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Restoration Project: Kitchen Table and Chairs

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The time has come.  It is time to finally say goodbye to our counter-height kitchen table and chairs that we have used in our kitchen for many years. Every single niece and nephew who has come to visit us has fallen out of those chairs at some point or other over the years.  John has been ready to replace that set with a standard height table and chairs for a while now.   

So, without further ado, I give you our "new" kitchen set...

Although it certainly didn't start out looking this way, we actually purchased this table and chairs in it's original oak condition from a little junk shop we visit from time to time.  I loved the press back chairs and the table has working gears built into it to allow the table to open for the leaf.  We had a vision for this set, even though we knew it would require a little work.  Enter my handy husband, and this project was completed in a weekend!

We knew we wanted to paint the chairs and base of the table, and stain the table top, but had to settle on colors first.  We decided on black chalk paint with cream colored details showing through, and a dark wood finish for the table top.  Thankfully, painted furniture has become so popular lately that there are a ton of resources out there to guide you on your way, and a ton of stores sell the chalk paint now too. 

Here's a look at the the original base of the table.  Funny story- the table we bought didn't have those nice claw feet, but I wanted them.  About a week after we bought our table, we found a shop selling just a table base with those wonderful feet.  We paid a whopping $20 for that find, and finished off our table base. 

 Here's a closer look at the claw feet.  

...And the original detail on the press back chairs.  Incidentally, this is the only chair with the rounded top so it sits at my spot at the table now.  See the keyhole too?  I love this chair!

All the rest are this style. 

So the work began with a nice coat of cream colored chalk paint as the base coat for the chairs.  The good thing about chalk paint is that you don't have to sand your furniture before you start.  You just start painting.  And in this case, you don't have to be too careful.  We wanted to be sure to get this coat into the detail really well, but knew that we were applying another color over top so it didn't have to be perfect.   Here's hubby hard at work. 

And here's a look at the completed first step.  Notice that he only skimmed over the seat.  Most of that will be covered with the next coat of paint, without a ton of the white showing through. 

Here's another look at the chair in it's first coat of paint.  Oh, and if you only want one color, you could stop here.  Chalk paint doesn't take multiple coats.  But we wanted the white to show through the next coat, so we kept going to the next step. 

This is the chalk paint we used- Annie Sloan's Graphite- to create the black top coat. 

And here is the top coat being applied.  Hubby used a light touch to skim over top of the white, letting it show through in many places, especially all that detail on the press backs. 

It's better to paint it on thinly at this point.  You can always add more to create your desired look, but it's much harder to take it away. 

Same thing as he started painted on the spindles- letting a fair amount of that base coat shine through. 

You can see he also left a few splotched areas on the seat to make it look like it has seen some wear.  

At this point, you can add more of your top coat if you feel you have any areas with too much base coat showing through.  We did that on almost all the chairs until we got it just how we wanted it. 

Here's a closer look at how the chair back turned out. 

Repeat the process for all the chairs and the base of the table.   Easier said than done- not a hard process, but a little detailed. 

The table top was last.  Hubby stained it in cherry and black walnut, and cleared coated all of the pieces several times with a satin polyurethane to add some durability since we will be using this furniture daily.  FYI, most chalk painted pieces also have a coat of wax applied to finish them, but since we clear coated this set, we did not need to complete that step.  Finally, he attached the table top to the base once everything was dry.  

So here's a closer look at the completed project.  He actually didn't sand any of the paint away, although you certainly could to achieve a more distressed look.  Our look is more a product of multiple shades of paint strategically showing through. 

 Here's how those lovely claw feet turned out. 

 Hubby really did a great job!!

So there you have it!  Voila- the finished product- a labor of love.  And we are indeed in love with it.  

And the nice thing about painted furniture is that if you decide you want a different color down the road, you just paint over it.  How's that for options?

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~ Jan ~ said...

You did such a good job with this, it's even prettier than the pictures show and the pictures are great! It's really special...

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