Refinished Oak Farmhouse Table: Before & After

Hello, my friends!  I am happy to report a “cool” front hit Texas, which means instead of being 105 degrees, it is now in the low 90’s.  Believe it or not, that is a HUGE difference.  That also means we Texans are not near as grumpy and I am no longer afraid to step foot in my uninsulated bonus room to type my ramblings.  Hooray!

Now that I am no longer delirious from the heat, I thought I’d share the trials and tribulations of this oak kitchen table, which I love…I mean, hate.  No, I love it.  Really, I do.  It just taunted me a bit during the refinishing process and may or may not have made me say a few words my children aren’t allowed to hear.

When I first acquired this table I envisioned refinishing it in a Farmhouse style.  A spectacular client of mine shared that same vision and asked if I could redo it for her by staining the top dark and painting the legs a “shabby chic red.”  My client was also genius and instead of using it as a typical kitchen table, she is using it as a craft table/desk for her boys.  I know…GREAT idea!

Anyway, this is the before:

Oak Kitchen Table Before

I started working on this piece by stripping the top by using Citristrip.  I love this product.  It’s easy to use and actually has a pleasant smell.  You just apply it with a paint brush, let it do it’s thing, then scrape it off with a plastic scraper.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Stripping Process 1 Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Stripping Process 2

You then wipe off any existing stripping agent with mineral spirits.  The hardest part of this process is probably wearing these protective gloves in 100 degree heat.  I had no idea hands could sweat that much, but they do.  Gross.  That being said, these gloves (and protective eye gear) are a MUST for your safety.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Gloves

After this fun process I sanded…forever.  Once I completed the sanding process I vacuumed up the dust particles, wiped it down and had my husband help me bring it inside.  From there, I whipped up some of my trusty DIY chalk paint and added 3 coats of paint to the table legs and frame.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Before Painting Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table After Painting

I then waxed the painted areas with Johnson Paste Wax.  After the wax was dry, I lightly distressed the piece in places where natural wear and tear would occur.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Before Dark Wax

Finally, I “aged” the legs and frame by adding a very light coat of dark Briwax.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table After Dark Wax

So far, so good, right?  This is when the table decided to be stubborn and began mocking me.  I honestly thought I was in the home stretch when I started the staining process.  Boy, was I wrong.  After adding two coats of stain in dark walnut, this is what I ended up with.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Blotchy Finish

Blotchy city.  Yuck.  I tried everything I could to fix those blotches without having to start over.  I added another coat of stain, went over it with mineral spirits, added a coat of gel stain, drank wine…you name it, I tried it.  It was a disaster.  I finally admitted defeat and had to sand the entire table top again and start from scratch.  So, here we go again, sanded down and ready for round 2 (actually it was more like round 7)…

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Stripped Second Time

Thank heavens the stain took better this time.  Unfortunately, it just fell kind of flat so I decided to try a little Danish Oil in Dark Walnut.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Stain on Left Danish Oil on Right

The Danish Oil is on the right.  See the richness it added?

To protect the top I decided to go with a dark wax to smooth out any additional trouble spots.  To me, a waxed finish just gives a nicer patina.  Also, if the table ever gets scratched it can be buffed out with more wax versus having to refinish the whole thing.

So, here are the Before & After photos of the table finished table in all it’s glory.  It took me about 2-1/2 weeks and hours upon hours to complete, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Oak Kitchen Table Before Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table with red legs and restained top

My client said she loved the table, which made me super happy.  Seriously, happy clients and a lovely finished product bring me so much joy.  It is that combination which makes me love what I do.  Getting from Point A to Point B isn’t always easy, but it is so worth it in the long run.

Oak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Red Legs Restained Top DetailOak Table Turned Farmhouse Table Red Legs Restained Top Side Detail

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