Friday, October 11, 2013

Kitchen Table and Chairs MAKEOVER



Got the table free from a friend. It was totally beat up and awesome and stained and scratched.  Weighed a ton so I knew it was a keeper.  But I only had 4 mismatched Ikea chairs that went with it.  We are a family of 5, and the 2 year old, Gabriel, decided to grow out of his high chair.  He's a beast. See the Ikea chairs (and the beast) below in these super high quality photos.   
We happily added to the damage as best we knew how.
Now, I'm not one to go out all willy-nilly buyin' up chairs.  I periodically checked Craigslist until I found the perfect set of restaurant chairs. See below.  Note my chanda-leah.  Yeah, we spray painted that orange.  I know, right?  I promise I will tell you that story soon.
I bought 7 chairs for $30. (One for the 'desk' on the other side of the kitchen). They just happened to match perfectly with the wood of the table, which sadly was of no importance since I was fixin' to give it a kick ace makeover!
I planned on a two-tone table: gray top and white bottom. (The colors match the cabinets I did. Yes, I will tell you that story too).  I like the diamond wood pattern in the table top so I planned to stain the top so I could still see that pattern.  
*You cannot stain wood without removing every bit of previous lacquer. 
I carried it out to the garage (with the 'help' of my 7 year old) and started sanding with an electric sander. Muscle would have made it easier, but I don't have that, so it pretty much sucked to do this part. Sorry no pics of that step.  I wasn't in the mood. Then I flipped the table over (Just like that. Just flipped it over. Ffflip. So not easy.)  and sanded the legs.  Luckily I was going to PAINT the legs.
*Painting does not require every bit of previous lacquer to be removed.
 Then, I primed them with spray primer and painted them white with gloss spray paint. All Krylon brand. 
*I used about 1 can of primer and 2 cans of white paint just for the table. 
Then I flipped it back over and stained the top.
  I wiped off extra stain in the diamond to really show it off.

Then I put 5, yes FIVE coats of good old fashioned polyurethane on the top.  Only 2 or three were recommended, but I wanted it to really last.  I scrub the bejesus outta this table at least 3 times daily.  It was shiny and perfect when finished. 
But I still had a LOT of work ahead...

A few weeks later...
I took the ugly green cushions off the chairs, scrubbed the wood, hand sanded each chair, used a spray primer (about 3-4 cans for all 7 chairs), then spray painted them the same gloss white.
*1 can of spray paint per chair.
 I did one chair that 'citronella' (Sherwin Williams) color to match the kitchen door that leads to the garage (which you can see in the picture below).  I painted that one chair with a brush. 
*Wear a mask and cover anything in the garage that you don't want to be painted with a white powder like your bicycles and strollers...Yeah, I didn't do that.

*If I had to do it all over again, I would NOT use spray paint.  I would hand paint.  The only benefit to spray paint is that you don't see brush strokes.  It looks all straight- outta-the-factory-super-professional.  But MAN, I used a LOT of spray paint.  And even when I was DONE, done there were areas I noticed that didn't get fully covered.  No one else will ever see them... but I do. And that's all that matters. Besides, the ONE chair I did hand paint (the greenish yellow) the paint hasn't chipped AT ALL. It's been several months now and there are areas that are chipping from normal wear. But NOT the hand painted one. Learn from this. Lesson over.
Continuing on...   
Then I bought a polyacrylic to finish off the chairs and the white part of the table. 
*Polyacrylic is a perfectly clear finish, but not as durable as Polyurethane. 
*Polyurethane yellows slightly over time but is surprisingly more resistant.
I used the polyacrylic for the white part because I didn't want the yellowing to stand out so much over the white.  The gray I felt it wouldn't be as noticeable.

Next...(yes, there is more)
 I had to do the cushions.  Ugh, it's making me itch thinking about this project.  Yeah, I could have just chosen a plain color vinyl that would have served just as well, but when I saw this fabric I wanted to marry it. So, I did it the hard way and also bought 16 gauge clear vinyl to go over the fabric.  So...I had to cover the cushions TWICE each.  Once with fabric, once with vinyl.
2 covers X 7 chairs = throbbing headache
*Get a poor schlep to help you out with this part. Doesn't matter who, just call someone in off the street. No one should cover chair cushions alone. No one.
My mother and I used a hair dryer to warm the vinyl so we could stretch it and fit them all snug-like.  Used a staple gun for the fabric and vinyl.
Did each chair, took forever, swore, wanted to kill myself, yada, yada.  Then screwed all the cushions back on and screw holes didn't match up and what-have-you. Then...
Ta Da!!

Tell me you love it or else!
I want to know what YOU'RE working on.




  1. Oh my gosh! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the table. I love the 1 yellow chair. It makes your breakfast nook so welcoming. Its like sunshine.

  2. I love it! I especially love the fabric and the yellow chair. (Yellow is my absolute favorite color!) I wish I was more adventurous with colors - I love when other people are. Someday I'll be cool like you. :)