Family and friends have been telling me that I have a table problem. Every time I talk about my latest projects, it’s normally a table. I have one in my dining room, kitchen, office, and one stored under the guest bed, and then there’s the coffee table. As much as I wanted to keep this table it actually is heading to my sister in law’s house. But I seriously considered paying her for it! This farmhouse table makeover is one of my favorites.
Of course I forgot to get before pictures so instead of telling you about the makeover I thought I would share some tips for refinishing a table surface. Especially ones that are painted and have chips or scratches in the paint.
This table was originally painted black, even the table top. It was painted by the manufacturer as far as I can tell. If it had been painted by someone else it might have been a beast to refinish since you just don’t know what products people use.
The top had paint chipping off and the legs and sides were worn as well. Luckily there were no major dings in the surface. I also sanded the skirt a little on accident when I sanded the edges of the table top. So all of those things needed to be refinished.
White I used for this farmhouse table makeover:
- Random orbital sander
- 80, 180, and 220 grit sandpaper
- Disposable shop towels
- Old Fashioned Milk Paint, Pitch Black and Extra Bond
- Stain for table top
- Satin wipe on poly (4 coats)
A Farmhouse Table Makeover
How to Refinish a Damaged Table Top
- Assess the damage. this table only had paint damage. If there are dents or deep scratches you will need to use wood filler (if you are repainting) or decide if you are ok with the scratches if you plan to stain.
- Sand the paint. I wasn’t sure what was under the paint. What kind of wood, or if it was even wood at all. Once I started sanding a soft pine revealed itself and I was pretty excited. If you plan to repaint you still need to sand the chipped areas smooth. You cannot just cover up paint damage with more paint. It will continue to chip and you will still see the chipped spots.
- I stripped the surface by sanding with 80, then 180, then 220. With an orbital sander you need to move in line with the grain, don’t press on the sander, and move slowly to avoid squiggles etched into the wood from the sander. You won’t see them right away, probably not until you stain. You can try out other sanders, I used what I had. You can also keep moving up to higher grit sandpaper.
- Clean off the surface to stain. I used a shop towel and gloves to wipe on Classic Grey Minwax stain. Be sure to wipe with the wood grain and wipe off any access. I used two coats.
- Let the stain completely dry, I let it dry over night.
- I used disposable shop towels for the poly too. I poured a little onto the surface and wiped (with the wood grain) into a thin, smooth layer. You do not want the layers to be thick, you will have bubbles and a rough surface. Wipe on poly is made to seep into the surface to create a smooth surface after several coats. Let each coat dry then light sand (with high grit sandpaper or steel wool). Each coat will dry more smooth than the last. I put on 4 coats for a good protection and the surface felt great!
Be patient, there really are no short cuts if you want this done right. Let stain and poly dry over night or at least for several hours. This not only makes sure each layer is dry but gives you a break too. Mistakes happen when you are tired and frustrated.
I chose not to worry too much about the squiggles. You cannot really see them unless you are staring at it up close. Even though the table was already painted black I repainted the skirt and legs black for a more uniform and completed look. I just love the way the grey stain looks with the Pitch Black painted legs. You can really pair this table with just about any chairs. Making this a versatile farmhouse table makeover. It actually fits in with just about any style!
Do you have a table you want to give a fresh makeover? Send me your questions!
Do you love this table? You should see some of my other farmhouse table makeovers!