Thursday, June 30, 2011

Refinishing a table

June Project

While I have been absent from the blog lately, I have managed to do a small project this month. Patrick and I have been really busy this past month between work and 3 different youth trips so I apologize for the lack of postings. I hope to do better during the rest of the summer months.

Okay... the project. My dining room table used to look like this.

It now looks like this.

Before I go any further, let me show you my two inspiration photos for the dining room.


You may even remember me posting and talking about that table that I loved back in November. You can see that post here. The table was very similar to the ones in the pictures above. I also realize that my current table is very similar except for the white, beat up legs. 

Our table is what I grew up eating off of. It sat in our Kitchen for about 7 years until my mom inherited her mothers dining room table. At that point, my Meme's dining room table moved into our dining room, our dining room table moved into the kitchen, and our kitchen table (the one Patrick and I currently own) became the craft table for the basement. It sat in the basement getting frequent abuse until I got engaged to Patrick. My mom then realized that she could pass the table to us and she was sweet enough to try and fix it up for us.

After years of being the craft table, the poor top had permanent marker, crayon, glitter paint, and writing indentations all over it. My mother sanded it and I remember helping her stain it with something she had picked out. I really can't remember what it was, but it made the table look kind of orange (you can tell what I mean from the first picture posted). Beggars can't be choosers though, so Patrick and I gladly accepted the table.

Fixing the table has been in the back of my mind ever since we inherited it. I talked to my mom about my thoughts and she not only gave me her blessing to do whatever I wanted to it, but she even gave me the sander that she had purchased several years ago to do the job the first time. So with my practically new sander I set to work.

I removed the legs so that I could carry the table top to the deck for sanding. Then the sanding commenced...

Thanks, mom!
After I got all the way back to the natural wood grain I cleaned it off with a tac cloth and took the table back inside to be reassembled for staining. I chose Minwax's dark walnut finish and applied it with T-shirt. After a couple of coats, I was a little concerned. I told several people including Patrick that I was probably going to have to start all over. Here are the pictures of the ugly thing.

I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but the stain looked really uneven and I still felt like there were orange sections. In spite of this I decided to take another trip to the local home improvement store to see if there was any way to save it. That is where I found Minwax Polyshades in Mission Oak Satin. It is a two in one step stain and polyurethane. I got a few tips from a random guy standing in the stain section who told me that I absolutely had to use some sponges to apply the stuff. He also warned me that I would have to do at least two coats. After following his directions I had this.

That was just one coat. After it dried, I gave it a light sanding per the instructions on the can and applied a second coat. Sorry I took these at night, but I couldn't wait.

Yes, I was smiling. I didn't ruin the table after all. 

Now I feel like I need to decide if I am going to continue with the transformation and stain the base of the table. Feel free to offer up your suggestions. I plan to use my current end chairs and simply reupholster the cushions. However, I am hunting for 4 chairs that I can use to replace my current over sized ones. 

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