Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dining Table Reveal

I have a small confession to make.  It seems that even the most modest of DIY successes turns me into a bragging ninny.  Oh yeah.  Since finishing my new dining table I've been engaging in an utterly shameful display of self-congratulatory boasting to an embarrassing and irritating degree. To all those who've heard me speak of little else alllllll week: my sincere apologies as well as my sympathies go out to you.  Call it DIY-Success-Euphoria or call it a residual high from spending all weekend in a garage filled with toxic fumes.  Whatever you wanna call it, it feels pretty damned sweet.
This is probably the quickest DIY project I have ever completed, at least in terms of turnaround time.  In terms of actual physical labor it was about 12 hours spread over the weekend.  Usually I let an idea for a project sit and stew for months before making any attempts towards actually starting.  This time I think the excitement of "The Find" propelled me through my usual tendency toward project procrastination.  Well, that and I the fact that man, I really really needed a win to get me out of my "headboard project from hell" funk.  (More on that in a later post)
The story of how I came upon this table can be found here.  Here's the before:
And (after sanding the table down to the natural wood and applying a dark walnut stain followed by several coats of polyurethane) here is the after:

Sorry about the glare - someone needs to spend a little
 time  learning how to use her camera!

I absolutely love the tonal variations throughout the entire piece and the richness it brings to our little dining room is making me "got a new puppy" happy.  While it's not perfect (I sure wish that coating of polyurethane was smoother!) I am in love with it and can't believe my luck that it turned out  so well.

What do you think?  Did I make the right decision by staining instead of painting?  Anyone out there have any polyurethane application tips they'd like to share with this beginner-refinsher? 



  1. Looks fabulous!!! I definitely think the toxic fumes kill brain cells and encourage outrageous braggery. I should know. :)

    So, I do have a couple quick tips on polyurethane... for small projects (not this table of course) I love aerosol Varathane Spar Urethane made by Rust-oleum at Home Depot. Goes on easy like spraypaint - what I use on my step stools. For larger projects definitely go with Minwax Wipe On Poly. It's thinner and easily applied with a sponge. Wear gloves!

  2. Wipe-on Poly sounds so much easier than the brush on kind I used. I'm definitely tucking tbat one away for next time around. Thanks for the great tip!

  3. i think this looks great! everyone always just throws a coat of paint on stuff because it is so much easier then staining! i think it turned out great and the am jealous of the patients you have!

  4. I am partial to the natural wood look.Your table is a great find.
    Never shake the can of poly.
    I'm not sure if you brushed on the poly or wiped it on.If you use a brush make sure to make long single strokes.It causes bubbles to brush over more than once.Did you lightly sand and tack cloth after each coat? Good reference here.j

  5. hey there. Dropped by from Better After...nice table!! I want to say thanks for the tips above as well, as I will be attempting to redo my table in the near future.


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