Monday, September 3, 2012

Dining Table refinish with Annie Sloan

Have you ever seen that commercial for Staples that ran in August and September a couple years ago,
"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."
with the kids going back to school and mom suddenly left with all this free time on her hands?  Well, it's a bitter-sweet time for me with my babies off to kindergarten and my big guy in 3rd already.  I won't ask where the time has gone, because I know you don't know either.
At any rate, I actually really miss my kiddos while they are in school, but it does give me {a little} time to catch up on some projects I've been wanting to do.

First up is this dining room table that needed a little refresher course for our new lighter, brighter color pallet. 

You see, what I'd really love is a *new* dining table...say maybe like this one
from Restoration Hardware.  Can you hear my heart pitter-patter through the computer?
I've only been eyeing this table since I built my kitchen island. It would compliment the island so well, fit more than one additional dining guest like our table now, is made from this beautiful reclaimed wood; sorry, I need to wipe the drool off the keyboard.  Alas, this table as I'd like it, after delivery/tax/blah blah is upwards of $3,500. Ouch! So I just dream...and beg my uncle to help me build one just like it!

However, in the meantime, I decided to give our dining table a little face lift and it didn't cost more than $100. 
Enter: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This paint is AMAZING.  Granted it is a little pricey compared to other paints out there, but it is well worth it for so many reasons. First, and one of my favorite reasons, you don't need to sand or prime. Yes, you read that correctly: NO sanding OR priming. AT ALL.  Uh huh, even on finished wood.  Ok, as if that's not enough right there to make it worth it's price in also covers in one coat most of the time, otherwise two. And, {do we even need more reasons} it has this wonderful finish that distresses beautifully and make your pieces look old and rustic. Well, ok that one sounds a little weird, "makes your pieces look old" but in a good way! Oh oh and no brush strokes! That's a huge bonus for me. I'm not a big fan of that brush stroke look on painted furniture. But this paint doesn't leave any brush marks! It's actually pretty incredible. 

Alright, let's get on with it already! So first thing I did was take my table outside and sand.

 I know, I know, I just got finished raving about how you don't have to sand and the first thing I did was sand. Let me explain.  I was trying to decide if I wanted to leave it the original color of the wood and just put a clear finish over it, if I wanted to stain it, or if I wanted to paint it.  So I need to strip it down to the wood in order to decide.

In the end, I wasted 4 hours didn't end up needing to sand at all, but I had to see all my options first.

So here we have it completely stripped down on top {with the pedestal base still stained ebony}
I himmed and hawed for a few days trying to decide if I was going to stain it gray {trying to achieve that rustic, reclaimed finish of the Resto table} or paint it white. I went to Home Depot three times and each time walked to the check-out with a can of gray stain in my hand and each time brought it back to the shelf before buying it. Finally I decided I'd paint it. There's so much I love about that Resto table, but trying to copy it with this table isn't going to happen.
I put my helpers right to work.
Notice they are painting directly over the ebony stain? See I didn't lie! You really can use this paint without sanding or priming!! That's Annie Sloan "Old White" they are using. Just two coats is all it took to completely cover that super dark stain.
Next step is to paint the top. I flipped over the leaf to paint a bunch of samples on the underside.

I tried many combinations...including, {but not limited to}: Annie Sloan Paris Gray full strength, half strength mixed with water {Oh YEAH! That's another huge bonus of these paints, you can thin with water or mix with other shades of paint and make a plethora of new colors and washes}, half Paris Gray/half Old White, a mix of Paris Gray, Old White and water, etc. etc.
I started to get overwhelmed with the options so I just kinda went with something. I think I ended up using about a quarter part water, a quarter part Paris Gray and half Old White. {But I could never match it again if I tried!} After just one coat of the paint, I waxed it to get a good seal from all the sticky, gooey, drippy stuff that's gonna spill on it, and viola!

Do you like it? I love it! It's so fresh and bright. Oh, and did you notice the chairs? I didn't mention those yet! I painted them as well.  I used a mixture of 3 parts Annie Sloan Duck Egg and 1 part Old White. I didn't sand or prime! I'll give you a little more detail on those soon. 
Do you have anything that needs a little updating and dream of painting it but are too scared? You gotta give this Annie Sloan paint a try!  The best part is, if you don't like it, you can just paint right over it, no sanding or priming required!  Smile!


  1. Perfect timing, Celeste! I have my Annie Sloan chalk paint all ready to go on my dining room table and just need to DO IT! Thanks for the inspiration. I have the old white and duck's egg blue, I think I'm doing old white with a darker wax seal and then a white mixed with a hint of blue on my other table in the kitchen. FUN!

    1. I have used the darker wax seal too and I really like it. In fact, I think I used a bit of it on this table right around the edges. But with this paint, if you have darker wood underneath, it show distress really well too. So if you wait a few weeks it will be distressed on the edges. But the dark wax has a nice finish. Go for it, and send pics!!

  2. FANTASTIC.. ! I wonder how well this could work for a re-purposed table and chairs bought like at a thrift shop. We are on our 3rd table. my kids are rough on furniture and the current set is too small.. [ 2 teens and 2 in elementary school... no wonder I call em my circus] .. well you have given me NEW hope.. bc I too have been drooling over a really expensive rustic type country style table and chairs.. which is waaaaaaaaaaaay over circling Jupiter for the expense factor.. Thank You so much and thanks also for the great idea of using the back side of the leaf as a comparison palatte!

    1. Yes! Go for it! I did all of my chairs that you see at the table too. They make me so happy to look at. And even if I build my dream table one day, I'll most likely still use the painted chairs!

  3. The table and chairs look great. It has been several months since you finished the table. How has the waxed tabletop held up to daily use? My biggest concern is 'sweating' glasses. Don't want to be fighting water rings all the time. Would love your comments. -Susan C. Atlanta, GA


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