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!