Painting Furniture: Dining Room Table

From Dated to Beautiful

OK, so this table wasn't exactly made at 173, but it was re-done! Bear with me a minute. For years the dining room was just missing something...

The oldest form of theater is the dinner table. It's got five or six people, new show every night, same players. Good ensemble; the people have worked together a lot. - Michael J. Fox

I know, it's not Christmas, but you know, with all the pictures taken around here, there just isn't a clean shot of the dining room...this was the closest.  But it gives you an idea - there's no table!  It's been that way ever since the previous family was here...

Huh.  Just dawned on me...that's a Christmas picture too.  Anyway, just hadn't put a table in there.  For the longest time we just weren't sure what kind of table belonged.  There are so many choices out there!

Seriously though, I think it was always destined to be a pedestal table.  But there were  had to have an interesting build, it had to have a leaf, and it could NOT be oak!  So that really put limitations on what kind of table 173 would have.

It wasn't even on the radar (although it was kinda always on the radar) for a dining room table for good ol' 173.  Then, I woke up a couple weeks ago and thought, I'd like to have a table for the dining room.  After about five minutes of searching on Craigslist, I found one.  The pictures looked great.  It was a pedestal table, and it had a leaf! was oak.  Oak, with all it's huge grain, and multi-colored top.  But it had an interesting build, and I had a plan.  After about a dozen emails between myself and the seller, 15 minutes of driving and $75, good ol' 173 had a dining room table, and here she is!

Yup!  She's a beauty!  I love the lines, the details (which you can't see in that picture), and the size...perfect fit.  As for the I said, I had a plan.  I think it was the very next day when work began with a light sanding...

And there's the Linus monster...always at hand!  OK, for all you oak-lovers out there, fair warning:  from here out you may want to avert your eyes!  Here she is with two coats of B-I-N primer:

Pretty shocking huh?  The plan was for the table to be white (with some twists), but seeing the base of white it was immediately apparent that there had to be some color to it to calms things down.  

Products used for this project

So, after three coats of Behr Premuim Plus Exterior Semi-Gloss Enamel in Valspar's Polar Star color, the table was taking shape.  That sounded weird didn't it.  Went with Behr because I was near a Home Depot, but liked the very light gray of Valspar's Polar Star:

Polar Star had just enough gray in it to tone down the whole look, and I used exterior grade paint because well...I'm paranoid!  I wanted it to dry hard, be able to stand up to wear and tear, and tolerate water and spills.  So in a classic case of overkill...three coats of exterior grade enamel on a dining room table!
By now the table was looking great, but I had a plan!  On went the Valspar Antiquing Glaze.  I made sure to get the glaze into all the details in the pedestal...

And into the details on the table, here's a comparison to show the difference the glaze was making...

Then went on four coats of Minwax Polycrilic in satin finish.  I went with Polycrilic because it's water-borne, and after studying it out on the net, it seemed like the best choice for a table.  The folks at All Things Thrifty had a great article on the use of polycrilic. A few things I learned about polycrilic while doing this table:

1- Use a good quality synthetic brush.
2- Polycrilic gets tacky really fast - so work fast!
3- DO NOT go back, to even the tiniest spot, if you miss something.  You'll get it in the next coat.  Going back will definitely, without a doubt, 100% of the time, leave blotchy streaks in the finish.
4- At least in my dining room, in New York, in February, I could re-coat in two hours.
5- If you're going to re-coat in two hours, it's not necessary to sand.
6- If you do sand, use like a 400 grit block.  Anything coarser will definitely leave marks you'll have to work out.
7- If you do find blotchy streaks, don't panic.  Put another even coat on, it'll get better.
8- Probably the biggest thing I learned - get some polycrilic on your brush!  The directions for use on the can, and everything you read about this product says put it on in thin coats.  That's true.  You definitely don't want to glob it on, but I think trying to put it on too thin lead to streaks.
So, when all was said and done.  After sanding, applying two coats of primer, three coats of exterior semi-gloss enamel, antiquing glaze, and four coats of polycrilic, the dining room table at 173 turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself!

UPDATE:  A few posts from now there is an overall picture of the dining room.  Here's a shot 'til we get there:

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