Tuesday, August 27, 2013

DIY Kitchen Table Refresh

Our dining table was an awesome find....in my parents basement.  They have had this oak table since they were first married and I knew it would be the perfect size for our small breakfast nook.  My mom painted the table black a few years back, but I wanted to strip off the paint to expose the wood.  Here is the before, please excuse the terrible iphone picture...I really need to remember to take better "before" photos!

I really was hoping I could achieve a worn wood look like this table from Restoration Hardware.

Enter paint stripper.

I have used this a handful of times before.  Just follow the directions on the back, slather it on and scrape off as much gunk as possible.  It helps to use a wire brush to get into the hard to reach spaces.  Also, make sure you wear thick rubber gloves!!  Some of the paint can be more stubborn and is really difficult to remove, here is a progress shot.  (Notice how orange the original oak color was...would have gone perfectly with my original garage chair find!)

Once the majority of the paint had been removed, I broke out the sander to buff the remaining paint off any hard to reach areas.  

I didn't bother to get every single bit of paint off (you can see it shows in the darker areas, but I figured when the stain was on it would give the table more depth). Even though I liked the rough unfinished look that was unfolding, I wanted the end result to be more of a gray color.  For the stain, I chose this Varathane Weathered Gray.  

I tested it out on a piece of wood we had in the garage, and it was too dark at first.  I messed around with combining some white paint and diluting the solution with water so it was a very thin gray-wash like consistency.  Once I had the desired color I wanted, just brushed it on, wiped the excess off with a rag, and let it dry.  After everything was set, I painted on 3 coats of poly (and didn't even bother to sand between coats).


In the end, my concoction of stain & paint worked out pretty well.  I wanted that aged wood look that would still be sealed and strong enough to handle a typical toddler mess! The best part is, since the table was free and I already had most of the materials in our garage the total cost for this table was for one can of stain!  Here is the table with the newly painted & stained chairs.

Now I just need to get some art for that back wall..... Have a great Tuesday :)


  1. Just lovely! I'm working with that same stain on antique doors I've been stripping. I love how it works under a medium brown, (I'm using Minwax Provincal and Jacobean) to create a wonderful, rich, weathered look.

    I hope you invest in some Citristrip of Soygel in the future. No one needs to work with flesh-eating chemicals in a space suit, nor actually WORK to remove old paint. Just put this stuff on and LEAVE IT ALONE. Go to work. Go to bed. Doesn't matter. You will be astonished. I'd do ads for them if they'd let me!

    Anyway, I think you did the perfect finish. Not to stripy, not to solid, just enough to show this gorgeous grain. Your chairs look great with it.


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