Farmhouse Style Table Transformation

7 Materials
4 Hours

I’ve had this table for years. It was inexpensive and is made from pine which I bought stained with some kind of wax finish on it. I had replaced the chairs that came with it for white ones and two years ago I painted the legs white and left the top as it was. However, over time the wax finish rubbed off and it was impossible to clean the surface which left the table top full of stains and dried on food mess. So I decided it was time to finish it off and create a practical surface ready for everyday use.

This is a before photo once I had painted the legs (obviously the legs were originally the same colour as the tabletop). For this I just used an ivory eggshell paint as I wasn’t fussy about a natural chippy look created with everyday use. If you want a more sustainable finish then obviously you would want to use an alternative paint and then seal.

I sanded the surface of the table top to remove all the stains and remains of dried on food. I also used a wax remover to ensure that there were no traces of wax left after sanding. This was so quick to apply and I just scrubbed lightly with some wire wool and then washed off.

I then took a walnut wood stain and worked it into the bare wood using a lint free cloth.

I applied two coats over the surface to create the shade I wanted.

This was the finished result after staining. I actually really quite liked this finish but decided to make it a little darker just to ensure that there was no orange/yellow tone to the wood.

I took a grey stain, which was actually more of an outdoor paint to stain furniture, as this was all I could find in the shade I wanted. I added a little water to thin the consistency.

I then took the lint free cloth and applied the grey stain over the wood.

I worked this in so that the colour was not too strong and also even over the surface.

This was the finished shade after applying the grey stain. The result is a darker wood, obviously with a slight grey tone to it, which was more of the look I had in mind.

Finally, I used Minwax Polycrylic to seal the wood. This was my first time trying this product, after having it recommended to me as a good option to get a waterproof finish. And I have to say having used it I am so impressed with the results! I chose the clear semi-gloss but I could have used the gloss also to ensure a reliable waterproof result.

Using a thin brush I applied four LIGHT coats to the table top. This was following advice from a friend who uses this product all the time. While it was a little more time consuming, this means that the wood should be well sealed without the product looking too thick over the surface.

Here is a close up of the finished surface. I’m so happy with the result and so far the polycrylic has really worked in terms of cleaning and everyday use. The surface has a slight sheen but does not look overly glossy and is now so easy to wipe clean.

I had the majority of the products and materials required for this project already. The only thing I purchased was the grey stain and the polycrylic which is what made it so costly since it is expensive to buy in the UK.

The finished look! I’m so happy with how it turned out and getting the top done has completed it and the table fits in with the look I wanted for my kitchen. And mainly it’s so great to have a practical and functional surface ready for everyday use!

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Kimzbizz Kimzbizz on Mar 03, 2020

    Do you think the polycrylic in flat would be just as waterproof?

  • Autumn Autumn on Jan 08, 2021

    This is after locksmith left for me to cover it up..

    What and how can I do this

  • Lde49492006 Lde49492006 on Jan 09, 2022

    What is your table top size? Lovely project!

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4 of 62 comments
  • Barbaramason1969 Barbaramason1969 on Jan 09, 2022

    I have a oak table, the finish is coming off around the edges. It needs to be refurbished. It’s around 35 years old. What would you recommend?

    • Rachel | mapleandgrey Rachel | mapleandgrey on Jan 31, 2022

      I guess it depends what look you want! But I would imagine remove the current stain to create an even base and then add a new stain in the desired shade.

  • Patsy47 Patsy47 on Jan 09, 2022

    lovely job! especially adding the gray stain,that took it above boring walnut stain....well done you!😃