Tuesday, June 15, 2010

it's time to strip...the varnish off the antique table

weekend plans :: sand and refinish table & paint 6 chairs
actual weekend accomplishments :: strip table top, sand table, de-gloss table & 6 chairs, paint, and stain

just typing that list makes me tired...try knocking that out in a weekend
we encountered many bumps in the road, but now I have lots of advice to share!

The kitchen table that I wrote about here 
ended having close to a thousand layers of varnish,
which i realized after sanding for 20 min.
i didn't have the time to sand off all 1,000 layers...

after much research on the best way to remove varnish,
i discovered that sanding was the "last resort".
 little one and i headed off to pick up some paint stripper,
then he went down for a nap, and i went to work!

 here are a few things that you need before you get started:

hand and foot protection, paint stripper, brush, and 
puddy knives to scrape off varnish
::not pictured - eye protection::

 it took 2-3 applications of the stripper, but mainly because i was impatient.
the can says to wait 20-25 minutes...i waited about 10.
{advice}: wait the appropriate amount of time
 the varnish easily scrapes off
 thumbs up for stripper!

left side: stripper is setting      right side: after

i still needed to sand the remaining varnish residue
and smooth the surface before staining.
next thing i knew, i had burned out hubby's sander...

 o geez!
he actually didn't mind because he we got to buy a new, orbital sander.
so much more effective than the previous.
{advice: if you're in the market for a sander, go for the round one}

i finished sanding the varnish off with a coarse 60 grit sandpaper,
then went over the entire table one last time using a fine 120 grit 
for a final smooth buffing

after encountering such a large amount of unexpected varnish,
i decided to try my hand with some :deglosser: for the rest of the table and 6 chairs
so glad that I did...
the top layer of gloss/stain/or something came off.
 left: before deglosser     right: after deglosser

 then i sanded and deglossed all 6 chairs...

{1} find any areas of chipping paint

{2} hand sand

 {3} degloss
wear gloves and use an old rag

time to paint!
i had read that priming with KILZ was highly recommended;
however, i found that it dried with tiny bumps
and i sure didn't have time to re-sand the table/chairs.
{advice:  personally, i would suggest skipping this step}
 it bubbled up in some areas, too.

i decided to go straight to painting.
hubby has a SWEET paint sprayer attachment for his air compressor. 
it worked like magic on our kitchen set!

one coat and done. 

they chairs are so fresh and bright now!

finally, i stained the table 

 love the stain we chose - the same as our coffee table

Minwax English Chestnut 233
the small size was definitely enough for this project
available at most home improvement stores

 the white nicely accentuates the table's curves

notice the tint of blue in the previous pic?
it's because my sweet hubby rigged up a shaded work area on the side of the house!
he's such a sweetie

finally i coated it with polyurethane 
i still haven't completed that step, but i was ready to have my table back!!
i'll get to it sooner or later, then i'll let you know how it turns out

last but not least, recovering the chair cushions!
i chose a burlap-ish fabric, with the look of burlap yet more durability
picked it up for a whopping $6.99/yd @ our local craft store

my new favorite color.

{table top not shown here because it looks a little funky without poly-coating}
i'm loving that tablecloth, pulls it all together

:editing note:
please ignore the sagging curtain to the left of the pic.
little one pulled it down. down as in partially out of the wall.

more on that incident later...

the white and neutral colors of the table and chairs
will go perfectly with the colors of any season!

i know many more wonderful family meals will be shared around this table in the years to come!

p.s. imagine it with this lovely rug underneath...
i've been drooling over it in Ballard's catalogue for months!
ballard designs

I'm linking up at:  


  1. Looks great! I love the dark stain on the top of the table. I am going to copy and use that same stain on mine. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. By the way, I love your paint color on the walls. What name and brand is it, if you don't mind sharing?

  3. Thanks! Be sure and send me a picture of yours once it's complete :)

    Our wall color is Valspar's Clothesline Fresh, in Satin from Lowe's)

  4. liz!! this is SO intense! major impressed. xoxo, ches

  5. Looks awesome! So funny your new favorite color is white! I was just telling Caleb that I wanted white (or off-white) walls in our new house! Lots of great inspiration in the BHG April issue. :)

  6. thanks, lindsey! i can't wait to see how you decorate your new house! that's going to be so fun :)

  7. That's a great transformation, a lot of work but so worth it!

  8. I am traveling over from Transformation Thursday! Wow, what a lot of work and it looks great. After the poly, it will really be stunning!


thank you for your sweet comments! i hope you enjoyed your time at a peace of home today.

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