Kitchen Table Redo Tutorial

After working my way through a very lengthy, but cathartic, furniture project, I feel compelled to share my process, as well as my successes and failings.

Below is the tutorial I have put together, which details the process I took to complete this project! If you are interested in reading my blog posts while I worked on this project, check out the links at the bottom of the tutorial! :)

Prep Time:   One trip to Home Depot
Work Time:   24 Hours
Total Project Time: 72 hours (includes dry time)


Purchase Materials:
  • Zinsser Cover Stain Oil Based Primer - $9
  • Minwax water-based Polycrylic - $18
  • Paint of your choice - $9
  • Two medium grit sanding blocks - $7
  • Three paint brushes - $15
  • Dust/paint fume masks - $3
Total:   $61

Lightly Sand Surface:

I took a medium grit sanding block and very lightly, and I mean very, very lightly, sanded down every inch of the table and chairs you plan to paint. This is done to give the primer something to grip when it is applied.

The table and chairs after the primer step was complete.

Apply Oil Based Primer:

Take a paint brush and paint the primer everywhere on the table and chairs you sanded and plan to paint. I chose to cover the whole table because I felt that my table would not be complete if the underside was not the same color as everything else. BUT, that is just me.

This step is done instead of sanding. If you plan to stain your furniture, do not apply primer. Primer is used when you do not want to sand down the furniture and instead want to paint it fun colors!

I applied two coats to the table and one coat to each of the chairs. I am not sure a second coat is necessary, but I wanted to make sure the paint would stick and other blogs on furniture projects often do two coats. Give the primer 24 hours to fully dry before you begin painting.

TIP: When you paint, always start with the underside of the furniture  In other words, turn the piece of furniture upside down and paint that side first. If you can paint looking down, as opposed to up and at an angle, you are going to save yourself from a ton of neck and back pain.

After the two coats of paint.

Apply Paint of Choice:

Paint one layer over the entire table and chairs and allow it to dry before you begin another coat. I suggest painting at least two coats. I probably should have painted three coats, but because this process took so much longer than I had anticipated I settled for two, and there are a few spots where the paint is thinner and you can see it if the light hits it just right.

I also found it a bit tricky to paint the chair legs and poles on the chair backs. I developed my own method for painting them, which is to paint side to side and not up and down. I am sure there are some professionals who are sighing or yelling at their computer screens at that, but it worked well for me. I actually saw a ton of brush strokes on the poles when I painted them up and down.

To see pictures of what I mean by "side to side" and "up and down" and for some more painting tips Click Here.

A completed chair!

Apply Polycrylic:

Apply a thin, smooth coat of polycrylic. Allow at least two hours to dry between coats. The milky color is normal, it will dry clear.

I put one coat on all the chairs, two coat on the seat of the chair, two coats on the bottom of the table, and four coats on the top of the table. The directions say to apply two coats, but I wanted to be done with it. So far so good.

This was by far the most daunting and difficult part of the project. I did not enjoy working with the Minwax Polycrylic, but it came out looking really nice when it was finished, so it is a toss up.

My biggest issue with the polycrylic is the tendency for it to bubble when you apply it. It is difficult to smooth it out and if you are unable to to, the bubbles show up on the final product.

For some tips for working with Minwax Polycrylic gathered from a variety of sources Click Here.

Allow at Least 24 Hours to Set:

I let it set for 23 hours, despite internet warnings and the directions on the can. Everything seemed fine, until I picked up a glass that had been sitting on the table for a couple hours. It left a milky, raised ring. I was so upset with myself. BUT, after the ring dried, it not only disappeared, it was no longer raised either. You cannot even tell I almost ruined my table.

After re-reading some polycrylic tips, I am guessing I did not let the polycrylic dry fully before applying another coat. I waited 2-3 hours between each coat, but the temperature and room play a huge role in the drying process. Apparently the colder temperature of my garage was a hindrance to the drying process.

Also, FYI if you have animals, there hair is almost certainly going to become a permanent element of your project.

I guess following directions is always a good idea.

The finished table!
Blog Posts Related to This Tutorial:
Kitchen Table Redo: Part One
Kitchen Table Redo: Part Two
Kitchen Table Redo: Part Two and a Half
Kitchen Table Redo: Part Two and Three Quarters - Painting tips
Kitchen Table Redo: Part Three - Tips for working with Minwax Polycrylic
Kitchen Table Redo: Part Three and a Half - FINISHED