
I used a new brush and painted it on with the grain of the wood. You want to apply this stuff liberally, brush it where it needs to go and then leave it alone. The longer you mess with it, the more brush strokes you’ll get. Also, if you put it on too thin you’ll get brush strokes but, if you put it on too thick it won’t dry well.
I came back through and lightly sanded the finish after it dried, then gave it a second coat.
I didn’t plan on this part but to finish the table off, I used the same product, Minwax polycrylic in satin but the spray paint version. I would not have sealed the table like this from the start. I’m glad I used the paint because I feel like it insures a better, thicker coating but the spray over the top assured that I wouldn’t see any brush strokes in the finish. It worked and I am so happy with the finished product.
You can see the sheen is so subtle. I’m so happy with the change. Our big kid, however, saw it and said, “it looks exactly the same….”
I really don’t care if nobody notices the difference. I LOVE IT! Also, Joel thinks I did a good job. I had to do a good job so he’d keep trusting me with his prized possessions….I mean, besides his kids..
Do you notice the other thing that changed?
I made this quick wall hanging out of a thrifted blanket and some dye. I’ll share details on that later but anything else?
We got new chairs!! The Novogratz sent us these ‘campbell’ dining chairs! They are the exact right amount of modern in this eclectic space and I love them. They’re metal and are easily wipe-able when the girls get their grimy, syrup hands on them. I love that they’re low so that don’t take away from any thing else in the room.
There you have it! Our dining room makeover. I’m so happy with how the table turned out. It took almost a week when things were said and done but it was well worth eating on a wobbly table for that amount of time.
Shop the room from the pictures below: