We have had the same counter-height dining room table for the last four years. But with two toddlers, the table has taken a beating. Plus the shiny, brown veneer just is not my THING anymore!
Because our table was
First, though, I must give you the before pictures (in all their embarrassing glory):
It's just so wrong.
This picture makes the table look lighter than it really is, but I used my flash so you could really see the table and all of the scratchy loveliness. Okay, that's enough of that.
After a lot of work and patience, here's what my table looks like today!
OK, not really - here's what my table really looks like today (just keeping it real, here. Have I mentioned I have two toddlers in my house?)
So.....here's the step-by-step (based off the instructions from Lindsay in post I linked above. I'm telling you check her out)!
1. REMOVE cushions by unscrewing them from the chair and gag as you see the stains.
2. LIGHTLY sand the table, being careful to not sand into the particle board if your table isn't solid wood. I used a palm sander for the flat surfaces and legs, and then hand sanded the harder to reach crevices. (Those cross backs on the chairs were KILLER.)
3. PRIME the table and chairs. I used Zinnser BIN Primer and was very pleased with the results. In the interest of imparting lessons learned (I'm a NEWBIE, remember?) I did NOT have the primer tinted (DUH!) and so covering the white was a bit....tedious. If you are planning on painting your piece a darker color, see if tinting the primer is a possibility.
4. PAINT the table and chairs. The hubby and I used a foam roller for every part we could and used bristle brushes for the chair backs. I did three (or four) THIN coats of red (Ralph Lauren Hunting Coat Red) allowing lots of dry time between coats. Then I did three (or four) thin coats of black (Ralph Lauren Black Truffles) again allowing for lots of dry time between coats. I wasn't AS careful to get in all of the crevices with the black paint, since I had planned on distressing it to show some of the red underneath anyway. (Plus I was REALLY sick of those cross-backs, have I mentioned that?)
5. DISTRESS the table and chairs. This was the fun part (for me). I used a fine-grit sandpaper and lightly sanded the edges of the surface of the table and the legs of the table. I also did the edges and legs of the chairs. Just wherever it felt right. In THEORY, the black was supposed to sand away to reveal the red underneath, like so:
In actuality, sometimes the red was sanded off with the black, revealing my non-tinted (see step 3) white primer. It still looks fine, I just wanted to share what REALLY happened during the distressing process! (This is all about sharing and learning, remember?)
6. PROTECT the surface by using a polyurethane top coat, applied with a bristle brush NOT a foam roller (don't ask how I know this). A top coat was especially important for my project because it was a dining room table that would be used heavily (see above pictures) and wiped frequently. I used a semi-gloss poly, because I didn't want the look of the shiny veneer back.
7. ALLOW ample dry-time before moving the piece back inside and using it daily.
So, what do you think? Are you inspired to tackle some of your not-in-love-with-it-but-can-I-paint-it pieces? If you are, PLEASE send us the results!
Up next: recovering the chair cushions (easy peasy).
I'm (attempting) to link up to Kimba's DIY party at A Soft Place to Land. If you've never visited her, you must! And take a look at other great DIY projects!