Friday, August 3, 2012

Refinishing a Kitchen Table

Howdy y’all.

I bet you were starting to think that we weren’t really still over here workin’ our booties off, huh?


Well. You were wrong. ;)

And, I know that this blog is sort of annoying because I just show before and after pictures … but … that’s all I’ve got for you today too. See, here’s the deal: the whole step by step tutorial thing isn’t really me because – truth be known – I have no earthly clue how to do this stuff. Pretty much I tell my husband my idea and then he spends days and weeks executing my idea in one way or another.
And … to be honest … I’m afraid of manual labor. I’m not a snob. And I’m not spoiled or pampered or anything. I don’t go to salons. I’ve never heard of most designer brands.


Please hear me when I say this: manual. labor. is. not. my. thing.

Like, at all.

So, in order for me to give you instructions, I have to ask Superman for step by step details and then type them out here. Because there’s no way I’m showing my face in a 110 degree garage unless I absolutely have to; otherwise, I know I’d get roped into my horrible ideas ALL the time.

So, having said that … please no hate mail about how I don’t show you how to do stuff. You hear me, Rebecca? ;)

By now, you’ve all seen my sad, sad, sad kitchen table. If not, feast your eyes:

What these pictures don’t show is all the thousands of nicks. Scrapes. Fork marks. Teeth marks. Rubber cement marks. Sharpe scribbles. And, white rings from eating hot pizza on paper plates (don’t you hate that?!). This table was in BAD shape. (Somehow these pictures hide that nightmarish problem)

Lucky for us, we bought this bonafide Pottery Barn gem off my sister when she moved to a smaller house and couldn’t fit it. That was 7 years ago … and 2 kids ago. And many many preschool students ago. And, lucky for us, Pottery Barn used solid wood on this kitchen table and benches.

So, Superman sanded the entire thing down to the bones. And when I say he sanded, I mean he SANDED. This isn’t a project where you can just lightly rough up the lacquer. He was re-staining and refinishing the table.

And, since he is Superman, he took the entire table and both benches completely apart, sanded them to raw wood, stained them, and then lacquered everything.

He used a Minwax Wood Finish in a Dark Walnut color to stain the table. Then, he sanded all the fine wood hairs until the table was smooth again. Then, he applied one coat of Minwax Tung Oil with GLOSS finish. When it was dry, he sanded everything down with steel wool and applied a second coat. When that was dry, he sanded it all down with steel wool again and went for a third coat. He repeated the process until the table had 6 coats of Tung Oil. No, I’m not joking. The thing shines like glass and looks amazing.

Here, have a looksie:

how to refinish a kitchen table after4

And how much more awesome does my little shelf/bar/munchkin table look with that bangin’ new kitchen table next to it? Way more awesome.

table for five using laminate shelf shelving and ikea chairs

Wanna know how much it cost us to get a new kitchen table and benches? $40. + a lot of dedication, sweat, patience, sweat … sweat … and sweat.

how to refinish a kitchen table after1

For.Ty. Dollars, y’all. Boom. (Ignore the toy dinosaur taking a break on the back bench … I gave him permission)

how to refinish a kitchen table after2

Now kids … what have we learned today? Buy. Good. Furniture. Because your kids are going to beat it to hell … and when they do … you can sand it all down and refinish it for pennies; instead of forking out more money to buy another table for them to trash.

As always, he did a great job! Sorry, my non-tutorials suck. But, y’all can TOTALLY do this. Refinishing a table doesn’t require a ton of skill or finesse or brains or brawns. Like the rest of our projects, you’ve just gotta be patient. Slow and steady wins the race. :D

Here’s the before and after:

how to refinish a kitchen table before after


  1. Okay...that's AMAZING! Aren't you afraid to let the pre-school kiddos sit there now?!

  2. Found you via Pinterest & am your newest follower! I host a link party called Gettin' Krafty With It on Tuesdays (actually starts tonight) & I would love you to share this awesome makeover!

  3. Lol, Amanda.

    Kathie, that sounds fun. Go right ahead. Thank you! We have fun doing what we do. :D

  4. Love Love Love! I would never let another child sit there again - especially mine :) Here's to many years of scratch and dent free dining on that gorgeous table!

  5. Found your blog on Pinterest. Love it. I could stay here forever looking at all your pretty things! I just bought a home, so I'll be checking back often for ideas!!

  6. Awesome...I just because your 100th follower! I've never done that before. :)

  7. Love your blog. I found it, of course, via Pinterest. I live in Dallas, too. Can't wait to see what else you come up with next. We've lived in our house for almost 4 years and it doesn't look like our house at all - totally not decorated or anything. My hubby is super handy, too, and right now is remodeling our kitchen. In his spare time. While I recover from a back surgery. Fun times. :)

  8. Looks great,I am a house painter and I know what it takes to refinnish an old house, and have resently started doing furniture as a hobbie.I can tell you for a fact that is not the same and I am still teachable and can learn from any novice or newbie.