dining room table reveal!

Yay for furniture refinishing projects! Those are my favorite kind of DIY- takes me back to my high school wood shop days. 
As part of mission "rid the main floor of all the dark furniture", I knew I would keep our table, but ditch the chairs for newer ones while also adding a bench for more seating. I'm absolutely positively in LOVE with the farmhouse table look, especially when given a gray wash finish. I spent sooo long researching products and other blog posts to see what process would yield the result I was after. There are TONS of methods to do this, (and a really great round up of different gray finishes HERE) so this is just one of them, but it's basically creating a faux weathered look by layering different paint and stains.

Step 1: SAND
I started by using a rough grit sand paper and orbital sander to sand off the existing finish to the bare wood. That was a lot of sanding...but WORTH it! While I was taking off the finish I sanded all of the sharp edges to give a more worn look. After that I sanded the whole thing again with a fine grit sand paper to smooth everything up. 

Step 2: PAINT
I painted ONE light coat (meaning I was super light-handed with the brush) of Natural Linen by Glidden in a satin sheen. Because it's so light and on bare wood, it dries SUPER fast, like 10 minutes.

Step 3: STAIN
Next I did a coat of Classic Gray stain by Minwax. I brushed it on with a foam brush, working in small sections at a time then wiped it off with a rag almost immediately, wiping in the direction of the wood grain. I let that dry the recommended 4-6 hours and added a second layer of gray stain.

Step 4: 2nd COLOR STAIN
I thought I would be done after the gray stain because I really wanted a gray look, but I felt like it needed more, so I just started experimenting at this point. Because I wanted to add more depth and color variation I did a layer of Dark Walnut stain by Minwax. Again I applied it in small areas at a time with a foam brush then wiped it off with a clean rag. I let it dry.

Then it was looking a little more brown then I wanted, so I used somea plain white interior paint and mixed 1 part paint to 1 part water to make it really watered down. I dipped the end of a rag into the paint and applied it (smeared it all along the direction of the grain) a small section of the table at a time. With this part, a little bit of paint goes a LONG way and you really have to almost buff it into the table to create a uniform white wash and not just streaks of white paint. It also dries really fast so you don't want to let this soak in at all- start wiping it all around as soon as you apply it!


I found this new brand of poly in the paint section that is a super thick poly where 1 coat equals 3 coats of normal polyurethane. SCORE! I hadn't heard much about it so I knew it would be a little risky to test it out, but it more than paid off! It does go on very thick and sludgy, but it dries in less than 2 hours! I did 2 coats, letting it dry in between each coat, with a bristle brush applying in the direction of the grain. 

With a lot of other polys I've used, the satin sheen really does appear to be semi-gloss, but this stuff really IS satin! Not overly shiny in the least. It also self-levels very nicely! 

I got the bench from Ikea for $89! It comes unfinished like this:
I wanted the bench to be lighter than the table, but still coordinate with the overall look. I painted it with two coats of pure white interior latex in satin- just some leftover paint I had from something else. Then I did one coat of gray stain, allowing everything to dry between coats. 
I wanted the bench to have similar distressing without repeating all of the layers as the table, so I used a Distressed Ink pad (sold at craft stores) and just lightly rubbed it wherever I wanted it to look "distressed".
A little unforeseen issue happened when I applied the triple thick poly after this- it smeared the ink! I guess because the ink isn't paint...or something? It basically re-wet the ink. All in all it ended up being fine because it softened up my distress marks and I actually liked it better. It did add pigment to my poly though, so with dipping the brush back and forth from the can there is now a very light brown color too it. It ended up working out in the end for the bench because I liked the way everything turned out, but now I have half a can of brown tinted poly that I can't use for something that isn't brown in the future! haha. Oh well. 

The best part? All of the materials for the table and bench (excluding the cost of the actual bench) only cost $35!!! And a little goes a LONG way, so if I was keeping my original chairs I would've had more than enough to refinish those as well! 

Speaking of chairs...*insert giant heart-eyed emoji* cause for REAL I'm in love. I found them on Amazon.

It's seriously like a breathe of fresh air!

I have one last project (okay technically two...) on this floor and then I'm done and movin' on! You can see a recessed light above the kitchen sink- I'm swapping it out for an industrial looking pendant light. And two, I still have to paint my TV stand (leftover from adding bookshelves to the living room!). And THEN it's onto the master bedroom! 
Unless I think of something else... ;-)

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