White(!) Dining Room Table

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, mainly because I’ve been working on one project for awhile, but also because I was on vacation and I’ve been spending it trying to be as productive as possible (including watching all seasons of Parks and Rec).

For a long time I wasn’t sure it was going to happen but we painted the dining room table we got off Craigslist! It isn’t finished as I will explain, but for the most part I’m really proud of us for doing this because we’ve been talking about it for a year.

We started by stripping the table of the horrible, ugly red paint/stain/no-idea-what-it-was, then sanded it with sandpaper stapled around a sandpaper sponge thing (I’m sure there’s a real name for it, but I’m gonna stick with that one). For the record, I would recommend getting an actual electric sander for a job this big. My hands and arms were killing and it would have been a neater job.

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This is how the table looked after we stripped it and mid-sanding. The table has two inserts which make it super long and is  part of why we love it so much because we love having guests). They’re different colors than the regular table, we assume because it’s different wood that was added later. I don’t know if you can tell what a wonderful job we did covering the floor with plastic and moving other objects out of the way, but our floor is now speckled with paint and this really hard to get rid of white dust.

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One of the reasons we wanted to paint was that every time the table got wet from a spill or from any sort of cleaning product, this is what we came away with:

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Other than the aesthetic issue, it seems like a health issue that we want to avoid and I hated that we always had to cover the table because I love the clean lines without anything on it.

Once we stripped and sanded it to our satisfactionas much as our arms could take, we turned it upside down to prime it. We figured that we should do the bottom first because we could turn it right side up to let the bottom dry while we primed the top. We asked around and I looked at a ton of DIY websites and the majority of people seemed to think that spray painting/priming is easier and leaves less streaks. I agree with those two statements but with all of the windows wide open and even with suchan open layout, there was definitely not enough ventilation. We kept Aiden out of the house until bedtime and luckily the fumes didn’t seem to reach the hallway or his room at all.

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After we primed it with the spray paint and woke up with headaches, we went over to Home Depot for some good old fashioned regular paint in a can. We chose glossy white because we want it to be easy to clean and we know it won’t match the chairs exactly, but we thought this would look best with it. After the first layer of paint, you could still see the red coming through. Oh, that red. There may have been a few under-my-breath choice words that I would never use in front of Aiden.

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So we painted it again. And again. And again. That’s right, four thin layers of paint which according to our research should be more effective than one or two thick layers. There’s still a tiny bit of red show-through which a fifth layer should cure, but we’re pretty burned out and we need to finish painting the bottom (yeah we forgot to do that first) so we’re going to do it at the same time.

Not sure when, but definitely before Aiden gets to college. I think.

That’s my sister-in-law Lauren presenting the finished product. If Vanna White ever retires, I think she has a serious shot at the job.

Yeah, there’s also that little issue of the side of the table insert that we totally ignored because we painted it on the floor and forgot about it until we put it in. We’ll fix that, too.

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