Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Refinishing Project: kitchen table and chairs

I don't really do anything small...
So, naturally, my first project of a refinishing nature was my kitchen table and chairs. Of course.  And because I just crash into these things head-first, I have NO before pictures.  Naturally.

I do have this picture I thought to take about half-way through the process.  This is the back of one of the bar stools that matched the table before it became a black beauty. 

So oak.  So glossy.  So what to do?  

I did at least an hour a lot of indisputable research, you know, reading other blogs, before I was sure there was one and only one way (more on this later) to tackle this beast of a first project: forget sanding, stripping, and scraping, and start with a coat of this stuff:

I just wiped each piece down, let it dry, then went to town on it with the stuff.  Verdict: stinky, but not as bad as I expected.  I started with one chair instead of tackling the table first (apparently I do have some inhibitions...) and learned right away that the stuff goes on thick and dries thick.  I had to be very careful with every brush stroke, keeping the "grain" consistent, as well as not letting it go on too thickly.  This was very tedious, and dragged on and on.  Next time, I think I'll try a spray primer.

The next step (after allowing the piece to dry completely) is to lightly sand the whole thing, and then wipe it down with tack cloth.  (I used a microfiber cloth and it worked great!)  I picked up that rubber sanding block a few days into the project, and I will never sand again without it.  First of all, it saved me a ton of time and sandpaper.  And it cost less than $3.

Then comes the fun part!  I chose to paint my table and chairs black to fit with a mini kitchen/dining area redo I've been slowly working on.  The paint I used (and will continue to use, always and forever) was a semi-gloss latex by Behr.  

Many people have their own go-to brand of paint, and for me, that's Behr.  Hands down.  When we bought and remodeled our house, we did the whole thing with one can of paint per room.  It goes on smooth, and looks great with one coat.  

For funsies, we painted one wall and the lower part of a char rail on two walls of a room with Kilz latex paint, just to try it out.  (Consumer Reports rated it higher than Behr, so we were curious).  I'll just say that it didn't come close to even comparing.  It was very watery and required at least two coats everywhere, with some spots needing three. We're sold on Behr.  (You can find it at the Home Depot). 
End unpaid advertisement.

While I was picking up my paint at my favorite Orange Store, I also bought some brushes.  The guy who mixed my paint was very helpful in suggesting this baby:

Hey paint counter guy at Home Depot!  Thanks for the recommendation!

It's small, the handle is rubber, so it's flexible, the bristles are angled...it was so nice to use.  Seriously, if you have a lot of painting in your future, grab one of these babies.  The muscles in your hand will thank you.

Just like with the primer, it's important to pay attention to detail and the "grain" when you paint.  For these spindles, I would glob it on side to side, then go over it in long up and down strokes to smooth it out.

Once your first coat dries, lightly sand again with a very fine grain sand paper, wipe it down, and then, if it needs it, give it a second coat.  I don't know of any case where a second coat of black is not needed when covering white, and my chairs definitely needed a second coat.

Here are some shots of the table after the primer coat and the first coat of paint:

And here's another helpful tip, and my instrument of choice for the tabletop:

Condensed foam rollers are my best friends on any smooth surface. 
I have another project I'll share with you soon where I used this roller to paint a lot of bead board that will be very visible in my new dining area.

And there you have it!  Beautiful updated furniture without a lot of cost.

So what do you think?


Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

Very nice! I HATE painting chairs though. :) I always get drips!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

She is soooo looking good in black! Thanks for coming to my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS PARTY...please be sure to link back to my blog...thanks:)


gail@myrepurposedlife.net said...

oh wow! you did a great job! I always use primer, but not oil based. I use whatever I can get my hands on (cheaply). Most recently I used some clearance primer from Meijer.
I too picked up this brush recently. I love, love, love it! It is so comfortable.
I love how your set turned out.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I like it!

And I am totally digging your short brush!

Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living said...

Your table set looks great, I love the black! What a great little tool (brush). I'll have to look for one myself. Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comment. It will be great getting to know you better.

Robyn said...

Hi there, I'm your newest follower...made my way here from Joy's page at Thrifty Parsonage Living. I love what you've done with your table and chairs. They look like a brand new set. I love repurposing! Keep the great posts coming! Come visit me sometime! Robyn from www.foresthillsrd.blogspot.com

Lady Rink said...

Yaaaay I so needed this.
My husband accidentally ruined the top of our oak dinner table which finally gave me the push to put some love into the table that is no longer my taste. I plan to re-stain the table top but wasn't sure what to do about the white legs and chairs that show every chunk of food that my children fling around. This gave me the confidence that I needed!

I found you via Tip Junkie btw :)

Kirsty said...

Hi Dorese!
Thank you so much for following my blog! =D
I think the table and chairs look great! I actually really like the white sanded down look though too... but I'm just like that! hehe
Do you think maybe the thickness of the paint was caused by its being oil-based?
I don't know too much about it all (yet) but I do know with my paintings it is very tricky to get oil paint not to be very thick! (I know furniture oil paint and oil paint for paintings is a very different thing... but I think it may be the oil.

Diane said...

Loveing your dining set. I'm so glad you posted this. I want to paint my set soooo badly and just afraid to tackle it. Now I just might do it Ü

Thanks for visiting my blog as well and I'm your newest follower.

Amanda@The Hand Me Down House said...

Oh my gosh! LOVING your makeover! You did such a great job - it looks like perhaps you tore it out of a PB catalog?? Seriously amazing ~ LOVE it!!

Kitchen said...

I can basically respray the wooden chairs with paint, but would like to have the paint re-baked as per original finish.