Refinishing the Dining Room Table

We purchased our new dining room set on Craig’s List. The table and chairs we had before were very functional, but meant to fit into a little kitchen in a little townhouse. So we sold that set to our dear cousin for her new apartment and began looking for something that would better fit the style of our house. There were lots of sets available in the price range we wanted to stick to, but Tony had one request – he wanted a really big table! We had to find one that would have at least two leaves and would have 6 or more chairs. We looked at several old tables that were just beautiful, but didn’t work for one reason or another. The one we finally decided on wasn’t an antique, but look at the detail on those legs!

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When you get a great deal on Craig’s List, though, there’s usually a catch of some sort. The catch to this set was some spots on the top.

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There were also several spots where the finish was chipping off.

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Tony and I had multiple debates about whether or not the table was real wood or if it had a laminate top. We’d each go back and forth, one being certain it was real wood and the other not so sure. Then a couple days later we’d have the same conversation but having switched “sides.” I was pretty nervous about how refinishing it would turn out, but I couldn’t leave those chips and spots on the top. The worst thing that could happen would be I’d have to paint over it, right? I surrounded the table with plastic, pulled out Dad’s orbital sander and got started.

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Three hours later, I was nearly done! Granted, my arm felt like it might fall off, but the sanding was done. It was time for the real fun to begin – the staining. (Note: Sanding is not at all fun. Boo on sanding! Staining, however, is so cool because you get to watch the wood transform instantly, then anticipate what it will look like when you wipe the excess away.)

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I went with three coats of Dark Walnut and left each one on for about 20 minutes so the color would be as saturated as possible. Then I started on the multiple coats of polyacrylic that would hopefully protect it enough that I’ll never have the sand that table down again!

The unfortunate thing is, the “after” picture looks a lot like the “before”… there just aren’t any more blemishes!!

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Despite the achy muscles, I’m very happy with the way the table turned out!

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6 Responses to Refinishing the Dining Room Table

  1. olsonrobin says:

    I love how you are transforming and rejuvenating vintage items! You two are amazing!

  2. Debbie says:

    I love it!

  3. Pam McNicoll says:

    It looks fantastic! You did a great job and I look forward to eating at your table often!!
    Love, Mom

  4. Dad says:

    Nice work baby girl!

  5. Barbara DeJardin says:

    Absolutely beautiful! And the table looks very, very nice, too.

  6. Pingback: Dining Room Chairs | A Guy, A Girl, and a Really Old House!

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