Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Epic Table Project

One of the first pieces of furniture I wanted for my new house was a new kitchen table. We've never had a "real" kitchen table before so I really wanted one. I wanted something cool and a little different, something that could be expanded to seat more people but that would still fit in my breakfast area. So at the beginning of August, my friend Stephanie and I went out to the West Bottoms in Kansas City to check out First Fridays. I found this awesome redone Pottery Barn table at Bella Patina (which happens to be the store of one of my high school friends, Megan!). The table was clean and white with two leaves and just adorable.

So we loaded it up and took it home. As soon as we unloaded it, I noticed that the paint was peeling. So much, in fact, that you could peel off most of the top with a fingernail. Not ideal.

Here's the new table. That I never intended to re-do.

So that weekend, as my husband slaved away on the ceilings (another post for another time), my mother-in-law and I decided to fix up the table. We were planning to strip off the old paint and then just spray paint the whole table. We thought we would probably finish it during the weekend. We were wrong.

Here's what we did. I would like to state a disclaimer that this is not a real true "How to re-do a table" because I don't really know what the proper way is. But here is what we did. It was a long process. You may just want to take a little trip out to Nebraska Furniture Mart and buy yourself a table. Just saying.

We started out by striping the paint off with a stripping gel. You paint it on, let it sit for a while, then scrape it off. Pretty easy but didn't work so well on the legs.

I tried using steel wool on the legs, that didn't work either. Plus, as we stripped that paint down, we found more layers of finish underneath. Soo I made a new plan. I used a small electric sander to strip down the legs as much as possible. And my dad brought over a larger sander and completely sanded down the top of the table. Also, I quit taking pictures of the process in between because I was super frustrated. (Ha.)

So. After the sanding was done, my plan was to stain the top of the table and paint the legs. We were never able to get all the paint off the legs so staining them wasn't really an option.

Before staining the top of the table, I used a pre-stain wood conditioner. It dried within an hour, very quick and easy. Then I did two coats of stain for a really black look. I decided to stain instead of paint because you can still see the beautiful grain of the wood. After staining, I did three coats of a clear gloss polyurethane. 

For the legs, I just did a coat of primer and then two coats of glossy black paint. I really love the contrast between the legs and the top of the table.

(Sorry for the night photo, I work nights now so did a lot of the work on my nights off. And then didn't notice mistakes until the daylight...)

So here it is! Finally hanging out in my breakfast nook. I can see all the imperfections, but I am pretty happy with the final result.

I'm planning on spray painting these chairs. No more sanding for me, thankyouverymuch. But I can't decide on white paint or different colors...

Things I would do differently next time:

-Spend less time trying to get all the paint off the legs, since the primer and new paint covered everything anyway

-Spend less time stripping the paint off the top of the table and just sand it off, which was so much easier and less time consuming

-Paint the legs outside in the daylight! There are a few places where I can see paint drips that I didn't see at night.

-Use a paint on polyurethane instead of spray on. The spray was so easy but I can see places where it is uneven.

P.S. The rug is from Target a few years ago. I love it.
 And here is my table scape. I love calling it a table scape. It reminds me of Sandra Lee and her boozy Food Network show with matching curtains, clothes, cocktails and...table scapes. Anniversary roses (aww), mini pumpkins, and candle in a glass pumpkin.

So that is my table project. It took two months to finish. Which is too long, honestly. Also, have I mentioned that I hate DIY projects? I just want someone to do it for me. Thanks to my mother in law and my dad for helping me out so I didn't actually have to do this all by myself!

Costs of the project:

-Table: $120 

-Materials for stripping and sanding, not including sanders (borrowed from my dad and father in law): $50

-Wood conditioner, stain, primer, paint, and polyurethane: $70 

Total: approximately $240

Not bad, considering most Pottery Barn tables are over $1000. 

Now come over, pull up a chair, compliment my table, and have some dinner. On my new table.