Friday, June 28, 2019

Farmhouse Kitchen Table Makeover

Are you like me and tackle larger house projects in the summer?

This summer, I was determined to refinish my kitchen table. It is Ethan Allen and I have had it since we got married in 1997.  It has a beachy feel which doesn't match our current house but the real issue was the messed up finish on top.  I think part of it was my fault when I tried to iron with a towel on it once. Not smart! Regardless, after years of daily use, paper plates and even tablecloths would stick to it. I was nervous about taking a sander to it but I figured I couldn't mess it up more than it already was.
The first thing I did was use wood filler to get rid of the grooves. I knew when I bought the table those grooves were a bad idea but it was before kids so I thought I could clean out the crumbs occasionally. HA! They were a pain and gross!
Then I had my boys move it out back and went to town with my sander. I left the legs and bottom of the table alone. This table has two leaf extensions too so it took me over 3 hours! Thank goodness for audio books!
I used wood conditioner and then started going to town with my choice of stain, American Walnut. BIG MISTAKE! This pine seems to be even more yellow-orange than usual so the stain looked much redder than I expected!
I lost a night of sleep and decided I couldn't live with it and had to sand the whole thing down again! Luckily it came off easier this time since it was just stain and no sealer.
 Next I did what I should have done the first time and bought several different stains and extra pine to test samples. I have a darker floor so I was thinking of trying to go lighter but nothing seemed to look good with the creamy white legs and antiqued stain.  Also the sample pine I got was not giving off the same yellow orange as my table so I knew whatever I did would probably still look different on the table.
I even tried my own weathering concoction and white washing but those didn't look right either.
I finally decided to use Dark Walnut very lightly and rub it off right away. I don't really like the  Varathane Premium 1 Hour stain. It is really thick and my wood sucked it in immediately. I worked in small areas and wiped rubbed off as much as I could. It still came out much darker than my sample but luckily I still like it. I was smarter this time and let just one of the leaves dry to make sure I liked it before I did the rest.

I decided to use Polyurethane, even though I was afraid of the golden color, because it is more durable. Three coats are recommended with at least 4 hours of drying time between. I did this over a couple days. The smell didn't bother me at all until I brought the table back inside. I should have left it outside longer but I was worried about the final finish getting ruined after all that work. I had already had to deal with berries dropping from a tree and leaving purple marks (luckily before sanding so I sanded it off) and bird poop which I was able to clean off with no lasting damage.
You may also notice that I turned the painting upside down. This is the way I saw and liked it originally in the store but when I got it home we realized that it was "supposed" to go the other way. I like it better with the more dramatic movement at the bottom because it got lost with the chandelier so I turned it around. Art is open to interpretation right?

Now I think I need a cute centerpiece! Maybe something like this but with some blue?

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