Home Improvement

Furniture Makeover: Turning an Old Piece of Furniture into a Farmhouse Dining Table

As some of you (or most) may know, I am obsessed with Fixer Upper. I love Chip and Joanna’s style so much, and have tried to incorporate their work into my own house. My very favorite part about their show is their furniture pieces. I adore the farmhouse-style pieces, and have made over a couple of my own furnishings to take on that look.

A loooong time ago, Chris and I were paid to clean out one of my dad’s listings. The owners had been renting their house out while they were away, and were coming back and wanted everything spic-and-span. However, much to my dad’s dismay, the renter’s had trashed the place and left behind most of their belongings. Chris and I decided to tackle the project, and any of the previous renters’ things were up for grabs. Among many of their belongings left behind was a really old, beat-up round table. I thought it was beautiful, and had the potential to be really great, so we took it home. My sister had seen it, and said she really wanted it for her own house.

At the time, I didn’t want to part with it, even though it was just sitting, unused and unfinished, in our basement. I decided it would be the perfect Christmas gift this year and to “flip” it, so to speak.

Here’s what I was dealing with to start:


As you can see, the table had a design on it underneath the many layers of paint and stain. We wanted to start with a completely fresh wood, so we sanded it all the way down using our BLACK+DECKER 5 in. Random Orbital Sander Disc and BLACK+DECKER Mouse 1.2 Amp Detail Sander from Home Depot.



The wood was BEAUTIFUL underneath all of the layers! I was shocked at how pretty it was after all of the sanding.

For the bottom, we just roughed it up, since I was going to be using General Finishes Milk Paint in Antique White. Milk paint is a bit tricky, so if you haven’t used it before, I would read my post on using milk paint for tips and tricks.

Here was the table after one coat of milk paint.


The second coat covered the dark patches and really looked nice!


Next up was to stain the top. I used Minwax Gel Stain – Coffee to get the color Cassidy wanted. It’s really important to wipe the stain after you brush it on, or even put it on with a cloth. This prevents any brush strokes showing, and makes it look more professional when done. My favorite towels to use are these blue shop towels from Home Depot. They’re much thicker than regular paper towels, and really hold up when they get wet.

Look how amazing the top turned out!


After the stain had dried, the last part was the varnishing. Cassidy didn’t want a super glossy finish, so I opted for Minwax 1 qt. Clear Satin Polyurethane. I put this on with a
stain and varnish brush
, and was careful to go in the direction of the wood grain.

After the first coat of varnish has dried, it is important to sand extremely lightly with a very fine grit sandpaper or sanding block. I used a 300 grit sanding block.

After a quick wipe-down of the sanding, I was ready to do my second and final coat of varnish. Once it dried, the table was finished and ready to be delivered!


I was actually sad to see this table go. I can’t believe with how beautiful it turned out to look!!!

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