Whitewashing Furniture

This post means that we finally finished our project to whitewash our new dining table, hallelujah!  We always knew we needed a circular table in our dining nook, and when we moved Granddad to his new place, mom thought their breakfast table might be perfect.. so we took it home and made it our own to keep creating memories with it!

DIY Whitewashing a Table

table8What you’ll need:

  • Furniture you want to whitewash
  • Sand paper (120 & 220 grit)
  • Hand sander
  • Sanding sponge
  • Mask
  • White latex paint
  • Water
  • Paint brush
  • A few cloths
  • SC Johnson wood paste wax

One Saturday afternoon we decided to start the project and get sanding!  Hunter brought out the hand sander (with the 120 grit sand paper) and worked on the top, while I picked up a piece of sand paper and started on the legs and crevices.

Lesson #1: Sand with the grain, and don’t stay in one area too long at a time.table2It turns out there was quite a bit of lacquer on this table, so the sanding process took a lot longer than we expected — prob 10-12 hours total.  We took turns with the hand sander, and after a few hours we decided to call it a day.

I picked back up on President’s Day (thanks for the gov’t holiday SPARC), and continued working on the base of the table and all the crevices.  There were so many nooks and crannies I didn’t even notice until then, so I picked up the sanding sponges from Lowe’s to help with that.  I ended up using the hand sander for most of it, and the table wasn’t perfectly stripped, but it was pretty close.

Lesson #2: Definitely use a hand sander, I would have quit if I didn’t have one.  Plus they’re only like $35.table4Finally the sanding part was over! I wiped down the table with a damp cloth to get all the dust and grit off and mixed up my whitewash.  I followed the instructions of another blog, and mixed 2 parts paint to 1 part water.  After testing the thickness on a small part of the table, I added a little bit more water and was ready to go.table5I started painting the top of the table in small sections, again going with the grain of the wood.  I would paint a little bit, and then wipe the excess immediately off with a towel — this way I could control how much whitewash was going on and keep the first coat light with the wood showing through.table6Painting the top of the table wasn’t too bad — so I had gotten in my groove when I started the bottom, which was trickier (the unintentional plan).  I painted, wiped, painted, and wiped until I had made my way around the base of the table and gotten paint in all the crevices.  The base was a little thicker than the top, but I knew I could sand some off if needed.table9table8 When Hunter got home from golf, we checked out the table and figured just the one coat was perfect.  The next day we each grabbed some sand paper (220 grit, so it’s really fine) and worked on bringing more wood out on the base of the table — plus we just wanted to rough it up for some character.  Once the sanding was done, I wiped down the table again with a damp cloth.

At this point there was only one step left, woo!  Time to seal in the paint job.  When I picked up the paint from Lowe’s I asked for a recommendation on ways to seal the table.  Ultimately we decided to use wax so it wouldn’t leave the shiny finish of polyurethane. We picked up SC Johnson’s wood paste wax since a customer preferred it over another wax.

Using a cloth, apply a small amount of wax on the table, in the same direction of the grain.  After the wax is applied, let it dry “to a haze,” whatever that means.  I interpreted it to be about 15 minutes.. Then using the other side of the towel, buff the wax off.  That part was surprisingly easy and required little effort.table11Right after I got the wax off, the table was so smooth… and most importantly, done!table10We let it sit in the garage for another hour, then brought it inside to the dining nook.  It seemed fitting to put my Grandmom’s vase on top of their table in it’s new home 🙂  I can’t wait to make even more memories at this table!table12This was easily the biggest project I have taken on, plus the longest, so I was thrilled that it turned out so well!

Alrighty… now the question is what chairs should we get to go with the table?  Any suggestions are welcome!table16

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