November 1, 2012

Before & After: French Country Style Dining Table

I've had this table for quite a while...I kept finding handy spots for it in my own home as a sewing table, a desk, and a second dining table before one day a couple of months ago I decided its time had come for the makeover I had been envisaging ever since I spotted it for sale.

I started off by stripping the honey coloured varnish off the tabletop...always a pleasure to get rid of this!

In the above shot you can see the nice wide planks that the tabletop was made out of...I love the character of these.
For this stripping job I used a heat gun and sander to remove the varnish fully.  Sometimes I choose to use paintstripper but I find the heatgun quicker and easier (and cheaper!) for some jobs.  Heatguns are particularly good when the surface you are stripping is flat and has a fairly thick even coating on it.  Obviously paintstripper is better for more detailed the last couple of weeks I stripped an ornate sideboard right back to bare timber and that took lots and lots of paintstripper...too fiddly for the heatgun!
I didn't take photos of the middle part of the process, but once the tabletop was stripped, I flipped it upside down and primed and painted the legs, before lightly distressing them.

To get the whitewashed look on the tabletop, I used the process I developed and explained in this post.

Here it is, all done...
The table goes really well with these industrial style stools that I had reupholstered in a taupe gingham oilcloth.
The table legs are the same colour as the sideboard in the background 
(as at 1/11/12 this is still available for sale).


  1. Beautiful Karen!! Must look into a heat gun...sounds much more fun than just sanding!!

  2. Really beautiful Karen - I especially love the wash you've done on the top.

  3. looks great Karen - i love my heat gun also.
    love the finish on the top that you have done.
    cheers fiona

  4. I bought a table similar to this at the opp shop not long ago for $45.00 I could not go past it. My partner said 'we don't need any more tables' Pfft I said....not really knowing what I was going to do with it! Now I know... this is exactly what I want. Thank you for a wonderful post and inspiration.
    Bec x

  5. hi karen, this has come up beautifully. love the finish on top. those stools are gorgeous too!
    Allison :)