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Farmhouse Dining Table Makeover

dining room with white and wooden tone table and french ladder chairs

Hey there,

Has it been hard for you to go back to your regular routine after the holidays?  Well, it's been so hard for me to get in the swing of things, and the cold weather isn't helping much. 

I'm glad I tackled so many projects last month for the reveal of the dining room, this one is one of those.

I had no idea what kind of table was this, I did a Google search for dining tables with drawers, and the best match was this: Farmhouse dining table with keeping drawers and tapering legs from non other than Magnolia Home line! Whoa, after seeing that price, I'm so happy with the time I invested bringing this beautiful table back to life. :)
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green table with three drawers and dark stained table top

This was a lucky find, my SIL knew I was looking for a table with drawers so, when she saw the free Craiglist ad she immediately let me know. The above pics are the ones the previous owner posted. And that's my van with the precious item coming to its new home.

The table-top had some paint stains, but I didn't bother much about them, those usually come off easily. The circled marks were the ones I was concerned about.

how to clean a tabletop to apply a new finish

I thought the stain would come off easily, so I used the lacquer thinner - acetone mix, spreading it and scrubbing it with a steel wool pad. It surely removed the paint stains, but it didn't do much to the heavy coats of stain/varnish the table had.

how to remove dark stain and poly from a dining tabletop

More power was necessary --->Citristrip - Stripping Gel to the rescue. I applied it with an old brush, following the product instructions. After 30 minutes and using a joint knife, all that stuff started to come off easily.

Paint brush used to apply Citristrip to wooden stained tabletop.

For those stubborn areas, you need to apply some more stripping gel, wait some minutes and remove.
After I removed all the stain/varnish, I cleaned the entire surface with the thinner-acetone mix, and then one more cleaning with denatured alcohol.

Using a ryobi sander to sand away stain spots from wooden tabletop

The above left picture is how the top looked after it was all cleaned.
Those two big circles were still there, they didn't look like water stains, in fact I believe it was stain. My guessing is that the person who stained the table left the gallon of stain on top of the table while working on it, creating those two big marks.
Well, the only thing that worked at minimizing those marks was the sander. Yep, I used a 120 grid sandpaper. Every time I went over those patches, the sandpaper was left with blotches of sticky residue.
The above right picture is how the surface looked at the end of the day, when I brought the table inside the house.
 I still can see the marks, but as my friend Beck says, those are the imperfections we have to "embrace".  ;)

applying Annie Sloan soft was to tabletop with a wax brush.

The next step: two coats of Annie Sloan clear wax, buffing it in between coats.

Farmhouse dining table with keeping drawers and tapering legs painted white.

I liked the green base the table had, but it was already looking tired. I went for a brighter color. Even though it looks white, it's a light grey color.

I used the secret formula of homemade chalk paint I always use. Well, it's not so secret, you can find it here. The thing is, I always use regular flat paint, yes, the one I use for the wall, same amount of POP & water.

sanding and distressing the edges of a table painted with homemade chalk paint.

After the two coats of paint were dried, I gave the entire base a good sanding with 120 grid sandpaper. The corners and those little crevices the table has were sanded some more, you can see the green color peaking thru.

using a tack cloth to dust a table before applying wax

A tack cloth was used to remove all the dust before applying two coats of wax to protect the paint.

How to give life to an old table with paint

Well, this table sure needed some TLC. It wasn't the easiest of the projects, but it wasn't that big of a deal either. The end result: I love it!

wooden table cleaned with Citristrip

The lighter wooden tone and the tabletop design are now one of my favorite features.

two tone dining table - white and wood

Hmmm, perhaps after the little drawers.

dining room with table with three drawers, white and grey striped rug and chalkboard with wreath on it.

I'm already filling them with my office things. Can you see the spots on the tabletop? Yep. They're noticeable, but I already got used to them.

dining table makeover - paint transformation

I like to pay more attention to the grain, and the color, and at how soft it feels.

white, grey and red details in dining room

removing the old finish from a wooden table.

This is a bird's-eye view of the table that I shared during the Christmas tour.

Farmhouse dining table with keeping drawers and tapering legs - A paint makeover

I'm LOVING IT! I'm now using it as my desk. Pretty soon, I'll be sharing this room with its new office attire, stay tuned! ;)

- o - o - o -

You can also check how this kitchen table was transformed:

the before and after of a dark round kitchen table painted white and stained the top

white kitchen with blue kitchen island with white chine on the shelf

white divider a top the fridge

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  1. Cristina, the farmhouse table looks fabulous! :) I love that all your hard work turned this into such a beauty!
    ~ Christina in FL

  2. I love how it turned out! I have been thinking about stripping and re-staining my kitchen table because I can't find one that goes with my kitchen since we remodeled last year. I just don't know if I have the patience (or skills) to pull it off! I am pinning your tips just in case I decide to get ambitious!

    1. Thanks Shelley! What I've found out is that I don't have the patience for stripping the base/legs of tables. They're usually rounded and with so much more detail that cleaning those crevices is painful. That's why I tend to paint those areas. The table top, on the contrary, is a flat surface that's easy to clean. Looking forward to see how you work that table. I know you sure have the skills to tackle that one!

  3. That is so lovely! I came across a farmhouse table in a thrift shop just before Christmas, it's over 100 years old and was only $80 so my MIL bought it for me:) It was very badly damaged on top, I had to sand forever to get some of the gashes out but I ended up just painting the entire thing white. Mine is oval and folds down on the sides so it only has one drawer but I lined it with vintage wallpaper:)

    1. Oh Victoria, don't we love our in-laws? :D You're right, sanding an old finish takes forever, and if you have to deal with wood detail, the sanding might damage it. Using chemicals to remove the finish is way easier, you might want to give it a try next time. I wish I have a vintage wallpaper to line mine, so cool! Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment.

  4. You did a beautiful job of restoring that table. I would be interested to know how the wax holds up for you over time.

    1. Julie, I used wax to protect the finish on my kitchen table and I love it! It was done more than two years ago and guess what, I haven't done anything to that table and it's still looking great. The wax is supposed to be re-applied every year I think, but really, I haven't done it and that's the table we use every. single. day. It's not having the same sheen as when the makeover was done but it's not a big difference. Something I gotta add to my do list. ;) Thanks Julie!

  5. the table looks great!
    can you share where you purchased your gray striped rug?


    1. Thanks Sonja! I got that rug over at TJ Maxx like a year ago. The other day I went there, and saw they have it again, but it was a much smaller size.

  6. I have an old Ikea dining table that is a thick butcher block with some type of factory finish. Do you think I could strip it?

    1. Oh, definitely, Mara! I think the 50-50 thinner-acetone mix would work if it's a light finish.

  7. Everything about this table is perfect! And it's so totally versatile with those drawers! Love it to the moon and back! Susie from The Chelsea Project

  8. I love this re-do so, so much! The top just gives it more character, I think :) I need to hunt down a similar table to use in my office as a desk, traditional desks just don't have enough room for me!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  9. Cristina,
    Your table looks amazing. I love the look and you can't tell the stain at all.

  10. I was wondering when you were going to show how you did your dining room ceiling ? I've been looking around for different ideas. I'm getting ready to do something similar, and yours looks great !

    1. Oh, I'm so sorry, I'm such a slacker! Last weekend I was tackling the last part of that project... Adding a very little molding all around the "beams". It's done, but I still need to upload pics and write the post. Send me a direct mail and I'll give you details.

    2. No worries ! I will just watch for your post on it. I'm still a little ways away from my project. I have too many projects going on right now that I need to finish...HAHA..I have thought about starting my own blog. I am always re-modeling or changing something. Keep up the good work !

  11. Your table turn d out beautifully. What a great free find. Those are the best. I love to find treasures like that too.

  12. I Love how this turned out! I bought all the supplies to do this to our kitchen table 1.5 yrs ago and haven't had the never to start it just gave me a push in that direction!!

    1. Cheryl, thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment! You have to give yourself that little push and tackle this one. If you paint the base + legs with chalk paint and only strip the top, as I did, is going to be easier than if you try to strip the whole thing.
      I also had a table in the "waiting", two years ago I applied stripping gel all around it, but going thru all those crevices on the pedestal was painful. Some day I'll finish it, hopefully! :D

  13. I shared this with the entire team and we all loved how this turned out. It looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

  14. I'm so inspired to try something like this! Gonna keep my eye out for a table worthy of this much work!

  15. Cristina,
    Wonderful results from your hard work... Thank you for showing how you did each step. Three or four years ago I had to refinish a pine farmhouse table top because of severe water stains. No experience, no guidebook, just jumped in and began scrapping the wax finish off. Then I bleached it with a watered-down solution. Then I sanded it. There are still a few stubborn stains, but the table looks so much better. The thing I hated most was losing all the impressions in the wax finish that showed where I had graded papers over the years. Loved that little history on the table's surface.

    Thanks for sharing at Monday Social. We love seeing your projects.


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