The Metamorphosis of the Kitchen Table

14 May

Over the past few weeks the garage has been in a super transitional period. First we filled it up with the things we wanted out of the house for showings and items for a yard sale. With both these things postponed, David managed to clean and organize so that we could fit the cars back in there. I was thoroughly impressed.

Then, my kitchen table project happened. Cars were parked in the driveway again.

The table was a hand-me-down from Dave’s sister, bought very cheaply from an estate sale. It’s sturdy but not very pretty. I loved it. Walter likes to push back from the table, and it would be very hard to knock these chairs over backwards. I wanted a table we could make a mess on and I wouldn’t freak out about. I didn’t want to pay $1,000 for a well-made table either.

Enter our table:

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However, once we painted the kitchen, the table looked even worse style-wise. My mother had mentioned earlier that I should paint the chairs. So I looked up some blog posts of people who had painted furniture and thought to myself, “Why not?” It didn’t really turn out like theirs (maybe it was the paint I used), but it is so much better than before that I can hardly believe it.

DSC_0291Finished product. What a beaut.

Midway through the project I had a fantastic idea to get a glass top for the table. When  I found out our table was a standard 48″ and I could get one for $100 from Pier1, I was sold. There was a lady stocking paint at Lowe’s who told me that no paint was safe to eat off of, but I could use bar wax that would yellow the paint. This other guy said that paint has been safe to use for a while now. Either way, I’m glad I don’t have to worry eating cancerous paint anymore. And I think it really is the icing on the cake in terms of how it all looks.

Here’s how I did it:

Without sanding any of the furniture (but making sure all the dust and dirt was gone), I primed everything with Zinsser 1-2-3. It covers any surface and seals as it goes. I read one person who used a brush to paint it on. Do yourself a favor and use spray primer and spray paint for any surface that isn’t completely flat. It goes so quickly too. The first chair I did with a brush and it looks significantly worse than the rest of the table and took forever. The spray cans of primer were big and I was able to use one can per chair and one can for the legs of the table.

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For the table top I used a small foam roller and a regular can of primer. When it is applied it looks like it’s going to have a terrible texture to it, but it dries nicely. You just have to make sure to take care of any lines.

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I sprayed the primer inside the garage with the door open, wearing a ventilator. This worked well to keep pollen/dust off the table while it dried and the smell isn’t bad. However, I should have done Dexter’s kill room setup in there. Primer dust was all over the floor. Not really on anything else, surprisingly, but it was hard to clean up.

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The primer dried in half an hour, which made this project go very quickly. If it feels gritty after it’s done drying, take a piece of fine sandpaper to it, removing any dust before you continue. I used Valspar black satin spray paint for the chairs and table legs, about 1 1/2 cans for each. You have to spray paint outside. The fumes are unbearable even in an open garage with a mask on. On a drop cloth I flipped the chairs upside down to get at the legs easier, then placed them upright and finished. You can’t touch them for at least an hour. They ended up a little glossier than I had imagined they would be, but it still matches my Parisian beach theme going on in the house.

I did one chair a week earlier than the rest as a test subject. I don’t know why, but maybe because I brushed on the primer, the chair is even glossier than the rest. Also, I found out, if you don’t use poly to seal the chairs then they might never dry. I read somewhere that it can take 7-30 days to “cure”. I certainly don’t have that kind of time to wait around for paint to dry! Over a week after I painted that first chair, a dinner guest left a nice butt print on the seat. No paint came off, but it was still tacky and had lots of kitty paw prints all over it too.

Solution: about an hour or so after you spray paint the chair, you can brush on polyurethane with one of those cheap sponge brushes, and three hours later it is a finished product. You can sit on it with no problems. The key to poly is to prevent it from foaming as you apply it by not having too much or too little on the brush. Also beware of drips, because they will dry permanently that way. I only did one coat for everything (instead of sanding and doing a second coat). It seems to be fine so far but obviously I can’t attest for durability. There might be a second coat in my future.

I also used the foam roller to roll on the table top paint. I used Valspar black satin latex enamel (it’s right by the spray paint). It dries a little bit harder and quicker than the spray paint, so I didn’t poly it, but that’s because I knew I was going to use the glass table top. It took about two days of Walt’s nap time to do all this, minus extra time for pilot error.

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I can see the flaws, but David says that’s because I’m being too critical.

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With some additional cute new artwork, the kitchen looks like a million bucks.

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3 Responses to “The Metamorphosis of the Kitchen Table”

  1. magadams May 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I’m totally impressed.

    • mamajohnston May 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

      To be honest, Maggie, so am I! Ha, I ha no idea how they’d turn out 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kitchen Cabinet Remodel | This is Mama Johnston - November 19, 2014

    […] into our gigantic living space. Then this year we painted the walls blue, and I painted the new kitchen table black. And then, much to David’s chagrin, I couldn’t handle the “orange” cabinets […]

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