Looking to update your dining table? A few months ago we shared some photos of our $25 Scandinavian-style dining table makeover and received quite a few requests for a DIY tutorial, so here ya go!
Our tabletop had some serious water stains, dried glue and paint stuck to the surface, scratches, you name it. It was a nice table when I bought it ten years ago from World Market but we definitely didn't care for it properly. The dark stain wasn't quite jiving with our new light and bright Scandinavian-inspired home decor style either so something had to be done! I've been a big DIY'er in our home so far with things like re-painting cabinetry, end tables and walls (my nickname was "The Paint Goddess" in high school!) but this was my first furniture DIY involving more than just paint and I couldn't be happier with the results!
Just for comparison, here's what our table and dining space looked like six years ago during our engagement photo session with J.W. Baugh Photography. So different, right?! We had just moved into our house and every wall and cabinet was either brown or black throughout the entire home!
Hey! He totally stole my cookie!
Side note: This is what marriage is all about y'all. Six years later and we still live by this mantra - Share everything. Always be a team. :)
And yes, he's still stealing sweets behind my back! Okay, okay, enough reminiscing.
Moving on to how we DIY'd this table makeover on the cheap!
You're going to need an orbital sander. We borrowed one from our neighbor but you can find them on Amazon for under $40. If you're lucky enough to live in an awesome community with super sweet (and handy!) neighbors like ours, definitely don't be afraid to reach out to borrow tools or ask for help. Our neighbor just so happened to be building a wooden canoe from scratch in his driveway during our project and happily gave us some pointers and free sandpaper to get us started!
My husband and I took turns sanding the tabletop. We used 80 grit sandpaper and while applying steady pressure, slowly pushed the sander back and forth in a consistent motion until half of it was sanded. We repeated until all of the dark lacquer was removed. This sander included a dust bag that collected most of the sawdust, so there was very little mess. You may want to wear a mask and/or protective goggles just in case!
After one side was completely sanded we started on the other side and then extended the table to sand the pop-out insert leaves as well. Once the entire tabletop was completely sanded, we started sanding the legs and sides of the table. In total, this table took about two solid hours of sanding!
It was 90 degrees outside when we did this. I was definitely a sweaty mess but still had fun!
Look at that gorgeous grain! Who knew?!
After all the sanding was complete, I unbolted and removed all of the legs from the table, wiped them down with a rag to remove any dust and laid them in our driveway on top of a plastic painting tarp. One by one, I spray painted the sanded legs with Rust-oleum 2x Ultra Cover Semi-Gloss paint in White. (This paint is THE BEST!) I let each side dry for about twenty minutes before applying a light second coat and then propped each leg up against our garage to dry completely overnight. Next, we used painters tape to tape off the sanded edges of the table and spray painted the area just underneath the edges white as well.
Once the paint was completely dry the next day we reassembled the table, moved it back inside and that's it! A lot of people have asked me if we used a wax coating or sealant to protect the wood and we have not. I really like the look and feel of the unfinished wood and so far we've just been using a damp cloth to wipe up after meals. This time around, we're definitely using place mats and coasters more at mealtime and Aria and I have been laying down a plastic tablecloth or newspaper for painting and craft projects. I definitely want this beauty to last!
That's it y'all. It wasn't too difficult but the sanding did require a lot of time and muscle and my arms were definitely sore the next day! Aria didn't want to be around the sander because it was so loud but she did help me with the spray paint and she's been using our updated table quite a bit so here are her tips!
Tips from Aria:
"Do not use glitter glue on your new table. It sticks really bad and Mommy will get so mad!"
"Leaves stick to the wet paint and don't let your plastic blow away." (Our plastic tarp blew a bit outside onto our wet table legs! Be sure to use something to secure the corners of your painting tarp if it's windy!)
"I like the blue tape. Make sure your tape is straight!" (A great way to get the kiddos involved is to let them apply the painters tape to the edges of the table after sanding. It doesn't seem like a big task but Aria really enjoyed doing it and it's great for the cognitive and motor skills!)
Thanks so much for stopping by! Let us know if you have any questions and please tag us in your photos if you end up trying this DIY. We'd love to see how yours turns out!
Aimey + Aria
********* UPDATE *********
It's been almost a full year since we DIY'd this Scandi-style dining table and I am so happy to report that it's been used a whole lot and still in excellent condition! The white paint still looks like new with no chipping or peeling but being unfinished, the tabletop is susceptible to stains from liquids. We use this handy Dual Grit Sand Paper Sponge to gently remove any dried stains and freshen up the surface about once a week. We couldn't be happier with how this low-budget dining table makeover turned out so if you're thinking about brightening up an old wooden table - go for it! xo
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