Hi guys! I’m excited to FINALLY share my experience of finishing my dining table. Hopefully you will leave this post with some tips and takeaways for when you attempt to tackle your table!
First, let’s show the before and after pictures because the after is just so stunning.
I’ve gotta say, I’m in LOVE with my new table. It absolutely brightens the room, and the dark top makes it appear a little smaller which works perfectly considering I live in an apartment.
Now you’ve seen that it CAN be done, you’re confident. “I can conquer this in a weekend!” you cheer. And I encourage you, if you’re up for the challenge, it’s truly rewarding in the end. Just know, this project ended up taking a few weeks for me to completely finish, 5 stops to Home Depot, and a couple bottles of wine to keep me sane. Was it worth it? TOTALLY! Like I said, I’m in love and I never thought I could love a table this much. But you’ve gotta put in the effort and do your homework. Otherwise you’ll end up frustrated and put off using your table for a few weeks like me. 🙂
To begin this DIY, let’s check out how my table looked beforehand. Granted, this is a beautiful, solid table that I bought second-hand from someone in the Facebook Marketplace for $150 and even they told me it needed some TLC.
As you can see, it was pretty banged up, but nothing some liquid sander couldn’t get out.
To tackle this project, I used:
- Krud Kutter Liquid Deglosser (This is for priming the base and the chairs for your paint)
- Klean Strip Liquid Wood Refinisher (This helps you strip the tabletop much more quickly than sanding by hand. An electric sander can be used in replacement of this)
- Latex Gloves
- Minwax stain in Ebony
- Minwax Polycrylic Top Coat
- Plastic Drop Cloth
- Tac Cloths
- Microfiber Cloths
- About 4 Paintbrushes (one for refinisher, one for the stain, one for poly, and one for paint)
- Disposable Filter Masks
- 1 can of Rustoleum Ultra Matte Chalk Paint in Linen White
- 4 cans of Rustoleum Ultra Matte Chalk Spray Paint in Linen White
- 2 fine sanding blocks
- 4 ultra fine sanding sheets
- A metal bucket for the refinisher
- A scraper for the refinisher
- Phillips head screwdriver to pop your cushions out.
- Wine. Your favorite kind. 🙂
Like I said, this project is involved and it’s not necessarily inexpensive. However; I got an estimate from a local business that would refinish the table for $150 and the chairs for 50$ each- totaling $450. To some, it might be better to shop around. For others that like a challenge and the satisfaction of doing it yourself, it IS possible and a little less expensive. 🙂
**Make sure you are doing this project in a well ventilated area. The various fumes of the products listed above can be harmful if inhaled too long**
Here are the steps I used to refinish this baby:
- Put down your drop cloth. Don’t be like me and wait until you drop something on the floor before you rip this bad boy out of its package.
- Put on your gloves. 🙂
- Take a microfiber cloth and rub your table with the Krud Kutter deglosser. This not only deglosses the surface, but it also does a fine job of cleaning of crayon, marker, dirt, dust and whatever else lurks on your table’s surface. Give your deglosser about 10 minutes to kick in, and follow the instructions on the bottle.
- Follow the instructions on the container of the refinisher and apply to a small area of your table. Each brand has varied instructions. You’ll want to make sure it sits long enough to pull up the stain and top coat, but not long enough to completely dry.
- Use your scraper and bucket to scrape off the goop and discard. Do this process to the whole table until you reach the desired results. The stain and top coats should be permeated at this point and removed so that you’ll be able to stain the wood with a new color.
- Use your sanding block to sand the table surface down to a smooth consistency.
- Use your tac cloth to get rid of any of the wood grit from the table.
- Use the fine grit sanding paper/block to sand the table surface smooth.
- Use your tac cloth again to get rid of the wood grit.
- At this point you should be able to stain your table!
Use a microfiber cloth and a little bit of your stain and rub your table with the grain. Try a small area of the table first to make sure the stain takes to the wood. If it just comes off without staining the table, it means you haven’t sanded it down enough. Also be on the look out for sneaky kitties who jump on the table while you’re taking a breather! 🙂
- Let the stain dry and then use a fine grit sand paper to sand it down.
- Use the tac cloth to remove the wood grit.
- Repeat these three steps until your table is the desired color.
I scuffed it up a bit at the end and left some kitty prints to give it some character. 🙂
- Once you are done staining your table, you must brush on the Mixwax polycrylic topcoat. If you get the one that I used in the link above, it finishes so clear and without brush strokes. It had low fumes and was super easy to use. Brush on a coat and then sand with fine sand paper.
Repeat 3-4 times. Do not sand the final layer.
- Congratulations, you have just refinished your tabletop!
To complete the bottom of the table:
- Prep your surface with liquid deglosser and let dry.
- Paint all of the visible crevices of the table base with your Rustoleum Chalk Paint and paintbrush.
- Let dry and paint a second coat.
- Voila! Your table is donezo!
To complete painting the chairs:
**You can either handpaint all of the chairs, or use spray paint. Each chair took me 1.5 cans of Rustoleum Chalk Spray paint, but it also saved me a lot of time and headache. It’s really up to you. I hand painted two and spray painted the rest.**
- Unscrew the cushions from the chairs and set aside.
- With your microfiber cloth, you guessed it! Rub on some deglosser to clean and prep the surface of the chairs.
- With either your paint and paint brush or your spray paint, paint the chairs and let dry.
- I finished mine with two coats and they looked lovely.
While your cushions are off, you can also recover them like I did since my old fabric didn’t work with the newly painted white chairs.
I will do a separate post on how to recover chairs and link back to this one.
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.
Happy fun with this DIY and don’t forget the wine! 🙂