Have you ever thought about changing a piece of furniture you’ve had for years to update the look to the style you currently have? Well, it’s not that hard and I can show you the easy way and tools I use to achieve this yourself.
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Drab to Fab
A sweet friend of mine bought a new house and wanted to change her style somewhat but had a perfectly fine dining room table, which was her Grandmother’s. This piece is one heavy table….which in the world of furniture making…means it’s a REALLY good piece of furniture! But it was the light golden oak color of yesteryear and it’s 2020 after all!! And she wanted to transform it for her new kitchen eating area.
And when I say “she”….I really mean ME! So I was happy to make this happen for her. She had found the coolest vintage wooden chairs that had been painted a soft white with slight distressing at our local Antique Mall….so this is what she wanted the table to resemble.
Let’s Get Started
The first thing you MUST do, is sand the table well. You don’t need to get it down to the raw wood, but you do need to sand off that top layer of varnish. I found THE BEST orbital palm sander, linked HERE, that made my work go so quickly! The great thing about an orbital sander, you don’t have to worry as much going against the grain when you are sanding. I still am old school…so I always try to go with the grain, but this is just a much better way to do it.
After you get the sanding done, you need to get all that dust off the table, being sure to get it out of any crevice. I like to take a damp old wash cloth to do this. You can also use a tack cloth, but I have chemical sensitivities so I try to avoid those myself. Just be sure whatever you use, you get all the dust off.
Next I like to use KILZ water based primer. I’m allergic to the oil based primer, but you can certainly use that if you’d like. But the water based formula works really well and cleans up with soap and water so it’s much easier. (NOTE* if you have wood with lots of knots/tannin showing, you will need to use a shellac based primer to keep the tannin from bleeding through. I recommend Zinsser) I use a home sprayer, linked HERE, which makes the process so easy and looks professional. PRO TIP: add 10% water to your Kilz to make it spray better (which is another reason to use the water based formula!)
This needs to dry at least one hour in a normal temperature room. If your room is really cold (like your basement) then you might want to give it two hours.
Here Comes the COLOR
Next comes the pretty part. Again, I’m using my awesome Home Sprayer, adding water to the paint ….which is General Finishes Paint. This paint does super well with a sponge roller or brush, so you don’t have to have a sprayer…it just makes the whole process really fast. General Finishes has so many beautiful colors and it levels out so nicely. This paint is perfect for bathroom vanities too! (I’ve done several over the last few years and it holds up fantastic)
Mix Mix Mix
Once again, mix water into your paint if you’re spraying it on. If using a roller or brush, thinning is not needed. For this paint to spray I added 15% water, and sprayed two coats on the table, waiting 2 hours between coats. If using a brush or roller, you will still need to wait the 2 hours between coats. I also lightly sanded the first coat after the 2 hour wait time and before I sprayed the 2nd coat on. Just use a sanding sponge for this and don’t sand with any pressure. Oh….be sure to dust it well again too!
Since this is a table top used in a kitchen where it will be wiped down repeatedly, I recommend doing a top coat. General Finishes has their recommended top coat which also can be sprayed on. If this is something like a night stand or bathroom vanity base, it’s not necessary as the Milk Paint itself is very durable.
That’s it! It made such a HUGE difference. Totally updated this great table into the new decade of 2020! And Lucy the Cat approves!
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know if you’re up to the challenge to paint something! Ask any questions, I’m here to help. And please do me a SOLID…if you are thinking of ordering any of the items I’ve recommeneded….click on my links or on my Shop page. I do earn a small commission from your purchase from Amazon, but it in no way costs you one cent more! When you click on my link, it will take you directly to YOUR Amazon page. Thanks again! Leslie