About Me

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Corona, California, United States
I am 28 years old and married to my best friend, Nicholas. We have two beautiful boys together, Caleb and Noah. I am a full-time stay at home mom and these are my confessions...


{the Hubby}


{the Oldest}


{the Baby}



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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Giving the Dining Room Table a Much Needed Makeover

So here is a lovely before photo of our dining room table. Usually our table is set with a centerpiece and dishes but I took this right before starting work on the table so you can get a chance to see what I was working with. This table came from a local Salvation Army with some solid wood ladder type chairs that didn't go with the table. My mom scored for a great price for the set, but in reality she only wanted the chairs because they looked similar to some Pottery Barns chairs she had coveted for ages. At the time we had a small dining table and I was looking for something larger to accommodate more than four people and spare others from sitting on the floors... just kidding! But really, we needed more table space! So I made a trade for my french provincial like chair that I never got around to re doing and has been sitting in my garage since we moved in to our home for this table, which also included a leaf! Score!!

 This table was a BEAST to carry in to the house! I'm pretty sure it weighed more then ten elephants!! I wasn't super thrilled with the dark wood finish on the table, as I have been trying to escape all the dark wood that haunts me from earlier in our marriage. I LOVEEEDDD the details around the table and the brass appliques on each of the legs. I knew I could make this piece the star of the dining room with some TLC & DIY loving! It was added to a mental list of to-do and re-do and has been on the back burner ever since it entered our home. Except for when I randomly decided to paint part of the detail that goes around the table grey (it looked green for some reason) and immediately hated it but couldn't remove it because it was too ridged to sand out. There are many items in my home that I stare at... loathing and think to myself, I need to re-do you!  I need to paint you! I need to cover you with fabric! or, I need to burn you at the stake, there is no hope for you. Well, the time finally came when I could not bear to see the dark table anymore so I did some online research on whether or not I could go from a dark stain to light stain on a table like I had. I didn't find much information online as far as actual tutorials or DIYers who had accomplished this feat. I figured that if I screwed it up I could always paint over it!!

 Here is what you need to go from dark to light stain on your tabletop:

-Electric Sander
-60 Grit & 220 Grit Sand Paper 
-Tack Cloth
-Classic Grey Minwax Stain
-Old Rag
-Foam Brush
-Wood Conditioner

First things first, if you have a veneered or laminate wood piece this WILL NOT work for you.  Grab a sand paper round and go to a inconspicuous area of the table and light start sanding the finish off to see what lies beneath if you aren't sure if the table is SOLID wood. A option to get a lighter finish and look for your table would be to paint over the entire piece. With a great primer and paint that is very do able and if you seal it correctly you will have a beautiful table for years to come! Back to this project though. I was pretty certain my table top was wood so I just started sanding away with the electric sander with 60 grit sandpaper (the lower the number the rougher the sandpaper) and sure enough it exposed some raw wood underneath! Don't go too crazy like I did and start sanding through that layer unless you are 100% sure your table is SOLID wood.  I assumed that the table was solid wood due to the sheer weight of bringing it in to the house when we first got it, well I was wrong!! Bah!!! It looks like there is a layer of wood attached to particle board that makes up the table top! Lame! I found this out by accidentally sanding down too far and exposing particle board spots on the table...opps! Nothing a nice table setting and runner (that i have yet to make) cant cover though! I sanded enough to get all of the old dark stain and finish removed completely without sanding through the wood layer. Because I did this while the hubby was at work and on a random whim I didn't get a chance to drag the table to the garage or outside. Big mistake! This was one of the messiest projects I have tackled! It coated most of my downstairs in a fine layer of dust and my boys probably could have created some wood angels on the floor if they so desired. I did, however, banish my boys upstairs and or backyard to save them from inhaling flying dust and opened up all the windows and front door of the house to keep it aired out during this process which helped. Here are some photos from after I sanded off the pre existing dark finish! There was still a layer of fine dust on the table in these photos.

After vacuuming and dusting off everything with some tack cloth and giving it s light wipe down with a damp towel to ensure all the dust was gone I was ready to stain. Now I have had experience staining and I have incurred a couple bumps in the road, like splotchy and un-even stain taking to the piece. So I bought some Minwax wood conditioner to see if it  wold help and make a difference this time around. I would say if the wood appears to be very dry, as mine did, I would spend the money to get the wood conditioner to ensure a nice even finish. The wood conditioner cost around $11 and I used hardly any so it will last for many projects to come.
*Always read instructions before use.
Here is an excerpt from the Minwax website:

Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner penetrates the grain of the wood to promote uniform acceptance of wood stain. Minwax®Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner helps prevent streaking and blotching to help ensure a beautiful, even stain. It is specifically designed to condition wood before staining new, bare softwood or porous surfaces.

 In a nutshell, I just used my sponge brush to apply a even amount of wood conditioner and waited the minimum amount of time before you can start applying stain. I believe it was 5 minutes. There is a window of time that you NEED to apply stain to your piece by, so make sure you are able to complete your staining in that time window when you set out for your project. I applied a generous coat of Minwax Classic Grey and allowed it to sit for a good 15 minutes. Then I used a old rag to wipe of f the excess and check out the results. I allowed it to dry and buffed on a couple of coats of clear wax to protect the top. I am likely going to do a wipe on polycrylic to make sure this sucker is sealed for realsy and can tolerate everyday use. So far so good with just the wax. I used some left over Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey mixed with some random white satin paint I had in the garage to paint the legs and base of the table. Because it had chalk paint in it and I was too lazy to prime I put on two coats to get a perfect finish! 

 Here is a close up of the finish. It is warm with hints of grey! *Swoon*

 Here is a after shot of the table after I finished the second coat or paint on the base and legs!


  1. It's beautiful! Great job! I love the table legs, nice color! Great finish!