Inspirational lifestyle blog

Updated Dining Table

After building our home and moving in June of 2017, I decided to update our dining room table. We received a beautiful dining room table and six matching chairs about five years ago,  and it traveled with us from apartment to apartment. Originally, I reupholstered the original matching chairs and made the switch from a striped blue velvet, to a silky cream fabric.

Although we updated the chairs, the dining room table served as more of a storage space, rather than a space for having dinner. Now that we’ve moved into our first home, we’ve been able to give this great piece the time and attention that it deserves. We’ve added the table leaf which allows us to seat six guests, and I plan on having a second leaf custom-made and adding extra seating so that we can host eight guests.

I decided to use a gel strip to remove the original varnish, rather than a liquid strip, to see if this would make the process move a bit faster with chemicals that were not as strong – side note: sadly, it did not. The process of stripping the table took about four days, and the entire process took about two weeks. I used a plastic putty knife to carefully slide the thick varnish from the surface of the table. I decided to leave a few small pieces of varnish along the edges and table legs to give it a unique, antique feel after re-staining.

I then sanded the entire surface and all table legs by hand with 100 and 220 grit sandpaper. I used a sanding block for the table top and used the sandpaper by hand for the table legs. The Varathane Dark Walnut Gel Stain made the wood grain pop and helped me to achieve the Tuscan/French Antique look that I was going for. I wanted this piece to feel comfortable and welcoming for both formal occasions and everyday use.

I finished the table by spraying multiple coats of Varathane Satin Water-Based Interior Polyurethane, allowing the coats to dry in between applications, over the span of three days.

We love the outcome of our updated dining room table!