September 17, 2012

Table Top Makeover

When G-Man and I got married in 1983, my wedding gift to him, uh me, was a claw foot pedestal table, four chairs, and a pretty breakfront cabinet.  Oh, how I loved that solid oak dining set when we found it.  I am still in love with it twenty nine years later - talk about rough and tumble furniture!!! 
It went with us from Alabama, to Virginia, to California, to Mississippi, and now back to Alabama.  My girls grew up eating and drawing at this table and it has been dressed up for many parties in it's lifetime.  A lot of family discussions have taken place sitting around her. The chairs have been repaired several times, but the table is still a work horse.  The breakfront is still in perfect condition too.
 What I failed to tell you is that the whole set was finished in that oh-so-popular, 80's Golden Oak stain with a blinding glossy varnish!!!
After  ten years, I became bored with the Golden Oak finish. Alex and Caroline had just about worn the ugly finish off the tabletop by then anyway. That's when I bravely painted the whole set. I don't remember how I chose the dirty gray/white finish but it turned out really pretty and I was pleased. 
This was fifteen years ago, well before the Gustavian-Nordic-Swedish furniture finishes became so popular. I am still amazed how much my furniture resembles these finishes. I suppose I just got lucky, because I certainly don't have the ability to predict future design trends!!! Wouldn't that be fun, though?
The tabletop has never matched the rest of the set.  I stained it dark when I first finished the set and it has seen several different finishes over the years as it gets the most wear. 
I figured it was time to finish it like the rest of the pieces, but do you think I could remember what kind of paint I used, much less the colors?  Well, of course not. But, I had my Annie Sloan French Linen and the Old White Chalk Paint on hand. I went to work before I could think on it too much and in no time, I had a beautiful waxed finish on my table - and it looks great with the set.

These chairs got their Swedish style finish 15 years ago.
See how well the new table finish looks with them!!!

This close up photo shows the old, tired table finish

 I had begun to do crafts and paint small items on

 it without newspaper down- that's how bad it was!

  Here is a close up of the new finish-
So fresh and pretty!!!

 My large cloche that just got new feet looks great in the center
You can read about the cloche makeover here

I wanted the wood grain to show through, so I didn't use a heavy coat of chalk paint.  After I  buffed it (with purpose!),  you can still see some of the open grain of the oak wood.  
And, that's exactly what I wanted!

Hope everyone is having cooler weather like we are. 

Join me at these parties:


  1. I love seeing the wood grain. You did a beautiful job, Rhonda! I have yet to try chalk paint.

    And yes, we're having cooler weather although I'm not so happy about it. lol I'm still hanging on to summer!

  2. The finish is beautiful, Rhonda! I love how you can still see the grain. It goes great with your chairs, too. I would say that table was a great investment!

  3. nice job! great choiche in letting the wood grain show

  4. I love the cloche. I love all cloches. Beautiful finish I like the wood grain too.


  5. Oh my, beautiful job on the table! It also matches the chairs so well you would have thought they was just redone too. Love the color choice that you picked.

  6. This is what you call a great investment. The table turned out fabulous, with the wood grain detail. I am in the process of painting my cabinets, it's a bit intimidating.
    Thanks for sharing,

  7. I think it looks wonderful, and restyling our old pieces makes it have new stories to tell....

  8. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how the wood grain shows through - beautiful job!!!
    I've started painting on my dining room table too lol - guess it'll have to refinished down the road too!

  9. I am in love with this finish Rhonda! It looks so beautiful. Did you start with the Linen color and then add the old white?


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