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dining table refinish project

Kitchen Table: After

Another interesting find for the house! We scouted out this dining table, and although the finish of the tabletop was in bad shape and the legs were painted a questionable hunter green color, we knew it had potential. See that middle section? It’s a hidden built-in extension that pops up and folds out so the table can seat 6. Score! We actually have a similarly-designed table in our own house that I’ve been wanting to overhaul, so this one was good practice and an interesting experiment.

But, as usual, I was too excited to get started and forgot to take the “before” pics. I feel like nothing stays in the Hideaway for more than a day before I enlist John to help me drag it out to the carport for some TLC! So here’s the table a few minutes into the initial sanding process:

Both the tabletop finish and the paint needed some serious sprucing up. Since I knew I was going to paint over the legs, I just lightly hand-sanded them to even out any dents or scratches, and to rough up the surface a bit. As for the top, I attacked that sucker with an electric sander (we use a Black & Decker that we picked up at Home Depot), starting with 60-grit and working up to 180. I thought removing the finish was going to be a piece of cake since it looked so worn, but it would just. not. come. off! By the end of the afternoon I was COVERED in sanding dust and looked like a bag of flour had exploded on me. Fun.

Here’s a cigar-sized burn that was driving me nuts. Every time I ran over it with the sander, more of it came off, but I could never manage to get to the bottom. This thing was deep! John and I agreed that with the dark walnut stain I was planning to use on the tabletop, the burn would just look like a cool knot in the wood and add some character. So some of it stayed:

After everything was sanded, smoothed and cleaned, I got to work on staining the tabletop. I started with a coat of Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to ensure even application of the stain. After letting that dry for a few minutes, I applied an even coat of Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut. It’s oil-based, so it smells awful and needs to be cleaned up with mineral spirits, but we’ve had great results with it in the past and I wasn’t feeling like experimenting TOO much with this table. After 20 minutes, we wiped off the excess with a rag and voila! The color was even deeper than we’d been expecting, and we loved it. 2 coats of satin polyurethane, with plenty of dry time and a light sanding in between, and this was the result:

Kitchen Table: After

Shiny! Love it. As for the legs, I primed them with my trusty Zinsser BIN primer and painted them with 3 coats of my favorite barely-off-white color, Behr Swiss Coffee. It’s an off-the-shelf color and is just right for the bright, airy, coastal look we’ve been going for at the Hideaway.

I’m loving the results of this project! I hadn’t worked with stain in a while, since we’d been encountering so much laminate furniture lately, so it was nice to get to break out something different. The color looks gorgeous and I just love the hidden extension panel…super functional and still allows the table to fit nicely in the space. A perfect dining table for our vacation rental!

Linked up at Be Different, Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, The DIY Showoff and Thrifty 101

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3 Comments Post a comment
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    May 24, 2011
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    April 1, 2014

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