Dining Room Table Makeover

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My dining room table has been in my home for almost as long as I’ve been here.  I remember when I first got it.  I was so afraid to eat off of it.  It was so smooth and shiny and pretty.  Eventually, we did use it for meals.  Placemats only in the beginning.  


Then came boy #1.  I found myself letting him draw and play with cars and Legos on the table.  


Then came boy #2 more playing and drawing ~  then boy #3 ~ no more placemats and lots more playing.  


All have done their homeschooling on that table.  There are pencil marks on the wood.  Marks from the bottom of laptops (those little rubber feet left nasty marks) and so many other gouges, scribbles, scratches and dents.   dining-room-table-redo28

It’s been the place where we’ve entertained family and friends, played cards, eaten meals and sang Happy Birthday more times than I can count.  


I wouldn’t trade this table for another but it did need to be restored to its original beauty.  I was dreading this task.  I had put it off for years but one day I ordered all of the supplies I needed from Rockler.  


They arrived and sat in a box but then one sunny spring day I couldn’t take it anymore and I dove right in and started the makeover.  It was still too cold to move it to the garage (and truth be told there is not enough room in there to have done it anyway). What I had been dreading was easier, truly easier, than I could have imagined.  


Soy-Gel Paint Stripper

Emerge Degreaser

Handled Scraper

Minwax Water Based Polycrylic Protective Finish


Dish Scrubber {this is probably called something else but for the life of me I can’t remember what….it’s the scrubby thing you use to wash pots and pans…does that help?}


 1.  I started by applying the Soy-Gel Paint Stripper.  Once it was on my table I used the paintbrush to smooth it out and cover small sections at a time.  


2.  I allowed the Soy-Gel Stripper to sit per the directions on the bottle.  The finish started to raise and bubble a bit.  There were no fumes which was great since I was doing this inside.  I was able to open the windows just in case but it really wasn’t necessary.  


 3.  I started scraping away the old finish using the Handled Scraper.  I love this little tool ~ it made this task so much easier.  *I pulled the scraper toward me ~ pulling NOT PUSHING the gel. 


 4.  I periodically cleaned the edge of the scraper with a paper towel to keep everything going smoothly.


 5.  Here you can see the already scraped clean area and the area waiting to be scraped.  Amazing, isn’t it?  


 6.  Once the finish was totally scraped off I used the Emerge Degreaser to make sure every last bit of the stripper was gone.

dining-room-table-redo14 7.  I sprayed on the Emerge……


 8.  Then scrubbed it off using the scrubby pad ~ as you can see even though it didn’t look like any residue was left on the table there was a bit.


9.  Once my table was totally prepped I added the Minwax Polycrylic Finish lightly sanding between each coat.  It took 3 coats to get the look I wanted but I think it was well worth it!

dining-room-table-redo20  My table is beautiful again and it took far less effort than I expected.  What I had been dreading was so easy ~ it just took the right products to do the job.

If you like the look of natural woods check out my wax and handle update to this antique oak dresser.  

Vintage Furniture Refresh Made Easy

{ disclosure:  I received the products used for this makeover from Rockler.  No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback.  All opinions are my own as always.}      

Sharing at:  Tidy MomWeekend RetreatLink Party PaloozaBest of the Weekend, Monday Funday at Setting for FourInspire Me Monday, Think Pink Sunday

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  1. 2

    Karen says

    Wow-looks great! I need to do this so badly for my kitchen table. The finish has been coming off for years. Thank you for the tips-will definitely be checking out those products!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 5


      Thanks so much, Katherine! I already added 3 links to your party this week so I will add this to next week’s party. :) Have a lovely weekend ~ *hugs*