Sunday, February 26, 2012

Refinishing a Dining Table

A few months ago I purchased a set of mid-century dining chairs from the flea market that had really great style, but needed some major TLC. The chairs came with a table and when I first saw it the legs were detached and it was in super shabby condition, not to mention that there were a bunch of what looked like old dental tools scattered on top of it, which sort of grossed me out. I didn't really want the table, I was really only in it for the chairs, but I begrudgingly hauled it to my car anyway.

I need a lot of furniture for my new apartment and naturally I'm on a budget. The dining chairs that I thought would work in my new space ended up being too big and I didn't want to over crowd the dining area because it is the only pathway to the kitchen. Then I got to thinking about that crusty old legless table and I thought....this is so crazy, it just might work.

Crazy for a couple of reasons. 1. The table needed a major overhaul (I apologize for not taking a before picture, apparently I was just super anxious to give it a make over that I forgot.) and 2. I am sort of anti DIY. I think in theory DIY projects are great, and if you have the time, talent, and patience to pull it off...more power to you. But I am not one of those people. I want things done right, especially when it comes to furniture, and I know my limitations. Nothing I do would ever come close to the beauty and precision I get when I take something to my upholstery shop to my wood finisher.

But with this ratty old table, I decided to give it a go just to see if I could do it. Of course I would need the help of my father, who is basically good at everything and also a licensed general contractor (although he had only refinished one other table before), and a step by step tutorial that I found online here. I skipped the first few steps and went straight to the sanding because our original surface was already pretty weathered and stripped. Then we stained and added 3 coats of clear finish. I let it dry for a day or 2 and then moved her in to my new place!

I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out. It's not perfect and the stain is a little splotchy in areas, but I think it's the kind of thing that only I would notice. My new, smaller scaled chairs should be arriving this week. And with that, my dining area is one step closer to accommodating dinner guests.


  1. Britt, I'm so excited to see your new place! Loving the updates! xo

  2. Apartment: so far so good. Vintage style thin board wood flooring...check. Wall paneling...check. Wood framed windows...check.


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