Farmhouse Table Makeover

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Recently I decided to tackle a project that I've been wanting to do for quite sometime.  I was off from school this week, while all my friends were posting "beach" vacation photos on Facebook,  I ran out and bought all the supplies I would need to make over this table (honestly, I would've rather been on the beach) however, I thought this would be the week I would get caught up on some of those little projects I have been putting off.

 I had two end tables and a coffee table that were in dire need of a makeover. Don't get me wrong,  I loved the honey colored wood when I first bought them, but I have slowly grown away from the light wood  throughout the years.    Last spring I put in cherry colored laminated floors and that made the honey colored furniture really stand out like a sore thumb.  I already have a farmhouse dining room table (which is next on the list- thanks to some nail polish remover that shouldn't have been on the table to begin with - that's a story for a different day.) I like the looks of the tables, they are solid wood, so I had the bright idea to makeover these pine tables to have a farmhouse look rather than buy a new set.

Believe me, while raising two kids, my tables have had their fair share of scratches and dents.  I figured this was the perfect opportunity to have a distressed farm table look, hey why not they already had a bit of distressing right?

This is one of the end table I began with.  I have never stripped furniture before, so after numerous youtube video tutorials, I decided to give it a try.  I figured I would start with the smaller table and if all else failed, I could always paint the top with chalk paint, since I was gonna be painting the sides of the tables anyways.  

I brushed on Citristrip then let it sit.  I found it comes off best if it is still somewhat damp.  If it dries a bit (hint - don't do it in the sun like I did) it is harder to scape off.  Now it was only like 60 degrees outside when I did this and it was pretty early about 8:30 am, so they sun wasn't hot, and it still dried up rather quickly. I just re-brushed some more on and then scrapped it off.  

**The tricky part were the edges of the table.  Lots of places the stain could gather, so I wound up using Mineral Spirits and steel wool size 0000 very fine along with the metal putty knife to get the hard to reach places off.  

I found my smaller size dull putty knife was easier to handle and remove the varnish & stain.  Make sure yours is pretty dull so it does not gauge the table.  

I dumped the old stain into a small plastic dish (actually the little ones lunch meat comes in.)  I've seen people use foil pans as well.  The small dish was easier for me to handle as I was wiping off the stripper.

This is the stripped down photo.  I know is doesn't look it, but the wood was very light and the sun was too helpful shining right down on it.  

Before you really couldn't see the grain of the wood, but it shows clearly in this photo.  If you look the two end pieces look much lighter than the rest of the top.  My daughter and I thought that the manufacturer used two different types of woods (look at the horizontal piece compared to the vertical pieces.)  This did drive me crazy when I began staining it!  I kept the stain on for a few minutes before wiping it off.  The I sanded it down and restrained it again. 

If you look closely, you can see how dull the tabletop is with the stain & varnished removed.

Coffee Table Stripped Down

The top looks blotchy, but it really isn't.

From the side, it looks like the stain didn't take, but if you look at the table from above you can see that it has. I think it is the lighting that makes it look this way.   I also used "wood prep" by Minwax to prepare the wood so it wouldn't be blotchy.   See the scratches and the knots in the wood?   For some reason all 4 corners are dark.  They were dark before I put the stain on as well.  I think it just adds to the distressed look.

I painted the bottom of the table with a deep brown.  I found a quart of flat paint base at Walmart on clearance and had them mix the color.  My reason for the dark brown was due to the fact I wasn't stripping the whole table, just the top.  I knew I was chalk painting the bottom half and I wanted a darker color to come through rather than the honey colored when I distressed the table.  

Painting the base of the table brown.

Next, I added the white chalk paint.  If you look closely you can see the table was stained all over and not bare on the ends like the other photo.

2nd coat on the coffee table.  Had to move into the garage today, it was cold and rainy! 

This is the coffee table top after I brushed on the Polycrylic.  I used 2 coats on each table.

It took a total of a week to finish all three tables.  We had rain most of the week, and I let everything dry overnight between coats.

I distressed the furniture using a fine sanding block.  When I finished sanding, I went over the corners and drawer edges with the brown chalk paint.  I used a dry brush for this effect.  I dipped the paint brush in the paint, wiped most of it off on a paper towel and then went over the areas I wanted to have an antique look to them.

To finish the top of the tables I used Minwax Polycrylic in a Satin finish.

I think they turned out amazing.  What do you think?

Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe:

1/2 Cup Warm Water (I let the water run a couple of minutes to get really hot)

1/2 Cup Plaster of Paris

1 1/2 cups Paint (I used Glidden Ultra -Hide White Flat Paint)


In a paint cup - add 1/2 cup plaster of Paris - pour in warm water and mix thoroughly.

When the Plaster of Paris is dissolved, add the 1 1/2 cups of paint and mix well.

I bought the paint cups at Lowe's, but they have them at Walmart as well.  They were less than a dollar.
I bought at Home Depot, Walmart has it as well.

Mixing cups, you can purchase tops for these as well

I purchased the knobs at Target.  It was a 10 pack for $18.29.  I was replacing knobs elsewhere, that is why I purchased the larger pack.


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