When we bought our house a few months ago there was this moment where we realized we had absolutely nothing to fill it. Our apartment was tiny, so we didn’t even have a table to eat at. We already knew we were going to buy ourselves a sectional and new bed, but, we just weren’t ready to have to buy all the other things that were necessary to fill a house.
Fortunately, we have friends who are generous and, frankly, far too good to us. One of our friends gave us his old table and six chairs. The table was too big for our space, but, the chairs were perfect for us. On move in day, our other good friend gave us his old dining room table. It was a brand new oak table that fit in our little nook perfectly. I loved everything about the table… except the color. Of course I was grateful for a perfect table, I just wanted to customize it to us a little more.
“Hey baby, I think I’m going to sand down that table and make it a little more butcher block in style.”
“Leanne, you’re not going to take a perfectly good table, sand it down, and re-stain it. We don’t know how to do that.”
“Well, how hard could it be?”
Oh, poor, poor Mark. Always so earnestly concerned when the Type B side of Leanne surfaces and proposes a ludicrous idea. Fortunately, while I didn’t necessarily know what I was doing, I had an idea of how to do it.
Before we move forward, I apologize for the bad iPhone pictures used in this post. I wasn’t intending to use these pictures for anything other than a reference for what it used to look like *incase* things didn’t go as planned. However, after many compliments and disbelief that “it’s the same table” I thought “eh, why not share it with the 4 people who read this!” So, here we are.
Full disclosure; I 100% do not believe that I am an “expert” in this topic. I just believe that if you find a piece of furniture that is ::almost:: perfect you should have the belief in yourself that you can change it fit your style with a simple vision and a few affordable products.
What You’ll Need:
- Rust-Oleum Spray Paint, Chalked. We used the “Aged Gray” color for this table since it matched the backslash of our kitchen perfectly. We also have the Linen White, and the Coral Blue that we’ve used on other projects
- Black and Decker Sander. I did minimal research when looking for a sander. I just compared the lowest price ones and bought the one with better reviews. Having used this little powerhouse on multiple projects I can say this is AMAZING. It comes with sanding paper, and, a little bag that traps most of the dust. The best $24 I’ve ever spent.
- Wood Finish in a Spray Paint Form. Here’s the thing, I’m not a ::neat:: painter. I lose patience quickly but for some reason I love spray painting things. I think it’s the easy motion and how evenly everything forms, even for an amateur like me. If this is your first time staining something I would definitely suggest using this product. No drip, even distribution, and beautiful coloring.
- Rust-Oleum Polyurethane Spray. Sticking with my theme of loving “spray” this polyurethane brought life to the wood finish without being too shiny.
- Convince your husband it’s a good idea.
- Take legs off the table, move the tabletop to an open space (make sure to put something down to catch the paint. An old sheet, garbage bags, ya know, whatever.)
- In our case, we had to tape the bottom before staining since the two-tone look we were looking for meant there was a possibility for a cross painting mishap. (I don’t even know if that makes sense. Once again, not an expert, just a recent home-owner who likes DIY projects)
- Sand down the table top evenly. As corny as this sounds, let the sander do the moving. Apply a bit of pressure, go with the grain of the wood, and move evenly across the surface. Especially on the edges.
- Wipe the dust off the top with a wet rag and while the top is drying, move to the legs.
- Make sure the legs are upright and easy to walk around so the paint doesn’t smudge. We sprayed two sides at a time, waited a minute, and rotated. This spray does dry very quickly. Use the chalk spray of your choice and evenly spray the legs. DON’T stand too close or else you’ll get drips, and that’s just not easy to fix. But, if you do drip, just wipe it, and move back a step before spraying again. Ours took two coats and we didn’t sand it down.
- While the legs are drying, begin spraying the table top with your choice of wood finish. Again, move your hand evenly above the surface, stand above the table at a good distance so you don’t drip, and watch as the table transforms. Here’s Mark spraying the table (as the project progressed, Mark became more and more into it. Man, I love that guy.)
8. Let everything dry for about 3 hours, then, go back, and spray the top with polyurethane. Let that dry over night. Observe and analyze your work the next morning. If you need to touch it up, go for it. If not, bring it inside, put the legs back on, and enjoy your beautiful new table.
And, there you have it. Not as scary as you thought, right? Our table is usually staged everyday (it’s currently staged for Christmas) but I wanted you to see it without any distractions. It also comfortably sits 6. If you have any suggestions on area rugs for that space, HMU, okay?
Still to come; the great story behind that sign and why it sits there.