Refinished Dining Room Table {Furniture Makeover}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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Oh goodness, this dining room is taking forever to finish! I’ve been working on it for the past several months as money and time have allowed, and we’re definitely in the home stretch, but it’s the little things that are making me crazy! I’ve already showed you the side table I made over, and the planked wall with exposed studs accent wall we created, which really helped change the feel of the whole space. But let’s be honest, one of the most obvious things that had to change to fit the whole “coastal/cottage” vibe I’m going for was the dining table.

It’s a nice, solid wood table that my hubs and I bought for only $60 (yes, you read that correctly!) when we first moved into this house. I was so over the black hutch and the finish on this table, but it’s functional piece so I didn’t want to buy a new one. I haven’t done too much furniture refinishing, so I asked my bloggy pal and furniture expert, Shaunna, if she could make some recommendations as to what I should do to change them up to fit my style. Not only did she come up with some incredible furniture ideas, but she dreamt up an entire inspiration board for my room!
furniture inspiration board and home decorating ideas at perfectly imperfect
Isn’t that amazing? I love so many of her ideas, and hope my room turns out half as nice as her dream room! 🙂  So with her help, I started out refinishing the table. The first step was to remove the legs of the table and give them a good painting with Annie Sloan Chalk paint, aka my new love.. I decided to paint the legs in French linen, and then once that dried, did a wash of Pure White over top. That was the easy part.
The table top….not so easy. I started off by sanding the top with 60 grit sandpaper and my palm sander. It was so difficult getting through all the layers of whatever they sealed it with that it probably took me a good hour and half to sand it all down.
I almost didn’t mind, though, because what I saw as I was sanding made me super excited! I loved the look of the unfinished wood and the wood grain that began to show.
Even with all the sanding, I still didn’t feel like I had removed all of the old finish, so I brushed on a layer of CitriStrip. Basically, you brush it on and leave it for the recommended time. Then, you wipe it off with a lint-free cloth and with it, off comes the finish! This sanding/stripping method really worked to get my table back to it’s gorgeous, unfinished state.
Shaunna recommended that I try white-washing the table with Pure White chalk paint, so that’s what I did. If you’re unfamiliar with white-washing, it is an awesome way to keep the character of a piece, while subtly adding a touch of color to it. Basically, you add water to paint until it’s the intensity you want. More water = less concentrated color.
whitewash recipe
I really wanted the grain of the wood to show, but I didn’t care for the peachy color of the wood, so I went with a very watered down white wash.
I brushed it on, and then wiped it back with a paper towel. Because my wash was mostly water, I had to wipe it immediately after I brushed it on because it was drying very quickly. Wiping the wash back helps brings the color of the grain out, which gives it a very reclaimed wood finish.
After I washed the whole table, I was over the top giddy mildly pleased with the results.
I can’t get over how well the table now fits in my dining room! It’s like it was meant to live in a coastal cottage all along.
The final step is sealing it with Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax. Because this is a surface that will get lots of wear, since people will eat and drink there, it will need three coats of wax. I’m planning on doing that this week, but that’s the kind of little detail (that makes a big difference!) that I don’t want to do. Any one out there want to come finish my table? Please!?!?


All that hard work was totally worth it, though, because I’m head over heels in love with the table now. A big thank you to Shaunna for helping me to see it’s potential!

Not bad for a $60 table, huh? 😉



We’re honored to be featured over at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar today for her week of all things curtains! Be sure to check it out to see what no-sew curtain solutions we came up with!






The comments +

  1. Christina says:

    nice work, Jess!! We stripped & sanded our big kitchen table a few years ago – it’s such a long process! But it totally transforms the space 🙂 I’m loving how bright & airy your dining room is becoming!

  2. Beautiful! give the room a whole new look!!

  3. Shaunna says:

    It looks amazing!!!! I’m LOVING the whole room!

  4. Michelle says:

    The table looks amazing!! Actually, the whole room is awesome … I wish my DH would be more open to me refinishing some of our furniture in a white wash/cottage look. I think I am going to start in the kids playroom … it might not be such a drastic, in your face kind of change for him and maybe he will like it? 🙂

    Beautiful work!!

  5. I’m loving your wall in your dining room!!!! Waaahooo! I have never white washed anything but it looks doable 🙂 Oh the sanding would have killed me but it looks so good now that you have the white paint on it. The room is coming together nicely 🙂

  6. I could give you another dining room to re-do on a budget! I l.o.v.e. the way that came out! beeeeutiful. Seeing the after pictures make it hard to believe the befores, not to say I’m doubting at all, it’s just that stunning a transformation. And all that hard, physical work. I haven’t done stuff like that for ohhh, 30 yrs.? I commend you, Jess.

  7. Amazing transformation, it looks right at home now. As for the waxing, that is nothing after what you have already done, it is simple, you can’t mess it up, and it makes a big difference, just go for it!!!

  8. Becca says:

    Very ambitious!! I’d love to know how the wax turns out…i have to strip and sand my kitchen table top and am anxious about a top finish that is able to withstand the wear and tear of kids. Question: is there a reason why you didn’t use the stripping gel first? Just curious so I know how to go about my project:) Thanks!

  9. What a great transformation! It’s good that you also have a wide imagination on what you want to do with your furnitures. I am thinking now of refinshing my old furnitures! Good job! –

  10. Kay Hyde says:

    Wow! Very nice table. It was indeed a very good job. I wish i can have time to refinish my old furnitures too. 🙂 –

  11. john cutts says:

    I Am loving the all pitcher and walls everything is perfect.That is great Post and nice pitchers you products.
    All disgn are very beautiful and very clear.



  12. Nicole says:

    This dining table looks absolutely gorgeous, simple but gorgeous.

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