Ok friends, I’m swallowing my pride here and letting you in on a very dirty, beat up little secret. A’right, it’s not really THAT serious, but it’s definitely an ugly mess that I’m not proud of, especially being a painter. Friends, meet my kitchen table…Yup, this sad surface is where we eat our meals. Don’t think it looks too bad?
Look a little closer…Between our little one practicing how to write her name on the table, some random oil stain that ate threw the factory finish (and one of the littles so lovingly scraped off) and paint flecks from using the table as my work space, it was a hot dang mess! Add to that the horrifying state of the chairs (I’ll save your eyes from having to see the before of those!) and all crap that seemed to accumulate on the cushions despite cleaning them on a daily basis, I wanted to throw the set away…like seriously. I was just so disgusted.
Aside from the obvious issues though, the table was in otherwise excellent condition. I decided to put my frustration aside and refinish the thing. I started by giving it a good cleaning and sanding.
Because the table top had a veneer and far to many dents and dings to sand out, I opted to use General Finishes Java Gel.
It can be used as a traditional stain in the apply and wipe away fashion. In my case however, I wanted it to perform more like a paint. In doing so, I was able to achieve about 60% coverage on the first application and was still able to see honey color peeking through. If you’ve ever painted or glazed a large surface or in this case, used a gel stain, you know how important it is that your paint strokes be perfectly straight. I’m going to let you in on my secret on how to do that…Ready!?? Do you see it??
Yes y’all a piece of scrap wood the length of the surface your working on makes the BEST ever straight edge!
I use Fusion Mineral Paint natural bristle brushes for almost everything now because they’re honestly the bomb dot com! For this project I used the small brush and moved my scrap wood enough so that I was overlapping the previous application of gel stain by about 20%.
Look at those pretty, perfectly straight strokes! Who woulda thunk!?
Here’s a side by side of the original color and the first coat of General Finishes Java Gel Stain.
I really wanted to richen up the color, so I applied a second coat of stain. Ahhhh, just right!!
Danny wanted in on the photo shoot. Isn’t he the cutest little dog!?
As you can see, I sanded back the edges some just to give it a less formal look. I used 4 coats of General Finishes Enduro in a flat finish to seal it. It’s a professional product, and meant to be sprayed, but I applied it with a 2 inch sponge brush and it worked magnificently! I did sand lightly between coats.
UPDATE!!!! The finish is still holding up, but if I had it to do over (and I will be doing so shortly!) I would have opted for Arm-R-Seal in a semi gloss finish.
I went through a matte phase and have found that I really do prefer a higher sheen for my table tops.
PS, I also did some, ahem, touch ups to the factory finish on our chairs and also reupholstered those suckers! Can’t even tell there was once purple marker on the side right!?
All I can say is AMEN for faux leather! I ordered the Nassimi Symphony Classic Chocolate Brown Vinyl from Online Fabric Store. The quality is really great, it matches our leather living room furniture to a “T” and is perfectly wipeable! I didn’t do a tutorial on how to reupholster since there are about a bazillion tutes online, however I would highly suggest purchasing THIS stapler. It attaches to your air compressor and seriously made stapling on the new vinyl a breeze!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so make sure to leave a comment. Feel free to PIN and share too and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! xo