Years ago when we only had 3 kiddos, we were gifted with our beloved kitchen table. At the time all we had was a little round four person table. We loved that table as it had been one of my famous curbside scores but, being that we had just had our third child, we were outgrowing it. A family friend was downsizing from a large home to a much smaller condo. She offered us a beautiful table and hutch in exchange for me painting her new table and chairs. It was the deal of a lifetime! I painted her new things and she gave us a beautiful 7 foot long, solid wood table, complete with a bench and 4 chairs. It seemed so massive to us and we never thought we'd fill it up!
Over the years, and 4 kids later our table has seen a lot of love and even more use. We have hosted many guests, many parties, and celebrated many holidays on this table. Though physically it is just as sturdy as it ever was, cosmetically it was showing its age. It was time for a face lift.
I knew the table would need to be sanded down completely and possibly stripped of its finish but, I had never tackled anything quite this large before. I really didn't want to mess it up! So like any good fixer upper would do, I Googled it. I read all about it, watched plenty of YouTube tutorials and decided I could definitely give it a go. The hubby and I made a trip to Home Depot and purchased everything I would need to get started.
If I was going to put in all the effort, I wanted to give it a new look in the process; kinda bring it up to date and more to my current style. I LOVE the farmhouse look. Always have. My home is very rustic chic and I wanted our table to match that. We decided on a dark walnut type stain in the color KONA. I also knew that I didn't want the finish to be shiny in any way. I wanted it to look as close to raw wood as possible. The big tall hubby suggested we do a matte poly finish. Finally I wanted the base of the table and bench to be white, so we chose a chalk paint in the color Linen White.
Before trying a stripper and all those heavy chemicals, I wanted to see if I could just simply sand the table myself. Luckily it worked amazingly and I didn't have to use anything but a little bit of elbow grease. I started with a 60 grit sandpaper until I could see bare wood only. Surprisingly, this was fairly easy.
Once the original finish was sanded off, I switched to 150 grit sand paper and did the entire table and bench with that to help smooth the surface. I used 220 grit for the final sanding, leaving a super soft surface ready to be stained. I used a Shop-Vac to get the bulk of the sawdust then lastly, I took an old t-shirt and mineral spirits and wiped down the whole table.
I then applied the stain using a new paint brush. After waiting 30 seconds, I wiped it clean using more of an old t-shirt. The stain said it worked in one coat and it certainly did. The color was beautiful and I was thrilled! After allowing the stain to dry for an hour, per the instructions, I applied the matte finish poly and let it dry. I decided on 3 coats of poly since our table sees a lot of action and I wanted it to hold up for many years to come. Between each coat of poly I let it dry for 2 hours and then very lightly sanded, by hand, using 220 grit sandpaper. I painted the base of the table and bench with the white chalk paint and the hubby and I put it all back together. I couldn't be happier! We now have an up to date, beautiful farmhouse table that is sure to last us many more year; so long as we don't outgrow it again! HA!
If you have something you have been wanting to give a face lift, I hope you will try it out. It really wasn't nearly as scary as it sounded. In fact the entire project was finished in a single day. The result was definitely worth the effort!