Redone Dining Room Table

Hello! Good morning!  I feel like this blog post needs a little fanfare and trumpets!  I redid my dining room table!  I know!  Every sentence in this paragraph is punctuated by an exclamation point so you know this one is good!  I'm going to show you the finished product right now because no one can wait!

Calming down ... this was another one of those why didn't I do this sooner, this completely changed the look of the room with very little time and money things.  My dining room table is about 10 years old.  The original chairs are long gone, but I really do like the size and design of the table itself.  It has a leaf, which I keep in it all the time, and a farmhouse-table kind of look.  The thing I do not like about it was the finish, as seen in this older picture:

In fact, I've never liked the finish.  It was a compromise on my part and it's just never been my taste at all and ended up being, well, compromising.  Every time I looked at it I would instantly think "gah - red wood - don't like - gah".  So now's the time to fix it.  

I was inspired by an Ethan Allen table.  I loved the two tone - the distressed wood top and the white legs.  It really got my heart racing.

My initial plan was to strip the top, stain it a weathered oak, and then poly the top.  Then once the top was done, I'd paint the legs white.  Things, as usual, did not quite go according to plan.

I started off with the stripper (that's what she said).  I used Citristrip and followed the package instructions.  I let it sit for about 45 minutes and then stripped off the varnish with the little stripper bucket tools.

I ended up having to do two coats of the Citristrip.  Once that was done, I used an orbital sander (on loan from Bill - thanks Bill!) to strip off the rest of the finish.  The sides were very tricky.  For whatever reason, they were coated in some really funky stuff that was impossible to get off. I finally was able to strip them nice and smooth by using mineral spirits applied with steel wool.

I did not enjoy this process.  It was messy and disgusting and tedious and difficult. But once I was done, it looked pretty darn beautiful.

Even with the red legs, I was pleased with the top.   So, a few days later, it was time to tackle the finish on top.  I used one final swipe of really fine sandpaper and then used some tack cloth to get the top super clean.  And then I applied my stain: Minwax's Weathered Oak finish.  I was so excited and applied a kind of small spot and then ... THE TABLE TOP TURNED RED AGAIN.   The table top turned red.  Again.  I said some really bad words and may have thrown the stain rag down hard and then said more bad words.  It was pretty clear that stain wasn't going to work, and any stain applied to the top would just bring out that red wood.  So ... I sanded again and got all of the new stain off.

I needed to make the finish more grey in order to get the distressed l wanted.  I decided to try a liming wax for the finish, which was the perfect distressed wood look that I had in mind.  I saw the finish on I Heart Organizing, which is a blog that I follow and loooooooove, and I figured I would use that same product on the table and it just might work.   It did!  The liming wax made the finish more grey and muted.  It was a bit too grey and too muted, but I knew as soon as I applied the Poly, it would be the exact look I wanted.  And it was!

Once the wax was done, I applied my Polycrilic to seal.  I used a satin finish for a more matte look.  It took four coats, which I thought was a good call given the use the table would get.  While I did that, I started the legs.  I got out my oil based primer and brushed on two coats over the legs.

Once the primer was dry, we added two coats of white latex.  I went with my favorite Dover White (Sherwin Williams) that I often use.  Once the paint was dry, I added  two coats of Poly to them to protect.

And here she is!

Yes and yay and all of those things!  I'll add a natural fiber rug under the table soon - something like a jute or a sisal.  I want to break up the [horrible] grey carpet and make the room look more neutral.  And I would love new chairs, but that's not in the budget.  However, recovering the current chairs *is* in the budget.  Now I just need an excuse to host a fun, yummy dinner party to break in the space!  hmmmmm.

See you swoon,


  1. Wow Shanna! Looks amazing! What a transformation!! Love it!

  2. wow! nice room furniture. i like this furniture. Big thanks to you for sharing such great information. Read more

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