My Kitchen Table Redo & Tips for Stripping and Staining Furniture

I am totally 100 percent embarrassed about my old kitchen table.  I have had this table for maybe 8 years now and I have not been nice to it, like at all.  I have done so many projects on this table and it completely shows. There are a ton of water marks, scratches, burns and who knows what else it has been tortured with.  I even convinced myself that there was some level of character rather than a crazy mess.  Maybe me being 5 months pregnant might have something to do with me feeling like I need to complete all of my projects and clean every nook and cranny of my house, but I knew it was time to tackle the table.  Tim wanted to just get a new table but I of course convinced him to give me a chance to try and salvage it, and if he liked it then I got new kitchen chairs. Completely fair deal, right?

Before starting on this project, the main thing I was worried about was seeing what was underneath all of the damage.  I thought I should strip it and try to save the wood and if it was too damaged then I would paint it but I didn't really want to paint it.

 1 Can of Spray Paint- I used an outdoor acrylic paint in matte black.  - for the legs.
Chemical Gloves
Chemical Goggles
Paint Mask- for the fumes!
1 gallon of paint thinner
Paint scrapper- one that has a dull blade.
Metal pan- like an old pie pan or metal paint tray (they are about $3 bucks at the local hardware store)
Wood conditioner.
Oil stain
Oil varnish
Some old rags
Oil paint brushes
Crappy old or cheap paint brush
Steel Wool
low grade sand paper

The first thing that I did was spray paint the legs black.  Before they were this two toned metal color and I wanted a more wrought iron look.   Time to put on our safety gear! Put on your chemical gloves, goggles, and face mask. It is really important to use chemical gloves because they will protect you from the paint thinner because it is crazy toxic and chemical burns are not fun.

I poured the paint thinner onto the table and you want to take the crappy old paint brush and spread the goop all over the table, but thick.  You will see the chemicals start to work and bubble and want to leave it on for maybe 10 minutes, but once it starts to bubble it's ready to be pulled up and you don't want the goop to dry.   Take your scrapper and press firmly down at a 45 degree angle and scrap away.  You want to be firm with the wood but not pushing the blade to hard because it will scratch and damage the wood. Put the leftover goop and scrapings into the metal tray.

Since this table has a rounded edge I needed to be more patient and I did the removal in sections.  Once all of the gunk is removed, take a damp rag and wipe the table clean.  Use a bit of steel wool and go over the table and the edges.  Let the table sit for at least 8 hours, so the wood has time to dry out and rest.

Take a low grade sand paper and do a light sand on the table.  When you run your hand over the table and edges it should be smooth.  Wipe away the dust with your old rag. Apply the wood conditioner and you will see immediately how much healthier and prettier the wood is.  It's actually kinda amazing!

According to the instructions on the wood conditioner, I just needed to wait an hour before applying the oil stain.  You can either use an oil brush or an old rag when applying oil stain.  I prefer using a rag because when the stain is applied it is more evenly and thinner.  I ended up doing about 3 coats because I didn't want it to look too dark and wanted the natural wood color to come out. Then I have to wait a good 8 hours to apply the varnish.  I applied 3 coats of varnish and doing a light sand between each coat.  Let table rest for 24 hours before using.

This was quite a project but I really love how it turned out.  It looks like a whole new table and it makes me wish I would have tackled it sooner.  There are a few scratches in the wood but I actually think it adds charm to the table. Stripping and staining was actually a pretty easy but time consuming process because of letting all of the layers dry. I am so glad I did it. Tim also let me get the new chairs I wanted. eek!


Lauren said...

WOW! It looks awesome! I'm completely impressed and impressed that you had the energy for all that too! Nicely done. Now you can do more projects and mess it up again!

Anonymous said...

Woooow, Love it!

Loulou said...

Wow, what a transformation! It looks terrific. You must feel so satisfied with the whole thing.

Eva said...

You made a good job! The table looks very nice and I love your new chairs ;)

Tori Dickey said...

You did an amazing job! This table looks brand new.

Gretchen said...

Wow--that cleaned up nice! Great job!

Adventures in Dressmaking said...

Omigosh it looks fabulous!!! What an awesome job!

tina bumblebee said...

Holy crap, the table looks great! You did such a good job!!!

Mandy Crandell said...

Your table is beautiful!

QP said...

Woohoo! Looks fantastic! Great job. Love the new chairs :)

Gabbi @ Retro Ranch Reno said...

Wow, it looks absolutely amazing!! Great job, girl!!

Cassie Bustamante said...

WOW! that table looks completely different- it's gorgeous!

Jamie said...

Wow! It came out great!

Rach said...

Girl! It looks so great!

Erin said...

It looks incredible!! You'd never even know it was the same table before. What a good bet to make on your part. You lucked out with those chairs, too! Good husband. :) xo

Unknown said...

Love it! I admit i woulda painted it white and walked away. Guilty! Your fix is much more loyal to the table and a beautiful restoration. I may need to rethink my white paint tendencies!

Hena Tayeb said...

wow that looks awesome.. what a gem!

Unknown said...

wow that is an amazing transformation! so pleased you managed to save it, definitely worth it eh.

Katrina Sophia

Christine D. | The Plumed Nest said...

that looks amazing!! it is a long process, one i have been putting off for awhile now on the coffee table i need to re-do.

i have those same chairs, well, i have two. i love them. they are m+l's chairs because everything wipes up so easily!

rooth said...

Gah it looks great you wonder woman you!

Tales of Whimsy said...

That looks fantastic and I'm crazy jealous about you're neat map on the wall.