French Country Farmhouse Dining Table Makeover

About a year ago I bought an antique dining table and chairs. The top had been stripped and stained and no longer matched the table base and chairs. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it so I left it as is for a whole year while we worked on other areas of our new house.
I had a hard time deciding what to do with our dining room and hence our dining room table. The dining room is a much more formal room than any other room in our house, but I wanted to make it into a casual feeling formal dining space that would fit our style and the room. Our house is decorated in the French Country farmhouse style with lots of old silver, vintage baskets, and antiques scattered throughout and I tried to carry that theme over to this room.
So let's get back to the table...The dining room table had beautiful details that were lost in all the stain. And there was just too much brown going on. Brown furniture, brown rug, brown chandelier to go along with the pinky beige walls. The legs on the table were absolutely beautiful in my opinion but they looked very heavy.
I finally decided the table and the room needed to be lightened up. I primed the bottom of the table and chairs with a tannin blocking primer and then I used my favorite white paint from General Finishes.
It took 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of GF paint. I then distressed the legs of the table to show the beautiful details. I usually like clean lines without distressing, but once again all of those beautiful details were lost in the solid white. So, distressing I did.
I did 3 coats of General Finishes java gel stain before clear coating it with General Finishes top coat. It was the first time I had ever used gel stain and it was quite strange to work with at the beginning. It was like applying a coat of pudding to the top of the table. I soon got into the swing of it though and
For the list of the products I used and a detailed step by step tutorial see:
You can also see the whole room transformation on the blog!
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  • Cynthia Riggins Cynthia Riggins on Mar 04, 2017
    did you strip the table first on top?

  • Liz Liz on Nov 13, 2019

    Could you post a link to the detailed instructions of how you completed this project? The current link provided is broken.


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