Monday, January 24, 2011

Refinishing a Diningroom Table

The next big project I did off and on while John was doing demolition and then putting in new cabinets was refinishing my Diningroom Table. I had a very long and light oak table that would fit my whole family for dinner, or a large party of 12, and I couldn't find anything I liked as much. So I decided to just give mine a good facelift. I stripped the table with paint stripper sanded the tabletop and the 2 leaves down out on my backyard deck. It took me a week, I sanded that thing to death. Then I sanded each of the 8 chairs and the painted china hutch too just a little to get off some of the varnish. That is not fun but I wanted them to really look nice and new.
This is a pic I found of our kitchen before the redo...green hutch in the background...

I don't know if it shows but the hutch in the background was dark green and had a bunch of stemmed glass holders...you can see the glasses hanging down. But we aren't wine drinkers or anything so I wanted to change those. So as I was sanding everything down I removed the screws for each of those and sanded and puttied up holes. Then I was ready to repaint in black. You can also see our old cabinetry to the right in the above picture and our white tiled countertops. Very old and depressing. Those cabinet doors didn't even fit right anymore from so many kids hanging on them and swinging on them. You know how boys can be....well....meybe just MY boys....
Refinished Diningroom Table
Now it looks like this! No more light oak anywhere. Even the stain on the table and hutch is a little darker now. I just spray painted the ball and claw table bottom. It was easy once it was turned upside down out on the back deck.
Chairs went from light oak to flat black

After going back and forth I decided to paint the bottom of the oak, ball and claw table flat black, and the oak chairs a matching black. It took 2 coats. I think I tried some chairs in flat paint and some in eggshell and I think I actually grew to LOVE eggshell finish paint. It looks flat but it's just a little less dull. Does that even make sense? Just trust me. On wood and wood trim eggshell finish looks really good.

Then I stained the freshly sanded oak tabletop piece a darker shade to match my knotty alder cabinets. It turned out pretty close. It was really fun staining fresh wood. I liked doing it and I liked the smell of the stain. (No I wasn't huffing the stuff, it just smells cool!) Then after a few rubs and coats of stain I let it dry a few days. Then we finished it with a coat of polyurethane varnish. It was fun to do this project out in the sun on my deck. We put an old 8 foot table out there we'd bought at a garage sale that had seen better days. It has been kind of my craft table for many years.  (But sadly it is going to the dump after this redo is over).
See, no more stemmed glass holders! I like it better now.

The china hutch was painted dark green and oak. I painted over the green in flat black paint. It was tedious but it turned out looking pretty. I painted all 8 chairs from light oak to black. I tried spray paint but I couldn't get it very smooth so I hand painted all of them with a foam brush and Glidden flat black. I always loved this table and because I did it myself it may be my most favorite project of the bunch, well, after my new island. It turned out very nice.
Refinished diningroom table and chairs

We added a foot more cabinet length to the cabinetry on both sides of the kitchen so I'd have enough drawers this time and a little less feet to the island than to our old, L-shaped countertop. So I am able to keep the 2 extra leaves in the table year round. It was such a pain to add them and take them out every time I had a dinner party. Now it is easier to entertain a large group. I just keep the long table up all the time! 

I like how the black chairs look on the tan travertine tiles...cool!

The refinished china hutch looks so much more updated in the new black color, I love it.  I change the decorations on the bottom row of the hutch for each holiday. It was pretty easy overall to give these pieces a face lift.  I would do it again. (well not really, I'm lying again. I never want to do this much painting again..)
I love my new Refinished stuff...

And the new mercury glass decorations....

And the whole kitchen table and hutch facelift only cost me a lot of elbow grease during my summer break from teaching, and a few gallons of eggshell finish, black paint. And although I loved the results, I really don't want to paint again for another few summers. I did get my fill of painting, considering I also painted the kitchen, the bathrooms, 2 bedrooms and the entire basement this past summer. I've become a paint-a-holic...I may need a 12 step program or something.....


  1. Thanks for sharing! This is exactly what I want to do to refurbish an old kitchen set for my son to use in his first home! It really updates the look.

  2. Yes and it is surprisingly easy! Paint makes such a huge difference if you have the time and don't want to spend a lot of money. It is a great face lift for anything. Check out my recent black to light blue cabinet redo! http://pattiemoss.blogspot.com/2013/01/repainting-old-cabinet.html


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