Kitchen table and chairs makeover

14 January 2016

How to stain a kitchen table and chairs + a giveaway!
how to refinish a kitchen table

Hello! 5 years ago, I shared how I took our standard oak table and refinished it with a darker stain. sept 2011 084

Well, a move across the country, years of use from a busy family with 5 kids on a table that gets used multiple times a day and it began to look like this:

scrated table

The worst was hand sanitizer being spilled on it a few years ago – wow! Keep it away from your furniture:

hand sanitizer on table

I debated on whether to bite the bullet and get a new table but in the end reason won out: it’s still sturdy, is oval and protects little heads that get bonked, has 2 great leaves that make it nice and long for gatherings, it isn’t a crazy out of date shape, and I knew the wood could be sanded down and re-stained. AND it would only cost around $50 where a brand new table the same size would be $1000+.

The paint is still holding up beautifully on the bottom of the table, so I just had to take off the finish on the top and edge of the table top. If you are re-doing yours, you may want to consider painting the edge and the bottom and then just refinishing the top to save time.

I was very curious to see if using a wood stripper or a heat gun would save me any time compared to my traditional method of using my trusty sander to remove the dark finish. Here is a pic that shows the section that I used the stripper on, the sander, and the heat gun. In the end, good old sanding won out. So that’s what I did: sanded it with 80 grit sandpaper with my palm sander to remove the finish and then going over it with a fine 120 grit to make it baby bum smooth.
how to refinish a table

Then, I applied wood conditioner with a wide foam brush that I could just throw away, played around with golden oak and weather oak until it looked right, and then I sealed it all up with 3-4 coats of lacquer. I prefer using disposable foam brushes to apply, moving in the direction of the grain.

This was my first experience using lacquer and I have to say I’m impressed! Some DIY friends recommended it for a finish and it is rock hard! Stinks like crazy and you have to be quick because it starts drying quickly but that also means you can apply another coat in no time. I am sold on it though as for as durability.

painting dining room chairs

Now for the chairs! These are just typical solid oak, kind of traditional chairs that come with many tables.

oak chairs makeover

I knew using a brush was out of the question, so I turned to my handy dandy sprayer. I’ve used this sprayer on my door, dressers, desk, carts, you name it.

The new and improved version is the HomeRight Finish Max Pro Sprayer
homeright finish max pro

– it’s got more power and a finer finish, less overspray, a longer hose, and I love that it can sit straight up in the carrier because I was always knocking the old one over. It worked like a gem on these chairs. The key is that you’ve got to thin your paint/primer down with water until it’s the consistency of buttermilk (a tip I got from Gina) If it starts splattering, it’s too thick.  We even got a video of spraying the chairs for you:

Quick & easy!

The color we used is SW 7048 Urbane Bronze (the same color we used on the inside of our entry door) in Sherwin Williams Pro Classic.
urbane bronze
First, we primed them with Zinsser water based primer,

then 2-3 coats of paint (use light, thin coats letting them dry in between)

chairs with primer

and then a couple of coats of poly for protection. I would have used lacquer, but they only had brush on, so I went with the poly in the sprayer. Let them harden up as long as possible before using them

kitchen table and chairs makeover

and then bring them in to get ready for abuse love from your entire family. I do love the lighter, kind of weathered gray color -- it does not show up as much (scratches, crumbs, smudges, etc) as the darker finish.
***** Giveaway is now closed, winner is #12 Katelyn! Congratulations ******************
Homeright and I would love to give a Max Pro Sprayer away to a lucky reader, just let us know in the comments what project you would use it on. Good luck!


Home Right sent me the Max Pro Sprayer and I loved it, so I am sharing it with you. I only team up with companies that have products I love and can stand behind. These are my own opinions and experiences. thanks :)

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