Decorating, Humor, Pinterest

Old Kitchen Table Makeover

I have a secret.

I have always been afraid of painting furniture.


I have many irrational fears.


– movie theaters

– home improvement stores

-Wal Mart on a weekend afternoon


But painting furniture is at the tippy top of that list.

For years I have seen many a blogger renovate their furniture by taking Goodwill pieces and transforming them into treasures beyond belief. I mean really, who can turn a 70s craptastic coffee table into something that would make you squeal with joy?

Not me, that’s for damn sure.

And I have loads of craptastic furniture in my home right now that totally needs to be transformed.
I have end tables that look like something off the set of Three’s Company and have I done anything with them?

My mom has mentioned many a time..” you know, you could paint those….” in the nicest of ways.
Yes, I know I could.
But I have always been afraid.


Afraid that it will cost me more money to paint it than buying it new or semi-new.

Afraid that it will end up looking like the misshapen pig cutting board I made in Wood Shop in 8th grade.

Afraid that I might be ever so consumed by the paint and primer fumes I would end up dancing the pachanga in my driveway to the horror of my neighbors.

No, not horror.
To the amusement of my neighbors.

So when rearranging the furniture in the basement for the big re-do, I wanted to create a desk area for our laptops/iPods so that the cords weren’t all over the place.

Case in point:

I may or may not have tripped on these cords once or twice.
Or eight times.
So I had a plan.
A grand plan.
A plan so big, it almost scared me.
I have had this kitchen table since 1995.
My mom and dad gave it to me and my ex-husband as a wedding gift, but I love this table and it really has lasted so well.
So well that it outlasted the marriage…..bah Dum Dum….I’ll be here all week.
They got it at a custom oak furniture store, so it goes to show that you get what you pay for with furniture. This might have cost a lot more than an Ikea table, but I guarantee the Ikea table is not going on 17 years of use. I can guarantee nothing at Ikea is going to get 17 years of use.

I held on to this table for all these years because of the sentimental value of love my parents had for me when they bought it. Plus, I had a lot of memories associated with it.
This was the dining room table in my first apartment.
Then it was a dinner table at my brother- and sister-in-law’s home after I moved into the tiniest house on the planet.
And it was our kitchen table at the home we live in now.
I have done hours and hours of college homework on this table.
We have had lots of roaring, fun parties sitting at this table.
Annie and I have made scads of Christmas cut-out cookies on this table.
Mike and I have had long life-altering conversations around this table.
I fed Ellie her first solid food at this table.
Then a few years ago, we got my grandma’s old round table and wanted to have that in the kitchen because it made the kitchen feel so much larger. Because as much as I loved that big table, it takes up a lot of space. So this guy went to the basement and became the computer table.

My plan for this well-loved table is to use it in our family room against the wall as a “desk”. I want to corral all our technology/chargers into one central location so that we aren’t running around the house looking for the chargers/technology in question.
But I didn’t want to keep the finish that was on it.
It was a little dated.
So I was going to try to attempt ruin, give my best shot at painting the top of the table an espresso color and the legs a cream color.

Now, I have sweated over this project for many a month.
When finally I asked my brother (handyperson at large) during a recent conversation about possibly staining the table.
Sure, he said.
Then he listed a ten-step process that would make even Bob Vila sweat.
Yeah, no.
Then a few weeks later I brought up the subject again, only this time I asked if I could paint the table.
Sure, he said.
Only three steps.
He told me what I would need and how to go about it, then off I went to the store.
And the stuff just sat.
And sat.
And sat.

I needed to break down and just get it over with.
The worst thing that could happen is that I would have one ugly table on my hands, right?
Wait, that is the worst thing possible!
Here it is in the garage all primed:
This is the primer that I used:


I just bought the smaller can even though it looks huge in this picture.
This is the brand I remember my dad using when he’s painted, and I trust his judgment.
Here are the chairs that came with the table.
I am painting them as well because I hate myself.


And here you can see why I am painting them.


The years have not been very good to the paint on the chairs.


I am painting the chairs the same color as the base of the table.
Cream Puff by Behr.
I had to get regular wall paint for the cream because they didn’t carry that color at my two local Home Depot’s.
But the paint department associate told me that this paint would be just as good, if not better.
And this is what I used for the tabletop:
Then finally, as instructed by my brother, here is what I got to put on it for the last coats:
My brother (who by the way has a name, Matt) told me that I needed a good paintbrush and to not be afraid of spending some money on it because it can make all the difference.
I only ended up spending $12.28 on mine but let me just tell you, when you see the other brushes that cost 2,3,5 dollars? $12.28 seems like a lot of money.
And we all know that I am cheap.
So this was a gigantic step for me.
My hands were clammy at the cash register.
 I took a deep breath and dove into painting furniture for the first time in my life.
Halfway done with the first coat.
It only took me about 10-20 minutes to do this coat. I let it dry for a day then put on the second coat to the top and start the cream on the legs and base:
I love it already.


I also started painting one chair at a time.
I did one chair a day, actually.
Because this was ten times harder than the table.
All those little spindles and little places.
My hand was cramping up after doing just one and so I knew if I wanted it to look anywhere near decent, I would definitely have to do one a day.
Here is a tip: if you see any old furniture you want to rehab, look for straight lines rather than lots of curves or spindles.
If I had to do it again, I would have just given these chairs away and got some at Goodwill with smoother lines.
That is how much of a pain in the ass these were.


The chair after one coat of the cream paint.
And here it is all done:




And now have a homework/computer station that is upstairs and in the area where we all congregate the most.
Plus, I am so proud of myself for stepping outside the box and tackling a project that I was afraid was too big for me.

Bring on the 70s craptastic furniture. I am no longer afraid.


For more Grace Full projects, head here.

Visit Kari @ A Grace Full Life’s profile on Pinterest.




14 thoughts on “Old Kitchen Table Makeover”

  1. Oh Kellie, you made my day with that comment. I am so very honored! I already checked out your blog and love it!!


  2. I love your makeover!! I too and fearful of painting furniture. I'll build things and craft and sew, but painting a perfectly good (or semi-good) piece of furniture just seems crazy. But I just bought a cheap china cabinet that really needs a new coat of paint, so hopefully I'll gain some confidence from you and give it a go!


  3. Oh Katie, I hope you come back and read this comment. I would love for you to email me a pic of your cabinet all painted!! I love before and afters!!!


  4. i found you at six sisters. i, too, have a table that needs a re-do. i'm a little nervous, but it really can't look much worse than it does now. you've inspired me. that table looks great! and the chairs – i think it's the chair thing that has me stalling. but yours are fantastic. i like the one a day idea.


  5. Congratulations, you've successfully turned your 1995 kitchen into a 2013 kitchen. 🙂 In sanding, sand the wood with light sandpaper to avoid scratches until all sharp edges are gone, and flat surfaces are smooth to the touch. After that, paint it with a color of your choice (personally, this is the most interesting part).


  6. The result was just amazing! It’s good to see how you worked on it! From a simple kitchen table, you were able to make it to a very beautiful table for your family room. Others might think that you have a brand new table there! Isn’t it great, that after so many years, you still have it? And after all this time, you were still able to find a better use for it. Great job!


  7. Correct, Elinor! Sand in the same direction as the grain, Kari, because sanding across the grain can cause scratches, which may result in a rough appearance. There are two kinds of grit paper, by the way. One is the coarse grit paper that removes larger imperfections and the second is the fine grit paper that adds a polishing touch.


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