Removing Paint From Spindles

5 Days

I bought this table and chairs recently from a thrift store. The chairs were not originally part of a set, but it's a cute idea. I imagine the set was used at one time by a couple of little girls for a craft table. My plan was to update the table with a fresh coat of paint and be done with it. Little did I know what I was in for! After further inspection once I got these home, I notice the paint was chipping and peeling badly, so the only hope for a quality finish would be to strip the paint first.
My first attempt was to sand off the paint as shown in the photo below. But the paint was extremely stubborn, so I moved on to Plan B.
Next I used Citristip. It worked fairly well, but again the paint was extremely stubborn. In the end it took three sessions of Citristrip to remove the paint from the top.
That still left the spindles. The table has six spindled legs as well as a spindle cross support bar. Assuming they would also require three applications of Citristrip I figured it would take me a year to finish the project. Probably more like decades (never) actually because I would have lost patience very quickly!
So I moved onto my next plan which was to use a heat gun. That process worked fairly well as shown in the photo below, but it still required an application of Citristrip to remove residual paint especially in the grooves. Overall the process was long and messy.
The photo below shows the paint after it was finally stripped from the spindles. I wrote a separate blog post about what I think is the best way to remove paint from spindles which you can read here from this link. I'll give you a hint -- don't do it, ha ha!
Here is one more shot of the "before".
Here's the table with the prep work completed and ready for a new look.
And finally the new look! I painted it in Arles and Graphite for a more grownup and traditional look. (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.)
I added dark wax directly over the paint on the table top before applying soft wax. This gave the Graphite a bit more dimension.
I gave the entire piece light distressing with sandpaper along the edges.
And then applied a glaze to the Arles to further age the piece and give it additional dimension.
Overall the project took me five SOLID days of work, ugh!. In the end I'm not sure it was worth it, but I'm happy with the final result.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Lorraine Hartman
    on Apr 11, 2017

    What is Graphite and where do I get it? I love your painting. What color is on the bottom of the table. Thanks. Lori
    • Patricia
      on Apr 11, 2017

      Thank you so much Lorraine! Graphite is one of the colors by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The bottom is painted Arles (also Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).
  • Chrystina
    on Sep 12, 2017

    Did you do any sanding at all, after the stripping for those weird spots that wouldn't let go?
    • Patricia
      on Sep 24, 2017

      Hi Christina. Yes I sanded the wood smooth after stripping the paint.
  • I'm confused, you posted a link but then said don't do it, correct? Why post it then? Or am I missing something?

Join the conversation

4 of 87 comments
  • Sara
    on Mar 17, 2017

    WOW - absolutely gorgeous table - you are talented!
  • Diane
    on Jun 11, 2017

    Absolutely worth the five days. I can hear my mom ( anything worth while is worth taking your time). Beautiful job, and your choice of colors are a great combo.
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