DIY Dining Table

Years ago a friend gave me an unfinished kitchen table and because we have a bigger table we use for our dining room, it has sat sadly neglected in our garage. This month I decided to finally change our junk room guest room into a homeschool room (I will post a series of blogs on the progress).  As part of this transformation I needed a school-room table (I prefer a table to individual desks) and so the tutorial begins.

Here is a picture of the unfinished table. It has great bones and I decided to stain the top of the table and paint the bottom white.  I also knew I wanted to heavily distress the legs.


First I sanded the top thoroughly. When you are using a stain the wood grain and any stains previously on the wood will show through the new stain, so make sure you are happy with the way the wood looks unfinished.


After sanding I started staining.  We love Varathane stain and poly in one. It is water based which makes for easy clean up  (just warm water).  I choose a Dark Walnut for my color.  I have found that one coat is sufficient but if you want to double up the stain will be slightly darker.

After sanding time to stain the wood
After sanding, time to stain the wood

Finishing the table top, it was time to move on to the legs. Ralph Lauren’s “Sneaker White” is a crisp white but the price tag is a little too steep for my liking so we had Lowes color match it in Valspar brand paint and primer in one.  I found the coverage to be good with one coat, but went for two to make sure the wood knots don’t show through over time.

First coat of Ralph Lauren's "Sneaker White"
First coat of Ralph Lauren’s “Sneaker White”

The last step is distressing. I am always a little gun shy on this step, but I decided I wanted to be brave on this piece and go crazy on distressing. So take a piece of rough sand paper (for light distressing use fine grit sand paper) and rub all those areas which would naturally get wear and tear till you are happy with the finish. Below is my table with finished distressing and stain.


Distress the areas you want to accentuate
Distress the areas you want to accentuate


Top in Dark Walnut stain. Bottom in "Sneaker White"
Top in Dark Walnut stain. Bottom in “Sneaker White”

I moved the table into the school room and I love the way it turned out. Happy DIY!



Finished table
Finished table

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