It’s so funny. A month ago, we were eating off the coffee table in front of the TV because the dining room table that Chris built was not quite done (the top needed to be bolted down and we were waiting for the polyurethane to finish curing). The kitchen table was also MIA. We had sanded down the top and it was sitting in the garage waiting for its new finish.
Now, we have not one, but TWO newly finished tables. I am kind of in heaven.
This oak table was passed down to us from Chris’ parents. Honestly, I’ve always loved it, even in the original finish. But after having it for a while in the kitchen with the honey oak floors, it was just looking too oaky. I wanted to have an airier, lighter feel in the breakfast nook.
It started out like this. Pretty typical oak furniture from the 70s. Solid oak top, solid oak pedestal. The only thing not solid wood was the apron around the tabletop, which was plywood with veneer.
I held out for a long time because I felt it was a shame to paint solid wood, but I eventually decided to go for it. Life is too short to hold on to something that isn’t working. The color just wasn’t my favorite. I also knew it wasn’t worth much because I’ve seen almost identical dining sets on Craigslist for $100.
I waffled back and forth on the finish I wanted. Originally I was thinking of doing the whole thing in white paint, but we were worried that a painted finish on the top wouldn’t hold up as well as a stained one, so we decided to sand down and refinish the top.
It was so awesome that the tabletop was solid wood because we were able to sand the heck out of that thing! We rounded the lip of the top and sanded the whole thing down to raw wood with the belt sander. A belt sander is a powerful tool. There was still a tiny bit of stain stuck down deep in the grain but it just turned out to add extra dimension to the finish.
I used one of Minwax’s new colors, Weathered Oak. It’s a slightly grayish oak stain, not as yellow as before. Finished it with 3 coats of Varathane oil-based polyurethane in satin for a strong finish.
On the apron and pedestal I brushed on two coats of Zinsser oil-based Cover Stain Primer. I needed something really stain-blocking to keep the old finish from bleeding through. Then one coat of Behr’s Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel. I can’t remember the color but it is very close to white (Update: The color is Rushmore Stone). It probably could use another coat of the enamel but that’s a job for another day. The Behr Alkyd Enamel went on super smooth and is not tacky at all, which I love.
As you can see this table is meant to be pulled apart and there are a couple extra leaves that can be inserted. However, we’re only really going to use it as a round table since it’s in the little breakfast nook. And now we have the new dining room table if we need more room.
I was thinking of painting the chairs too, but now that the table is painted, I kind of like the darker wood finish in contrast. What do you think? I’ll leave them as is for now until I decide what to do with them. I am not a huge fan of the shabby chic look and in every picture I’ve seen of those pressed-back spindle chairs painted, they are distressed and too shabby for me.
Oh yes, the table is sitting on cut-up Trader Joe’s bags because I don’t want the paint to stick to the floor. It probably wouldn’t (the alkyd isn’t tacky) but just in case. I’m going to get felt feet for it one of these days.
This weekend I’m planning to tidy up around the house and decorate for fall. Then maybe I can show you some full room pics, haha.
Have a great weekend!
Linking up at TatertotsandJello, MissMustardSeed, TheShabbyCreekCottage, DomesticallySpeaking, Remodelaholic