The part of the furniture makeover that takes the longest, I find, is discussing your plans with your makeover partner in crime; in this case, Mr BC. We have endless, endless discussions over what finish to use, whether we are changing the structure or even the use of the item, if we need other parts and where we should get them, and so on. I always turn to Pinterest and Mr BC consults his own oracle, eBay. This kitchen table project was no different, and in fact the discussion was more involved, because this table belonged to Mr BC’s Nanna and Poppa. 

This was bought around 1942 by the newlyweds as part of a large set of matching furniture, I guess the war time equivalent of a Freedom Furniture deal? It is a very attractive table, with nicely turned legs and an easy extension at each end that turns it into a tidy 6 seater, but after countless house moves, including 3 states in it’s 72 years, it was really needing an overhaul.

Removing the ancient (and ruined) french polish was a problem. We didn’t want to bring the big gun strippers in and dry out the beautiful wood grain, but the lightweight options were not working.  I tried hand sanding, then the power sander, then after a bit of Google research, metholated spirits, none of which worked. In the end it was hand chipped off very carefully with a small size paint scraper, which proved almost impossible on the turned legs.

We decided that we liked the look of wood finish with the legs painted a different colour; I wanted black gloss, Mr BC wanted white satin. We decided on this before stripping became so difficult, honest! Mr BC won out with white, because A; we already had the paint left over from this project, and B; we are trying to lighten up our house and white paint is a great way to do that. Also, C; if we hate it we can paint over it in gloss black.  So far we haven’t chosen option C.

So while the legs and base were getting a few coats (well, six coats actually, we didn’t want the finish kicked off by monkey feet in a few days) the top was getting some love with floor grade water based estapol. For extra toughness. This is a hard working kitchen table, it needs to stand up to some tough love!

Et Voila! It’s LOVE. The pale wood, and white paint go perfectly with our silver navy emeco chairs, and the slim shape of the table fits the space beautifully. You can even walk around it while people are sitting there now! Previously people had to do that awkward suck your tummy in and lean in motion. Awkward.

Hopefully soon those ugly vertical blinds will be transformed into french doors leading to a deck, that will brighten and enlarge the space even more. Won’t that look marvelous? I’ve visualized this so many times I have a hard time NOT seeing it. It’s going to be so great!

We are really happy with the way this has turned out, especially as we were so nervous to paint it! I think it looks rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to go for another 70 odd years, and I think Nanna and Poppa might like it too.
Have you ever been anxious about making a change to some ‘heirloom’ furniture? 
xx
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22 thoughts on “Kitchen Table Makeover

  • 05/05/2014 at 11:23 PM
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    You have done a fantastic job, the table looks incredible!

    • 05/06/2014 at 4:05 AM
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      Thank you, it's really changed the way the whole room looks.
      xx

    • 05/06/2014 at 4:06 AM
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      White paint is the BOMB for brightening up a room!
      xx

  • 05/06/2014 at 2:53 AM
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    YES YES YES. Before I even scrolled down I was thinking "white legs, natural wood grain top" and bam, that's what happened (sorry, I was with your Mr 🙂 ). I so, so adore seeing heirlooms and vintage pieces restored. To the point I want to do a short course on this when we move. Meantime, if you wouldn't mind terribly, I'd love a quick email outlining your materials and methods as that may help decide what comes with us! Thanks if you can. #teamIBOT

    • 05/06/2014 at 4:14 AM
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      Do it, it's so much fun and so rewarding saving things from the landfill! Also every piece of furniture is different, which keeps things interesting. Email will be winging it's way to you shortly 🙂
      xx

  • 05/06/2014 at 3:30 AM
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    Wow that looks beautiful. It gives me some inspiration. Now I just need the courage to try these sorts of projects.

    • 05/06/2014 at 4:07 AM
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      Finding the courage was the hardest part 🙂
      xx

  • 05/06/2014 at 4:35 AM
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    That table looks FANTASTIC! I am super impressed! I have a high chair that turns into a rocking chair that my great grandpa made it and has been used throughout our family generation. It was painted a heavy cream colour and Jacob has been trying to restore it back to the originally wood grain. It still needs to be finished, but will most likely happen once all of our girls have finished using it.

    • 05/06/2014 at 8:25 AM
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      What an awesome heirloom you have there! Such an adventure taking off old paint, you never know what is hiding underneath. I can't wait to read about it on your blog!
      xx

  • 05/06/2014 at 8:54 AM
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    Oh it's gorgeous, what a great job you've done, I would be very nervous touching any of my parents furniture, but nice that it's a living, breathing part of your home again x

    • 05/08/2014 at 12:04 PM
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      You've coined it nicely! It's lovely to be using it every day xx

  • 05/06/2014 at 10:14 AM
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    Totally love it Lisa – you've done that table proud!

    • 05/08/2014 at 12:04 PM
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      Thanks Lovely!
      xx

  • 05/07/2014 at 5:03 AM
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    That looks amazing. I love watching people do up these kind of things. I've never had the opportunity

    • 05/08/2014 at 12:04 PM
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      Jess, have a go on some Op Shop treasure!
      xx

  • 05/07/2014 at 5:09 AM
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    You nailed it chick – it looks fabulous! I have a couple of pieces of my hubby's parents sitting in the garage, and your success may have just given me the guts to actually do something with them. 🙂 xx

    • 05/08/2014 at 12:05 PM
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      How exciting! Can't wait to read about it!
      xx

  • 05/07/2014 at 10:16 AM
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    Wow! It looks awesome. You've done a great job! My hubby is the carpenter/designer in this family and is always dreaming up new creations. He designed and built me a coffee table once. It's bright red inside 🙂

    • 05/08/2014 at 12:05 PM
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      He sounds very talented!
      xx

  • 05/07/2014 at 11:36 AM
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    Wow, it looks GREAT Lisa!! I'm so impressed!

    • 05/08/2014 at 12:06 PM
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      Hopefully we can work our magic on a piano soon 🙂
      xx

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