So, here we have a dining table, a nice orange color wood dining table. I bought this as part of a set, I really just wanted the six chairs that came with it but the guy wouldn’t break up the set so I figured I would buy it all, redo the chairs for my dining set and resell the table. Then I got to thinking, well no one’s going to want to buy this by itself, it’s not even nice, and so the process of making it nice began. As it turned out, it not only gave me a ton of practical experience with refurbishing wood rather than painting over it, but also was a great way to get to know new neighbors here on base, as my now friend Christie, decided she needed a dining table, and needed it in time for family arriving two weeks later for Thanks Giving. This post will explain how this table got made over from ‘ugly duckling’ to ‘fit for a queen’.
As this was my first attempt at restoring wood I did some research (good ol’ Pinterest of course), I then went and bought an electric Sander, and thank the stars I did, this thing took nearly a week of sanding in between work and real life with the new sander, without it I think I would still be working on it and I’d also have arms like an Olympic Weightlifter! One big thing I learned from this sanding process was to not let hubby get involved, I was happily taking my time, sanding gently as all my research had indicated was right and proper, when hubby offers to help out, never again!! He did the man thing, you know that look they get that they can do it better/faster/easier? So he did, and sanded so aggressively trying to get the stain off that he sanded right through the veneer on the table, exposing the glue, luckily for me (and him), he was only working on a leaf that came with the table as this then had to be thrown away, I was not a happy wifey that day I can tell you.
But back to the table, after sanding, and sanding, and sanding, it was finally done, not a bit of the orange stain left on this old thing, it was ready for a dark stain that would show the true beauty of the wood.
After giving the table top a good wipe down to remove all of the sanding dust I applied a coating of wood conditioner, waited the required 15 mins and then wiped it off, I was ready for my first attempt at staining. To be honest with you, I was nervous, the thought of getting it wrong and having to start this all over again was particularly daunting but I put my big girl knickers on and got on with it 😉 and it worked out amazing, I used MinWax Dark Walnut wood stain and the color was gorgeous, it bought so much depth and detail to the table top I fell in love with it.
I then moved on to sanding the legs, this was a breeze after dealing with the huge table top, once they were sanded they were given a couple of coats of Antique White latex paint and two coats of Polycrylic to seal them and then they were attached to the table top. It was looking like my hard work was finally paying off.
It was now time to work on sealing the table top, after talking to a very helpful guy at Home Depot, I decided to go with Helmsman Spar Varnish, I was told that it is more hard-wearing than regular polyurethane varnish and will also protect against spills, knowing Christie had two young boys at home I thought that might come in handy, I opted for 4 coats of the varnish as I wanted a deep shine to it, I also sanded with very fine sandpaper in between each coat to remove any brush marks or bubbles as with this finish, every imperfection shows up. And it was finally done! On Thanks Giving morning, just in time for a perfect Thanks Giving dinner that of course we had an invite to. You can see the gorgeous shine on this from the varnish and the colors in the wood match perfectly with her fall table decorations too!
- Update on this, several months later Christie finally found a set of chairs that she wanted painted to complete the set, check out the end result here.
What do you think of this makeover? Get in touch with any comments or questions below 🙂