Monday, May 8, 2017

Reclaim that Old Kitchen Table

I'm a country girl turned semi-suburbia girl so people who know me get a little confused when I tell them I'm from the country.  I grew up in a little town that had one stop light at a main intersection and just a quaint little grocery store.  When we first moved into our house, there wasn't a street name, just a Route #.  A few years after we moved in to our house our Route was named Black Snake Rd (yes you read that right).

In the center of our dining room sat a large, round oak table.  I remember eating many breakfasts and dinners there, as well as painting my nails and spilling some nail polish (pretty sure I got a switch for that).

This past year my husband and I purchased a home and were in need of a 2nd dining table.  My parents reminded me that they still had that old round oak table.  They offered it to me on one condition:  it has to stay in the family (I'm a purger, so family heirlooms have been known to make their way to Goodwill and other consignments fairly regularly - oops).  I sat there remembering that oak table and while I remember the beauty of it, I just couldn't get over that basic country style that just didn't go with our more modern decor.

My parents ran a furniture business for years and as part of their business they fixed broken furniture (armoires, kitchen tables, chairs, and the like).  My dad offered his expertise and suggested I take the table and distress it to make it look weathered (after all that is all the rage right now) and paint it to match the color scheme in our pool room.  It was a big task, but I was ready to take it on.  Many folks have asked for tips and tricks on this updated table, so I will walk you through my steps.

Here is the before picture:

9 inch foam roller
paint brush
220 grit sand paper
80 grit sand paper
Lacquer Thinner
Old white rags
0000 Steel Wool
Latex Satin White paint (or Furniture paint from Lowes)
MinWax Woodstain Classic Grey

Step 1: Prepping the table
I took some old rags and some lacquer thinner and rubbed the entire table down to remove the original clear lacquer.  Do not pour the lacquer directly on the table. If there are still some remnants of shine, or it's slick, take some 80 grit sand paper and sand over those spots going WITH the grain.
Next take some 0000 grade steel wool and go over the table lightly to make sure it is smooth.
Tip:  the table should be tacky feeling when you're done
Disposal:  Lacquer thinner is combustable, so be extremely mindful of disposing your rags.  I layed each of mine out on our driveway (I was lucky that it rained the next day) and once they dried from the rain, I washed them.

Step 2: Painting the table
I used Sherwin Williams Latex Satin White for the base and Minwax Wood Stain Classic Grey for the top.  We already had these sitting in our garage so there was no cost.  Our minwax stain was the smallest can (32 oz) which you can get for $7-8 at Lowes.
I painted the base 1st with a foam roller and used a sponge brush for the grooves in the claws.
Tip:  I would suggest painting the base last as some of my stain speckled the feet when I painted the top.

I stained the top with a regular paint brush, going WITH the grain, because I wanted it to have some streaks (natural lighter application spots where the original wood color would peek through).  I did not wipe any of the stain off because I wanted a darker look but if you want a lighter stain, you can wipe as you brush it on.  The longer you leave the stain on, the darker it will become.
Tip:  Only paint and stain when the weather is dry.  I stained the top while it was raining and had to strip it and then re-stain.  Do not paint when it is raining, or following a rainstorm when it is very humid out.

Step 3:  Distressing the table
Once the paint and stain have dried (at least 48 hours) you can start distressing the paint.
I used a rasp and some 220 grit sand paper (you can use a rougher sand paper but this was my first time and I didn't want to strip too much).
I suggest sanding and rasping edges first then the claw feet.  This will give you an idea of the distressed look and then you can strategically sand and rasp in larger areas.  The good news is if you mess up, you can just paint back over a spot and start over.

Step 4:  Admire your table
We moved our table into our pool room and I am absolutely in love with how it turned out.  My dad is painting our chairs to go with it and I can't wait to update you all with the table and chairs!

Good luck!  I can't wait to see your finished products!