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Painting the dining room table Post 5: FINISHED!…maybe

The table and chairs are finished!!!  (maybe)  I am so excited!!! (well I was for around 24 hours).  Remember what they looked like before:

And the top was very worn:

And now, drumroll please…………….

Taaa Daaaa!! I love, love, love it!!

Ideally I would have loved a dark brown stained piece for this area, but I didn’t want to deal with all that came with staining this particular table.  It does go well with the kitchen area because we have a black fireplace insert right next to this table and my kitchen countertops are black as well.  Overall I am very satisfied with the results!

I was worried that the top of the table was so worn that I wouldn’t be able to get it smooth again, but thanks to my sanding friend:

It turned out fantastic!  I did use this sander on any part I was able to for the table, including the legs.  I did have to use hand sanding on the detail parts of the legs, of course.

Here’s a better shot of the smooth, shiny top:

General Finishes recommends being careful with the furniture until the topcoat has a chance to achieve maximum hardness at 14 days.  I plan to do just that.


If I were to do this over, I would probably clean the top of the table with some TSP or other grease removing cleaner.  And I would probably use a primer, but just on the table top.  I’ve got a few spots that have lifted up when a glass is sitting with condensation pooling around it for a few hours (I’ve said that we are not careful with this table!!).  If you use protection for your table, like placemats/tablecloth and you don’t leave glasses dripping on it the entire day, you probably don’t need to take the extra measures.  But overall I am still in love with the results from all the work and I would definitely do it over again!

Now, remember that “maybe” in the title??  If you have read the other posts in this series (which you can do–and I recommend you do if you want to learn more about the products and the process I used– if you click on the “Painting the dining room table” category on the right sidebar) you know that I did not paint the bottom of the table because nobody would see it.  Well, I got to enjoy that wonderful, incorrect thought for less than 24 hours after I finished the last application of topcoat.  I walked up the stairs from our basement and saw this:


Now I had my contacts in, so the view was in focus, unlike this picture.  But I refuse to retake this shot.  I. don’t. want. to. paint. the. bottom. of. the. table.

I think I’m going to end up painting the bottom of the table.

Darn it.

Would love to hear what you would do in my situation–paint or don’t paint???  Once the chair is in its spot, it isn’t as noticeable.  My Man doesn’t think I need to worry about it.  What about you?  What do you think?

Quick recap:

1) Sand the shine down on all pieces you are going to paint.  Took about 20 minutes per chair.

2) Used 3 coats of General Finishes milk paint in Lamp Black.

3) Sand lightly with 320 grit.

4) Topcoat with General Finishes High Performance Water Based Topcoat in Satin.  Five coats on chairs.  Five coats on table legs and sides.  Eight coats on top of table.  I did not sand between ALL coats of the topcoat as recommended.  Some of them I did though.  Used 320 grit sandpaper.

5)  Need 14 days before the topcoat achieves maximum hardness, so be gentle until then.

**Don’t forget that if you want to learn about the products and process I used for this DIY project, click on the category in the right sidebar titled “Painting the dining room table”.  That will bring up all the posts for this series.

Linking this post to these blog parties:

Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Passion for Paint at Mural Maker and More

Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tater Tots and Jello

Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

Saturday Soiree at A Little Lovely

Remodelaholic Anonymous at Remodelaholic

Catch As Catch Can at My Repurposed Life

Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring

One hour until the next coat

I can put on coat number 7 for the table top in one hour.  If I stay up until midnight, I can apply the last coat and be done with this project.  I’m motivated to finish this thing tonight!

The chairs are all done with 5 layers of topcoat. The table got 5 layers, except the table top got a total of 8 since it will get the most wear (at least that was what was wearing off when I decided it HAD to be refinished).  I was really bummed to not have this done this weekend, but between kid sports and birthday party invitations, I lost my entire Saturday.  And darn it if these things need 2 hours before recoating!

So I should have the finished result posted tomorrow, if I get time to type it up!


My painting pants got some black accents with this project.  Even managed to rip out my left knee so that it now matches the right!  I’ve always been all about symmetry.  I’ve gotten a few texts and written this post up, so now all I have is 36 minutes…


Painting the dining room table: Post 4


Hmmm, eleven work hours later and these chairs aren't looking much different than the other picture I posted a few days ago...

At this point in a project of this size, I’m in need of some motivation.  Lucky for me I got just that this morning when I was enjoying a cup of coffee while reading my favorite blogs before I put on my grubby clothes and grabbed my paint brush.  Sandra from the blog Sawdust and Paper Scraps is putting on a BuildHERS Club link party!  If you have not been to her site, you have got to check it out right now.  That lady is amazing and I think she can do anything.  Make sure you look at her front entry and her kitchen, but any project you look at on her site is sure to impress you.  The deadline for her party is February 4, which is just the kick in the rear that I need to get started on the laundry room so that I can link up.  But first I have GOT to finish up this table and chairs.

Three coats of paint and 5 coats of topcoat=A LOT OF TIME!!!  The can directions for the General Finishes milk paint claims that if you need to use more than 2 coats then you are not putting it on thick enough.  But this stuff is thick and does not spread out if it globs up in the 5 million spindles on each chair. I had to use 3 coats to get good coverage.  This paint still rocks though.

The directions on the General Finishes High Performance Top Coat can say to get it on and then don’t mess with it too much because it WILL spread out for a smooth finish.  I was reluctant to believe them, but I should have listened sooner.  Once I started to get sloppy (or so I thought) because I began to feel like I was never going to finish, I realized that the topcoat where I just got it on and moved to the next spot looked just as good as the topcoat where I spent more time smoothing it all out.  You can’t leave puddles, but you can get away with quite a bit.

I did not paint the bottom of the table.  I only put 3 coats of topcoat on the bottoms of the chairs and the chair bottoms never saw a third coat of paint.  This has sped the process up a little.

Good news?  I did all 6 chairs and the table in 3 coats with only a quart of the paint.  I get to return the other quart I bought, which brings down the price of the project down to about $50!!

I figured I put about 3 hours into each chair once they are finished.  I didn’t time myself with the table and I’m not sure I want to know…

I think I’ll be finished up with it all tomorrow!

Painting the dining room table Post 3


Happy new year!  Been busy trying to get these chairs and table finished, but it’s slow going. I’ve got all the chairs in various states of completion. You can see my notes about what time each chair is ready for the next step in the picture (which is a crummy pic, but I’m composing this post on my phone, so gotta go with what I’ve got).

I’m thinking 5 coats of the sealer, which is going to be a pain, but worth it in the end. I’ve only got one chair even started with the sealer. Uggg!

I hope you have a fantastic 2011! May you start and finish all the projects on your list in the new year.  I sure hope that I do…boy, that kinda sounds like a resolution don’t ya think?

Painting the dining room table Post 2

Okay, so I started painting the dining room chairs today.  That voice inside my head kept telling me that I should wait until after our New Year’s Eve bash, but I just hummed over it and got out the sandpaper.

I couldn’t find my 120 grit that was recommended (how many places can I stash sandpaper in this house, anyway?) so I ended up sanding off the sheen that managed to survive the last 17 years with 150 grit.

Left is sanded; right is an unsanded comparison.

I didn’t work too hard at knocking down the sheen–at the most it took 20 minutes.  But I’m not kidding that a lot of this is worn off already.  Remember this pic?


See why this is a necessary project?!

Then I got out the recommended foam brush, stir stick, and drop cloth and went to town with the General Finishes milk paint in Lamp Post black (or Lamp black? can’t remember what the exact name was right now).


Left chair has one coat and right has two.

The directions say to sand between coats with 320 grit after two hours in ideal conditions.  I waited the two hours in our 68 degree house with low winter humidity and very lightly sanded before the second coat.  For the most part, the second coat finished up the chair.  I did have to touch up some areas with a light third coat to completely cover with the black.  I really like this paint.

To distress or not to distress…deciding is distressing…


Glazed with General Finishes Red Sienna glaze.

I would have said that I was positive I’d go with the distressed and glazed look before I actually attempted it.  I’ll decide for sure once I’ve got some natural light tomorrow, but I’m leaning heavily toward just black with some satin sealer coat on top.

I got three chairs sanded, painted with two coats, and one distressed and glazed as well.  I didn’t start until around 2:00 and I cooked dinner in there–so I probably spent roughly 5 hours on it today.  That includes a lot of hemhawing about the distressing, taking pictures, and standing and admiring what I had done.  I do that a lot during my projects–is that weird?


They look so much better!

Painting the dining room table Post 1: Before

One of the first things that I saw when I went to My Man’s apartment for the first time was this dining room table:

I was impressed that this single guy had such a nice table.  It was a good first impression–it got me past the weight set in the living room (which also contained a Halloween orange sectional couch) and the racing bike that leaned against a wall next to this table.  That was 18 years ago.  The table is looking a little lot worn all these years later.  It is at the “I’m embarrassed” by the table stage now.  I’d love to replace it with a new one, but that’s further down the list of things we are going to spend money on right now.

I had such success with the General Finishes stain and topcoat on the leaning wall shelves project, that I’m going to use their milk paint for this one.  I chose their lamp black for the main color, and to give it some dimension I’m going to distress and glaze with General Finishes Red Sienna glaze.  And since I know that the table will have to withstand a lot of use, I’m going to seal it with General Finishes High Performance Water-Based Topcoat in satin.  I sound like a General Finishes advertisement!  I just loved the stain and topcoat on my other project–hope I am just as satisfied with this one.

I’d like to finish this before Christmas. Did I say that out loud??  What am I thinking…


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