Friday, December 30, 2011

Easy and Affordable DIY Table Transformation

Some of you may remember this table I shared a while back here that I found at my local DI for $15. Although it was missing it's leaf, it was in otherwise great condition for a refurb and all solid wood.

Using the same methods I shared with you HERE and HERE for sanding off the previous stain and finishes, I stripped the wood down bare on top and then wiped on several coats of Minwax Wood Finish Stain in Dark Walnut. 
After the stain had dried, I applied a few coats of Annie Sloan Soft Dark Wax.

I've had a few readers ask how to apply this stain on pieces like this where the grain meets together in the center without creating streaky lines.  Truthfully, I just use a rag and word with the grain in quarter sections at a time trying to "stay inside the lines" like I did with my first dining room table.

It takes a bit of practice and doesn't always look perfect but it looks good enough for me!  I haven't had much success in working against the grain or in perfectly straight lines that don't follow the wood.  If you've found it to work better for you another way, do share!

I've also found that even when I try to sand the tabletop down as evenly as possible, and pre-treat it with wood conditioner to prevent uneven color, sometimes the wood just takes differently.  That happened in this case and while I was so frustrated at first I eventually decided to just go with it and am so happy with the end result.  It gave it a more rustic and natural un-factory like finish.

Also, I have found that in nearly every piece I've stained that the lip below the main surface top always stains much much darker than the top.  Usually, the lip is made of MDF or similar so it absorbs the stain differently than the solid wood like maple, oak or alder does.  It doesn't bother me that it appears darker, but if it's not your thing then you may want to consider choosing a few shades lighter for the lip, or opt to paint the whole top instead of stain it.

Then, the easiest part was slabbing on a few coats of cream colored Behr Paint and Primer in One that I have on hand from one of my oops paint $5/gallon purchases.  After that dried, I glazed the nooks and crannies with a combo of Valspar's Antiquing Glaze and my Ralph Lauren Faux techniquing glaze in a cocoa color.  Lastly, I finished the apron and legs off with a few coats of poly spray for protection.  You know how I love the contrast of a dark wooden top with creamy white legs.  Sexaaaaay.

Then, I quickly beautified these cute little chairs that I recently bought from my friend's younger bro for super cheap.  Haven't all of you had a set like these in your house growing up at one point?  I know I sure did. 

Since the wood matched pretty closely to the tabletop I had just stained, I opted to keep a part of the chair in it's original finish.  I taped up the back dowels and spray painted the rest of the chair with Krylon Dual's Paint and Primer in One in cream.  (I started to paint one chair with a roller and brush using the same Behr paint I used for the table but with all the little spindles and legs, it was taking FOREVER so spray paint became my new best friend for the day).  After a few hits of sandpaper to the high points and some of my glaze concoction to the nooks and crannies, the chairs turned out like this:

Not quite like the ones you grew up with anymore, right?

So, here is how this cute little dining family of a table and 4 chairs looks together.

You don't have to have a lot of money or even a lot of talent to make a great looking dining room set.  This whole set cost me a whopping $35.  Yes, $35!  You can do it too peeps! 

I'm sharing this makeover with my friends here:  Go check them out for more inspiration!
The DIY Show Off


Domestically Speaking


Transformation Thursday

Furniture Feature Fridays




  1. That's amazing! $35 and some elbow grease! I'd love it if you'd share this at my Saturday Splendour Party at I have to pin this tutorial! :)

  2. Wow! Beautiful transformation! It looks so fantastic now . . . great job!

  3. Refinishing my kitchen table is first on my list for 2012 projects. Yours turned out so beautifully. The dark stained top with the white legs is one of my favorite looks, too.

  4. gorgeous!!! that table top is stunning!

  5. This is beautiful. I can't believe you got it for $15! It's amazing what one persons trash can be to someone else!

  6. That table set is just darling! I found a similar one and flipped it and it sold in one day! Tables are so hot right now, and you did a great job. The marriage of the dark wood with the bright white is very classy and upscale. A new follower, andrea@townandprairie

  7. So pretty! Awesome job! I love transformations especially when they are so cheap! Thanks for sharing!

  8. An amazing job! What a buy and transformation for $35.!!

  9. Beautiful work! Your set looks amazing!

  10. Wow, this is adorable. I love it !!


  11. Beautiful! I always love the deep top and creamy base.. just did our dining table this way too. I'm putting your project in the PoPP Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up.

  12. Should have used a grain filler to get a more even finish on the table top, but good effort!

  13. What a wonderful transformation. Great job! Going now to check out your other projects.

  14. The edge takes stain differently because it is the open part of the grain which is more porous. Similar to staining a 6 panel door (solid). The end grain is exposed and take stain differently than the smooth part.

  15. What if you have a 20 pie top that you want the stain? Do you do one wood stain at a time or all at the same time?


I can't wait to hear from you! If you have any detailed questions, please feel free to email me- Thanks!