Before & After: Amy's Table & Chairs

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You may remember Amy (and her lovely dining set) from her recent question about a freecycle footstool. In the comments of that post, Amy was asked about her table and chairs, so she was kind enough to send us in some info on the makeover:

Amy writes:

They were purchased at an antique store for a grand total of $55. A great deal! The table is oak (which I don't like) and the chairs are an unknown wood. I really wanted to do it right so I went to my local Dunn Edwards store and picked the brain of one of the employees. I knew it would be used as a kitchen table so it needed to be durable.

I first sanded all of it with a rough sand paper. Then I went over all of it again with a more fine sandpaper. And this is a little unique but I used a lightweight leaf blower to remove a lot of the wood dust before using tack cloth. I used Kilz primer and applied it with a brush on the base and with a small sponge roller on the top. I normally would have sanded again at this point but the man at Dunn Edwards said I didn't need to.

In the state of California certain components of paint are removed so that they can be compliant with the VOC laws we have here. One of these components is something that can extend the dry time of the paint. I was concerned with getting the most smooth surface possible so I chose to add this component back in. It keeps the paint wet longer and allows it to sort of "melt" into itself a bit so you can't see brush or roller marks.

Next came the aqua colored paint. Again I used the roller on top and the brush on the base. You want to make sure to get enough paint on the table top and not overwork it, if you do you'll get roller marks. I did two coats of the aqua paint. It was recommended to me to let the paint dry for more than two days but less than seven before putting a polyurethane coat on. The reason for the polyurethane coat is to protect the paint so that if/when it scratches it will scratch the clear coat and not the aqua color. Once you apply the poly coat it needs to cure for two weeks before being used or moved.

The chairs are a creamy off white color. They were a little harder to sand and paint because of the spindles. Same process of sanding and priming for these. One tip for painting chairs that I got was to paint the spindles first then the seat. I painted the top curved piece of the chairs first, then the spindles then the seat and then the legs and the bottom of the chair. You really have to keep an eye on the spindles, it's really easy to get drips and uneven surfaces. I recommend using a smaller brush for more control. I did the poly coat on the chairs as well.

As for the rest of my apartment, I know it needs help. I hate the cabinets with a passion. It is a rental but I have permission to paint if I want. I'm just not sure I want to take on that big of a project when I don't own the place. It's all a work in progress. I have several other pieces of furniture I want to paint but I can't decide on a color.

Thanks Amy!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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