Tale of the Table

Saturday, January 19, 2013

So happy the weekend is here! Hope you have something fun planned (and aren't like my mom in Minnesota stuck inside with -15° predicted!). I'm working on some Valentine's Day decorations (already) this weekend and look forward to sharing them with you in the next few days.

First I want to let you know that I have been featured on another blog for the first time (so excited)! I shared my Ikea table makeover with Maryann at her blog Domestically Speaking and she chose my project as one of the Top 10 to Spotlight for last week! Very excited! 

If you read my post on my 2013 New Years Resolutions, I listed completing my dining room table makeover as one of my resolutions. When I finished the Ikea table makeover, I left myself without a dining room table. I was so lucky that on my first scour through Craigslist, I found a great table and chairs for only $30! I still can't believe I was the first person to respond to the listing. But I was; and I picked the table and chairs up later that same day.

I hauled the chairs up to my apartment, but had to wait a few days for Morgan's help to get the table inside. So I soon found out why it was such a great deal. The prior owners had stained the table darker...directly over the original finish. 

It ran all over... it wasn't (and isn't) great looking. From afar it isn't too bad, but look at it up close:

My plan was to work on the table over the winter to get it prepped to paint by spring. I thought about using the Zinsser primer I used on my Ikea table, but there were so many clumps of stain I knew they would show through another layer of paint.

I didn't want to sand it inside, so I did a little research online and found out about Citristrip. Citristrip is a natural stripper that is orange based and can be used indoors. It is pretty simple to use and the results are pretty good too. You begin by rolling or painting on a thick layer of Citristrip, let it sit for about 15 minutes until it bubble up, then scrape it off.

Brush on the Citristrip then let it sit.

Then begin scraping!

I was completely amazed by the results...at first, but the longer I used it, the less it seemed to work...

After a few rounds of Citristrip...

After A LOT of scraping...

After even more scraping! Literally took a few nights
repeating scraping to get it to look like this.

After the top was completed I began working on the legs. I used plastic bags to catch the scrapings. I also tried the Citristrip on the chairs... disaster. It dried almost immediately and I wasn't able to scrape off the gunk before it dried. Overall, I would only suggest Citristrip for small projects.

A few weeks ago, I ordered a palm sander and it finally arrived in the mail this week! So, against my original plans, I am going to sand the rest of the chairs and the legs of the table so it is ready to go by spring.

My original idea was to paint a Moroccan trellis design in black egg shell/satin finish contrast. I love that I was able to find other people who did the same paint design on Pinterest! I am not sure this is still what I want to do, but these are the projects I might base it off of:

stenciled table top

DIY stenciled table

Stenciled Moroccan Table

stenciled table

painting quatrefoil

With this technique:

Love love love the high gloss on matte paint!

Same paint color in glossy over flat paint.

I like the gloss on matte technique

What do you think?! Do you think I can pull this off? Any suggestions? Have you repainted a table? What should I paint it to look like? Yikes, I am excited, but I know I'm in for a long ride on this!


  1. Anonymous1/19/2013

    I think I have a matching vase that sits on your table - only in a darker amber. You are a master at locating $30 deals. I appreciate your imagination that accompanies your acquisitions.
    My mother once used a homemade concoction using mule team borax and gloss starch that created a none toxic stripper for items that had been painted. Sorry I am not able to help beyond sharing the idea. She may have gotten recipe from a state Agricultural Extension Service. Good luck from Carmen in IA

  2. Are you able to identify the kind of wood it is? If its a soft wood (can you dent it with your fingernail, painting is probably your best option. If it turns out to be maple or cherry you might want to do a proper re-finish ... the beauty of the wood should not be hidden by paint, my opinion. We have refinished lots of furniture and 2/3 of the woodwork and floors and doors in our house, and we have tried the alternative "enviro-friendly" products, and we have always been disappointed. Good strippers have chemicals that do all the work for you, and the finish comes off readily; but you do need an outdoor area. We also helped one of our kids refinish a coffee table that had un-identifiable wood and the finish would NOT come off - even with the good stripper - we ended up sanding it all. So you are right, sanding is probly your best option - start slowly and don't rush it - let the sander do the work. If there are veneers, the sander can sand right thru them and then you'll have a bigger problem. Amanda & I have used the metallic paint finishes and were successful - I think she has a picture on her facebook page of her kitchen that we did a few months ago. for the table top, be sure to use several coats of a really good (not water-based) polyurethane. LET EACH COAT DRY AT LEAST ONE WHOLE DAY! You spill on and wash your table frequently - it needs a finish that will hold up. Good luck - Barbara

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