How to paint a kitchen table

August 31, 2015

I am so thrilled to have this project done -- I've sat on this for a year now. If you've been around for awhile you know it sometimes can take me eons to figure out what I want to do with a space. I will live with it for a long time before I know what I want. 

This works well for me because I usually love the end result -- but as you know it usually means I take seriously forever to complete a space. Our kitchen is no different. I've had the ideas of what I want to do in my mind for a very long time. Years I've planned it out. When we took down the wall in the family room last year my plans changed a bit because we were able to really move things around in a way I wasn't expecting. 

That included moving our kitchen table from over by the cramped bay window to between the family room and kitchen. I cannot even express to you how much better this works! Last year I found a new, bigger table after a long search:
I just couldn't decide how I wanted to finish it. The table is rubber wood and has held up GREAT. The top is made up of sections of wood, almost like a butcher block, but the sections of wood are smaller. It doesn't have the look of long planks of wood like other wood tables do. 

For that reason I wasn't sure I wanted to stain it -- I'm sure it would have turned out just fine, but I was also wanting to do something different than my typical stained top and painted legs (I've done that twice now). The natural look was pretty but we have so much beige in this room already -- the island top is a lighter wood, the table, the walls, the sofa -- all were the same tone: 
I needed some contrast! So I made a decision a few months ago and finally got it finished up yesterday. I just love it! 

Here's a pic of how the wax held up -- horribly: 
wax on kitchen table
One of you warned me about this when I shared how I did it. I used a regular furniture wax on the table and buffed it like crazy. It looked great at first! But it did not hold up well at ALL. You can see there how gross it looked -- that was a clean table! No matter what I did it looked like that. 

So it was time to get that wax off of there. I used a 150 grit sandpaper (I used sheets that I wrapped around an older sanding block):
sanding furniture
You can also use an electric sander but I find they leave marks occasionally and the dust gets a little crazy. Mine has a dust catcher and it still escapes. I wanted to avoid having to take this beast outside (it's heavy!) so I did the sanding myself. It didn't take long at all -- I actually loathe sanding but it wasn't bad. 

Because I was painting and not staining, I didn't have to get every bit of the wax off. If you are staining you need to sand really well to get any residue off: 
painting a kitchen table
You'll want to wipe down the table well to remove all dust, then make sure it's completely dry before moving on. 

I did two coats of BIN primer on the table first: 

I used a small sponge roller to do everything -- the top, the apron and the legs. I knew immediately I was going to love the new look:
BIN primer on kitchen table
The primer gave me a good idea because I was going white. And I LOVE it!: 
white kitchen table wood chairs
It is SO lovely! I love the look of the white table with the wood floor and chairs. 

I wanted to pull in the lightness of the trim on the walls. Going dark on top felt too heavy to me: 
painting a kitchen table
I did two coats of primer and one coat of semi-gloss white on top, two coats on the legs and skirt. I liked that I could still see the grain just a bit with the one coat on top so I stopped there. 

I haven't put a poly on it yet -- I'm thinking the semi-gloss will be enough, but we'll see. I'll let you know how it holds up. I've never done a white table before! I'm not afraid of markers or crayons because I can scrub this finish just fine, that's why I use it on our walls. :)

I feel like the white lets the pretty lines of the table really shine: 
how to paint a kitchen table
I also considered gray -- but I have enough of that in this space. Black was an option for a hot second but again, it felt too heavy. We already have a large dark gray fireplace and a massive island in the same color. 

This feels right and I'm so glad I waited to decide what I wanted to do: 
white table with wood chairs
I didn't distress it at all -- distressing stresses me out. I'll let that happen on it's own, cause you know it's going to happen. 

I couldn't resist putting some fall decor out on the "new" table -- I got these beauties from HomeGoods and TJ Maxx. The runner was also from HomeGoods:
bowl of velvet pumpkins
I have a bit of an obsession with those velvet pumpkins -- I started collecting them last year. They are so pretty. Just a note -- it takes a few weeks for paint (especially glossier paint) to fully cure. So you'll want to baby it a bit at first. 

Here's a fun before and after -- this view soon after we had the doors installed: 
solid wood unfinished table
And that view now: 
white table in kitchen
I think I can finally call this part of the kitchen DONE. Whoot!

I love that the light seems to stand out even more now too -- everything kind of melted together before. I'll let you know how the table holds up and if I make any adjustments over time. 

The drywall guys were supposed to be here today but had to move to tomorrow -- I cannot wait to get the walls in the kitchen closed up! Since I'm at a bit of a standstill I'm heading out to the garage today to decrapify. Wish me luck!! a 

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  1. I love your table!

    Where did you get that Gather sign?!?! I love that!

  2. Perfect choice with the white! Stunning.

  3. You're just plain awesome....I'm much older than you but would like to be you when I grow up. :)

  4. You probably already know this, but if you decide to give the table a protective coating, use a water based product. Polyurethane is not water based and may eventually turn the white paint a not so lovely shade of yellow. ~Betsy

    1. Yes! Polyacrylic is what I have on our white table and the white bathroom vanity I painted. I prefer it actually as I think its easier to work with. I put at least 4 coats of polyacrylic on our table. I use magic erasers for crayons and it does rub the finish off so I wanted lots of protection.

  5. You were right, the contrast of the white looks amazing! Where did you get the wooden x-back chairs? I love them and would love something similar for our new kitchen island!

  6. Looks fantastic!

    And everytime I read the word "decrapify" I crack up! It's so, so perfect! Did you invent it?

    Can't wait to see the rest!



  7. Beautiful!! :)
    Sigh, I am having to remove the wax from my nook table as well. Sigh!!! What a mess.

  8. I love how this turned out. I have been thinking about doing this with my table and it looks like it would be easier to do then I expected!

  9. I love it ! Been thinking about doing mine and the chairs, but I am dragging my feet on it !!! The chairs have a lot of details to paint and I think it's gonna drive me bonkers !

  10. The white table is absolutely gorgeous paired with the wood chairs!! I love the light bright feel, yet rustic eclectic feel still!! The gather sign is perfection especially for fall !!


  11. It turned out really cute but I have a question. Will you paint the light above the dining table? I think it would look really great painted a darker color. Just an idea!

  12. Love, love, love it!!! Absolutely perfect and that last photo? Swoon. I have a large painted white table (and have had for nearly 5 years now) and really love it. When I get a house of my own I just might have to come back to that photo to 'borrow' some dining room inspiration! :)

  13. You mentioned the paint on your walls. What do you use that can be cleaned easily?

  14. I LOVE YOUR HOUSE!!!! What a wonderful, cozy, welcoming home you have created.

  15. The after picture is stunning. Even things like the grey doors stand out because the whole room is bright now! Great job!!

  16. Love the paint color on the walls. Could you tell me what you used?

  17. I love it. I agree the black would have been too heavy. The before and after of that area is amazing. I love the wooden bowl. Is it from Home Goods?

  18. We also painted our dining set semi-gloss white and we love it! Feels clean and serene. We kept the end chairs and painted them white and replaced the other chairs with benches. Reupholstered chairs and benches in matching beige and white fabric. We finished with 2 coats of polyurethane which gives table a beautiful protective high gloss. We receive many compliments and friends think we purchased a new dining set. Your table color change the atmosphere of your home. Beautiful! :)

  19. Correction! Hubby said we used polycrylic and not polyurethane. Polycrylic did not cause yellowing.

  20. Wow love the white! It's funny because that's the exact color I was going to suggest, it goes so well with the chairs and your space. It shines bright like a diamond (yes I am referencing Rihanna's song) Hehe

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

  21. Your table looks great, and I love those pumpkins. I'll keep a watch for some- they'd go great with my sneaky-easy velvety acorns. :)

  22. Love it!! Everything looks beautiful!

  23. Our friends just gave us a table (which is truly a blessing - we have a small round table now that ONLY seats four and like... four plates and four drinks is all you can fit. We regularly have parties and people over for dinner so i've been dyinggggg for a new table. They gave us a counter height table with a drop leaf in it (we have a great dane.....) and its AWESOME). But its pretty beat up. Which I was like NO PROBLEM, Ill just refinish it. And you may have just convinced me to paint it white. We have a bunch of different shades of wood going on and I think white just might be the trick to bring the room together. AWESOME. THANK YOU!

  24. Sarah, I love this table. The legs definitely make it. I'm thinking of getting it. It's currently on sale and they have free 2 day shipping, but I can't figure out from the website what the length of the table is without the leaf in. I would not leave the leaf in all the time, only for a large crowd. Can you tell me how long the table is without the leaf please? Thank you. I already have chairs but looking for a narrower table is ver difficult. My space is not that big.


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