I found a great table at a consignment shop a few months ago. It was solid oak and had 4 leaves! The lines were perfect, but the finish? Not so much.
So I came up with a plan to turn my consignment shop find into my vision of a farmhouse table. And here's the result!
I achieved this look by stripping, sanding, and white washing the top. The legs and apron were then painted with Annie Sloan Old White washed with Paris Gray and lightly distressed. It was a fun project and I'm so happy with the results!
If you're interested in trying something like this, here's what how I did it:
Citristrip or another stripper
Cheap paintbrush for stripper
Empty aluminum can from the recycling bin
Plastic cup and spoon
Chemical resistant gloves (the regular kind will melt which I found out the hard way...)
Sandpaper or electric sander
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and Paris Gray
Good paint brushes for paint
Rags or paper towels
Tip: If your table has leaves, insert them before starting. That way your whole surface will be uniform.
Step 1: Strip the table top
- Using the cheap brush and wearing gloves, apply a thick layer of stripper. Now go and have an iced latte for about 45 minutes.
- Next, take the scraper and test a small area of the finish. If it doesn't scrape off easily, go have another latte. If it comes off, use the scraper, always going in the direction of the wood grain, and scrape off all the finish which will now be in the form of a disgusting-looking brown goo. The goo goes in the empty can.
- When you have finished scraping, go over any stubborn spots with steel wool dipped in stripper.
- Then take a paper towel or rag and pour some mineral spirits on it. Use this to carefully wipe down every inch of the table surface. Let dry.
- Use the sander to remove any remaining traces of stain. Keep going until the table top is light enough for your liking.
- Put about a cup of water into a plastic cup. Then add a spoonful or two of Annie Sloan Old White to make your white wash. Mix well.
- Now, working in sections and going in the direction of the wood grain, apply the white wash and then immediately wipe with paper towels. Less is more. You can always do another coat if it's not white enough for you. Let dry.
- Go over the table top with your sander. This will really bring out the depth of the surface.
- Finally, finish with 2 coats of clear wax. (Note: you could also use satin finish wipe on poly if you prefer).
- Clean all surfaces with a damp paper towel to remove all dust.
- Using Old White full strength, paint two coats on the table apron and legs.
- Put some Paris Gray in a plastic cup and then add water to thin it. It should be about 1 part paint to 1 part water.
- Apply the gray wash to the apron and legs and wipe off as you go. Let it really settle into any crevices or details to emphasize them. Let dry.
- Using sand paper, distress to your liking. I used a light distressing on this piece--just hitting the high points and knocking down the edges.
- Finish with a coat of clear wax.