So many of you have reached out to me and asked what products I’ve used on my furniture makeovers or for help with how to re-do your own furniture. I recently made over our kitchen table that I had purchased with the intent on re-doing and I will be sharing with you the process and products I use.
This is a view of the kitchen table before I made it over. It wasn’t in horrible shape, just scratches and dings and some of the spindles on the chairs had come loose. I knew I wanted something with a stained top and white bottom and I also knew I could re-do something old to be made new.
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Before I get started with this tutorial let me go over some of the products I use:
–Denatured Alcohol – When sanding furniture or cleaning off a dusty piece denatured alcohol works great to grab the dust particles and wood residue left behind after sanding or caught within the grain. Denatured alcohol is highly volatile so it will cause the grain of the wood to become raised and give a smooth and polished finish to the wood as well.
– Paint Stripper and Scraper – I have used two different types of paint stripper, Citri Strip and Kwik Strip. I like the fact that Citri Strip is derived of natural ingredients and can be used indoors if needed but the downside I have found this that it becomes sticky after applying and can be hard to scrape off. I have not tried to do a wash formula after it to see how well it removes the leftover residue. Kwik Strip compares pretty similar to Citri Strip, both strip off about the same amount of paint. Kwik Strip doesn’t become quite as sticky but you will still need to use a wash or sand after stripping.
–Hand or Palm Sander – I used the Dewalt 1/4 Sheet Palm sander. It is relatively inexpensive and I have had it for a couple of years and it has served me well. Eventually I would like to get a Rotary Tool with sander attachments for the fine details of some of the wood pieces and smaller sections.
– Shop Rags or Old Towels– any old towels will work that you may have lying around or I have used shop rags that can be purchased at any hardware store.
– Paint Brushes – Make sure you invest in good paint brushes. I’ve learned through this process that you are only as good as the tools you use. I like to use the short handled cutting in brushes when painting because I feel like I have more control. For adding sealant, I use brushes similar to these.
Step 1) I painted all the chairs and table bottom. Most pieces I will lightly sand and swipe with a shop cloth and denatured alcohol to clear of dust and debri and to allow better adhesion. For the chairs we used our paint sprayer and primed with two coats of Kilz for better adhesion. For the bottom of the table top I used a normal synthetic paint brush and did 2 layers of Kilz. After priming I painted with some white paint we had left over from other projects. I used a brush for all pieces to ensure I got all the cracks and crevices when painting the finishing coats.
Step 2) This was the table before I began sanding. I decided with this table that I would just skip the paint stripper and see how it did with heavy grit sand paper to remove the finish. I used between 50-80 grit to sand off the polyurethane and stain. You can find sand paper in so many grit numbers. The lower the number the more coarse the paper will be.
Step 3) After sanding the top I used a blower and blew the excess dust off, then I used my denatured alcohol to remove any particles of dust leftover. I then applied Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner; this was my first time using this product and let me tell you, it made such a difference. The wood was incredibly smooth and soft.
Step 4) Applying the stain. When applying your stain there are a couple of different ways you can apply. I have found that the best option for me is using a rag to apply. There is nothing very fancy about applying this way, you simply dip your rag in the stain and smear onto the wood removing any excess and then applying more if you want the stain to be darker.
Step 5) Applying your sealant. I used Minwax Polyurethane to seal all of the pieces. You will want to use two different brushes and two different cans to apply your sealant if you’ve used both paint and stain. The reason for this is that the stain will sometimes transfer on your brush and into the polyurethane so two brushes (one for the paint pieces and one for the stain) will keep everything clean and clear. I’ve noticed that when I use the same poly and two different brushes, if I used the poly on my stain first and then go to the painted areas, the coat has a yellowish tint to it. If you find this happening, transfer of the stain into the sealant is probably your issue.
For a great video on how to apply polyurethane to your pieces, I love this video from Clint of Harp Design Co.
Step 6) After applying your sealant allow 24-48 hours to fully dry and then enjoy and admire your work.
I hope this post has been helpful! If you are looking for other inspiration you can also see my Farmhouse Dining Room Makeover post.