Painting a Kitchen Table

March 1, 2012

Hello everyone, I’m so excited to share today’s DIY project with you, it’s all about how to paint a kitchen table. Y’all know I’ve been painting furniture and cabinets for years, but this time I tackled the painting of a kitchen table. A kitchen table is the one surface that will get the most traffic of any piece of furniture in your home, and since it gets the most abuse it must be extremely durable.

To paint an old wood table with success you need three things working together – a primer that blocks stains and also sticks like super glue, an extremely durable paint with a hard finish that can withstand the banging of bowls and plates, and finally, a layer of protectant.

how to paint a kitchen table cg


Let’s get started.

First, take a look at this pedestal table before the paint treatment – worn out oak coated with plenty of ick and yuck.  Not pretty.

table before 2

Where did I find this thing?  I’ll give you four choices:  A) thrift store B) thrift store C) thrift store D) Craigslist.  If you guessed A, B or C you were right, oooh you’re smart!  It was $45 for this solid wood classically shaped pedestal.  My friend needed a table for her new home’s breakfast nook so I spotted this one and then decided to refinish it for her.

What you’ll need to paint your own wood kitchen table: orbital sander, medium grit sanding discs, foam roller, high quality angled paintbrush, medium grade sanding wedge, respirator, bonding/stain blocking primer, enamel based paint, cotton rags, clear paste wax.

First things first, you want to sand off any debris and some of the varnish and that’s why an orbital comes in very handy – use medium grit discs.  Doing it by hand is possible, but better to let this tool do most of the work for you.

You don’t need to get rid of all the varnish, the primer (next step) will cling to the surface, varnish or not. You simply want it to be smoooooooooth. Use your hand and closed eyes as your guide, if you can run your hand over the surface and it feels smooth to the touch, you’re good.

sand tabletop

Next, wipe it all down and start the priming phase.  There are several kinds of primers on the market and a lot of them state they work on glossy surfaces.  Not all of them are stain blockers though so carefully read the label.  The one that has always worked best for me is Zinsser – I’ve used it for years – their Cover Stain sticks like super glue and blocks any wood stain from coming through, and also dries in an hour. It’s oil based, and not available in some States, but in my opinion it’s the best.

zinsser cover stain

On most furniture the spray version is just fine, but on high traffic horizontal surfaces like tabletops, coffee tables, or bookshelves, I recommend the roll on/brush on formula – it’s thicker and more durable for that reason.  Roll on two yes two coats for the tabletop (allowing to fully dry in between coats).

roll on primer

Roll on one coat to the remaining surfaces, wherever the roller can easily reach.

priming pedestal table

Follow up with the spray version to quickly fill in the crevices.

spray in crevices

Allow the primer to fully dry for a full day.  Next, use the medium grit sanding wedge to knock down any unevenness from the roller on the primed surface.  (The orbital is a little too strong even with a fine grit disc for this phase and doing this by hand doesn’t take long.)

sanding wedge

But be sure to wear one of these while you do it.


Once you’ve wiped down your primed tabletop, again run your hand over it to make sure you have a completely smooth surface.  Now it’s time to paint!  This is where it’s important to buy the right paint – over the past several months I’ve used enamel paints by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams (Pro Classic) for furniture and both have really fantastic water based enamel alkyd formulas – they will give you a very hard finish like you’d get with oil based paints.

For this table, I’m using the Ben Moore Advance water based enamel alkyd in ‘Swiss Coffee’.  Also a Purdy brush, they’re the best!

ben moore advance formula

I prefer to work with paint in temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees, not too hot or too cold, I find it helps with the open time, giving you sufficient time to apply the paint without any drag.  Apply two thin coats, just enough to cover, allowing to dry between coats (usually 24 hours).  If you choose a dark colored paint (say black, navy, or dark gray) you’ll likely need three thin coats of the enamel paint.

Now here’s the hard part – it takes 3 to 5 days for the paint to cure so that it’s sufficiently hard, so after your final coat of paint do what it says and wait wait wait!  This is a tabletop and you need it to be fully cured before you use it to prevent damage to all of your hard work.

After a few days it’s time to protect it and you have several options.  I like the Brush on and Wipe On water based Varathane, and you can also use Minwax Polycrylic  (I mention that method here) but for white painted furniture, I’m really loving waxes.  They will give you a soft hand rubbed finish and won’t change the color of your white paint.

There are various paste waxes on the market, you want one that’s clear, here are three I commonly use but you can also use Fiddes & Sons, Minwax, and Hannant’s as well.  With this table, I used the clear Briwax.

various paste waxes

Apply a small amount and rub in circles with a clean soft cotton cloth for a thin even coating and allow it to dry for at least an hour.  Buff (wipe repeatedly with clean cotton cloth in circles) to a shine, then repeat this step two more times over the course of a day.  Make sure to buff it completely so your wax isn’t sticky, and you get a nice matte finish.

wax on

You want your surface to repel liquids and stains, so a few layers of wax will help do that. After you’ve buffed your final coat, your table is safe for use.  Still I advise you to take it easy for the first few days using it, the paint and wax are mostly cured but will be much more solid after another week has passed.

Here’s the tabletop up close before and after the makeover.  From dirty and spotty to fresh and fabulous!

tabletop before and after

So those are the steps to take to get a beautiful result that will last for years to come.

painted white surface of table


Before:  table before 2


painted kitchen table how to

It looks so  fantastic!  Amazing what paint can do, right?



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314 Responses to “Painting a Kitchen Table”

  1. Diana says:

    It looks great Kate! I have a farmhouse table that was done in a black rustic look. I remember LOVING that finish. Now, not so much! Because of the distressing that was done to it I am not sure I will be able to make it look so fabulous as yours but I sure am going to try! I am considering buying a glass cut to size to put on top of the table top.

  2. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hey you’re so close Amy! The AS Chalk Paint does not require sanding or priming, and I’ve never used in on a tabletop so I can’t confirm the durability factor on that particular surface, but it hasn’t let me down on those other surfaces I mentioned (dresser, end table, console table) – the sanding may help only because you want a really smooth surface to start with, but if you’ve got one already, you could certainly use the AS Chalk Paint as recommended by another reader…. you’re limited in colors of course, but it seems others have done it successfully.

  3. i’ve been wanting to paint our table, but my hubby has worried about the durability. thanks for this tutorial!!

  4. Ilene says:

    I just bought a pedistal table at a resale shop last week. Perfect timing! Mine is destined for our bonus room as a game/craft table so durable finish is also important. Thank you so much for the information.

  5. amy says:

    Ok, well, I’ll give it a whirl and let you know how it turns out. :) Thank you!

    Yes, was surprised when I read your local newspaper feature post…you are so close! We were just in your neck of the woods on Sat…took my in laws to see the Adobe only to find it closed for budget cuts {?!?! boo!} so we walked around downtown. We love Petaluma.

    Thanks again!


  6. Ingird says:

    Hi Kate,
    I was wondering how you sanded the pedestal. Did you sand at all? I’m trying to refinish my dining table but worried about the legs since it’s a pain to sand them.

  7. Jenna says:

    ugh. I so wish I had seen this post three days ago! I have almost the same table.. decided to prime it (and apparently Lowes paint people don’t know which primer is best) and use a paint sample on it.. I painted the entire thing since I so loved the color. Then went back and got a high gloss of the same color and painted over the satin finish paint sample paint.. and promptly watched all the paint bubble up and come off. SO.. now I’m stuck with the worst mess possible and am devising a plan to start over. Meh. I so hope mine comes out half as pretty as yours is!

  8. lacey says:

    I don’t use place mats and I was wondering if any sealer is ok to use when you use paper plates and hot dishes. I would hate to go through all the work just to have it ruined by a hot steamy paper plate. Thanks

  9. Lori says:

    The table you did pulled apart. Did you pull it apart when you finished it or did you just go over the crack.

  10. CentsationalGirl says:

    I’d be careful with extremely hot dishes on any painted surface Lacey, like you said it’s best to use placemats or something in between to protect your paint.

  11. Katie says:

    Love this makeover! Did you wax the entire table or just the top? Wondering how wax works in those crevices and detailed areas…

  12. CentsationalGirl says:

    Just waxed the top Katie, the rest of it doesn’t really need it, that enamel paint is pretty resilient.

  13. susan says:

    it’s awesome, it’s so beautiful, i can’t believe this!!!!!!! This definetlly will help me a lot

  14. Hi! I wanted to buy clear wax. Locally, I can buy clear Trewax, or Sc Johnson wax, or clear Briwax. They vary in price from $9.99, $8.99, and $17 respectively. Is there a reason to use one brand of wax over another when doing furniture projects? Or a reason why one would use anything other than clear wax? Any help would be most appreciated! ; ) Thanks!

  15. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Stephanie, you can apply a tinted or dark wax if you want an antiqued or aged look to highlight details or crevices on painted wood but I don’t advise it for anything other than stained wood. Yep, those waxes do vary in price, but in my experience I’ve found they’re all pretty much consistent, so go with a more inexpensive version, as long as it’s meant for furniture that’s just fine.


  16. CentsationalGirl says:

    I painted over the crack Lori since there was no leaf.

  17. Alison says:

    Hey Kate! I love your tutorials. I’m have found a used wood patio set that needs to be refinished. Can I follow these same steps for a table and chairs that will be outside, or is there something more I should do to protect it from the elements?

    Thanks so much!

  18. LaurenPierce says:

    Did you have any problem using an oil based paint then putting a water based on top of it?

  19. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Lauren, you can put a latex paint over an oil based primer, but if you try to layer latex paint directly over oil based paint it will peel off – best to use a layer of primer in between.

  20. erin says:

    i just bought a vintage table i’m considering painting white, and i loved this tutorial. my table has two leaves, however, and i’m curious as to whether that will be a problem. i guess i’d paint them separately and with the gap pulled open so that paint doesn’t get in the crack and seal it shut. does that sound right?

  21. Emily says:

    Hi Kate, I’ve purchased minwax finishing paste wax in “natural” because it was the only option at my local Home Depot. It looks light orange in the tin. Will it dry clear or should I keep looking for one that is labeled as “clear”?
    Thanks for all your blogs I’m not sure I’d be confident enough to tackle these projects without your great how-tos!

  22. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Emily, what brand? I think Minwax makes a “natural” colored wax but I suspect it’s for lighter woods like maple. You really do want a clear wax if you’re working with white paint, but it might not matter on dark gray or black.


  23. CentsationalGirl says:

    Sure Erin, like I did when I restained the pedestal table, I worked with the leaf in the table but pulled apart. Just be careful when painting the edges, preventing any drips into the inside. You might want to close it up after each layer of primer and paint to make sure it comes together nicely and gently sand the edges of the leaf to ensure it. Good luck!

  24. Jen says:

    Fantastic tutorial!! I recently painted our kitchen table, but it is not withstanding the wear and tear. I have little chips knocked out already. This will come in handy when I need to repaint! Thanks!

  25. Suzie says:

    I have the same table in my kitchen. I originally painted with cece caldwells chalk/clay paint and waxed it with cece caldwell wax. It is very similar to Annie Sloan’s chalk paint. I was not happy with the color, so I lightly sanded the table, primed it with “Glidden Gripper” primer and painted it with 2 coats of Benjamin Moore’s Advance. I started this 3 days ago; the BM Advance took about 24 hours to dry between coats and still remained somewhat tacky. This morning the paint started peeling off in big pieces. (we have not used the table in 3 days). What did I do wrong? Thanks for any advice.

  26. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Suzie, that’s so tragic! I’m so sorry to read this! I have not used Glidden’s Gripper although I’ve read good things. The final coats of paint are only as durable as the coats underneath, I’m thinking there’s something going wrong with teh original clay/chalk paint plus wax plus primer combo. So so sorry you’re having trouble! You may just have to start over by stripping off all the layers, sanding down to the original surface and using a good bonding primer (I prefer Zinsser) to give you that guaranteed grip.

  27. Amy says:

    I love this table so much that I bought one today in hopes of making it look just like yours! I found mine on craigslist for $35. Mine has raised bumps all over the tabletop. How can I fix this? I’ve never painted or sanded furniture before. I guess my question is, if I sanded the bumps out, would I be sanding too much off the top?

  28. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Amy, it it’s solid wood, you should be just find sanding out the bumps, if it’s a veneer, then you have to be really careful, with an orbital you can do real damage to veneer.

  29. Heather says:

    The table you used is the exact table I will paint. Mine has been in my family since I was a toddler. So excited to get started now after seeing a finished product!

  30. Melissa says:

    I am so glad that I found your blog post! This is my Spring Break project and I can not wait to get started!

  31. Denise says:

    This is the exact table that I’ve been planning on refinishing next week – love the tutorial….oh, and I got mine at a bargain rate – free from my neighbor’s trash….along with 6 dining chairs from another neighbor’s trash! Would you refinish the chairs in the same manner?

  32. Denise says:

    Hello! this is the exact table that I plan on painting next week during our Spring Break! It looks beautiful. I got my table at a bargain rate….free, from my next-door-neighbor’s trash…absolutely nothing wrong with it. Also have 6 dining chairs – also free, from our other next-door-neighbor’s trash! Just wondering if you would use the same technique on wooden chairs? Thanks!

  33. CentsationalGirl says:

    HI Denise, I might spray prime the wooden chairs, but yes you could use the very same technique.

  34. Jen says:

    Hey Kate! Your tutorials are fantastic! Thank you for taking the time to share your projects. I am currently using this tutorial as a guide while painting a great resale find. It’s a little cottage style pine coffee table that I scored for $20. I’ve stripped it, sanded it, primed it (Zinsser stain blocker), and have painted the first coat. What I did not do was sand the primer a tad to smooth out the table top. (The gentleman at Sherwin Williams told me that this was not necessary.) And now, I am totally regretting it. It’s not awful, but a little rough. (To the point where I am not happy.) I was wondering if you think I can give it a light sanding over the first coat of paint to help even things out. Any suggestions would be appreciated. :)

  35. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Jen, you certainly can sand the first coat of paint, but until you get that primer coat smooth, you’ll still see rough spots in the following coats of paint. Best to get the primer as smooth as possible before painting on top of that. Hope this helps and your coffee table finish improves. :)

  36. Amy says:

    I started painting my pedestal table this weekend. I’ve sanded, primed, and applied 2 coats of paint. I used a purdy brush on the bottom and a foam roller on the top. This is my first time painting furniture and I was scared of painting the top with a brush. However, now I’m wondering if I should have. My tabletop looks much more dull and matte than the pedestal. It really has no shine or gloss to it at all even though it’s the same paint all over. Do you have any tips, suggestions, or ideas that might help? If you think I should paint a coat with a brush, can you give me some suggestions for avoiding streaks? How long should my strokes be? Any help is much appreciated!!

  37. CentsationalGirl says:

    HI Amy, so sorry you ended up with different sheens! I like a foam roller for quick application, but a brush for a sleeker finish. I work the paint back and forth in a rapid motion and with long strokes (18-24″) and first in one vertical direction, then across it in a horizontal direction with long light strokes with the tip of the brush. At this point with your table you can try one more coat on top with the brush to get the same sheen, or you can cover the top with a water based satin gloss Varathane finish – I prefer the rub on formula. You could also really buff out the wax, that tends to bring you more shine too. Hope this helps!

  38. Lisa Hankins says:

    I had sworn off painting oak furniture because of the grain but I think you just gave me the confidence to try it again. This primer and paint you are using looks like it covered the oak grain perfectly smooth! I’m so excited to try this! THANK YOU for sharing so much of your knowledge with us my dear, I’m always inspired by your projects!

  39. […] Rizzo And I guess if I’m going to be refinishing my kitchen table I should be reading Centsational Girl’s Painting a Kitchen Table. Good tips on how to get it done right. I have plenty of leftovers in the fridge and I have some […]

  40. Carson says:

    Hi Kate, I’m getting ready to paint a kitchen table. Your tutorial has been a great help, but I’m having difficulty deciding what I should do with the leaf. At this point, I imagine we’ll want to keep the table smaller when it is just the four of us, but add the leaf for dinner guest. What would you suggest in regard to painting the leaf? Thanks!

  41. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Carson, I’d paint it all at the same time, and try to paint the leaf as it’s sitting inside but allowing some spacing between – after each coat is dry push it together and gently sand any edges where necessary so that it’s one smooth surface.

  42. Brian says:

    Hi Kate. I’m going to follow your tutorial to the letter this weekend when I attempt to paint my daughters dresser. I noticed that you never mentioned paint conditioner, but from reading your other projects, I know you typically use Floetrol. Did you use it this time around?

    Also, when using Floetrol on projects for which you’ve bought a one gallon can of paint….is there any harm in adding the Floetrol to the whole gallon? I’m wondering if it would be better to add it ONLY to the paint that I plan to use for each 24 hour paint/dry session.

    I think I speak for every reader of your site when I say you are extremely talented and we’re lucky that you’re willing to share your knowledge with us! Thank you!

  43. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Brian, I don’t use Floetrol with the enamel paints, only with other latex brand paints. I think it’s best to mix it in a separate container instead of directly in the paint, although it certainly won’t hurt your gallen. And thank you for the kind compliments!

  44. Julie says:

    Thanks for this great tutorial. I searched all over my area for the water base enamel and could not find it anywhere! I guess it is not in smaller markets yet. Should I just go with an oil base enamel to get that hard finish that I want? What brand do you recommend? Thanks for your help. I asked the employees at my local hard ware stores and they were clueless.

  45. Amy says:

    just found your site through pinterest. I have now spent the better part of my evening reading through your various projects. I have been wanting to paint my breakfast nook table but have been scared to since it is our main eating table. After reading this, I think I will do it!! I have to compliment you on your ability to really get your directions across so that what you are doing is very understandable. Every project that I have read I’ve left thinking “wow, I could do that”. Lot’s of people are crafty, but not everyone can teach others how to be… you really are quite talented. And after reading through your comments, you seem to be a very nice person as well, I’ve found myself smiling throughout your tutorials. Ever thought about hosting a show on HGTV? You’d be great :-)

  46. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Julie, it depends on where you live and what’s available. Many enamel paints are oil based, and they’re fine too, look for paints designed for doors and trim!

  47. Mary says:

    I just finished my table project and came across a little problem. I followed all of the steps. I used the Johnson wax and I am not happy with the results. The table has a yellowish tint where the wax stayed in some of the wood grain and the sheen is not consistent . Do you have an idea for a solution? At this point I am ready to sand the surface and paint again avoiding the wax step.

  48. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Mary, did you try buffing the wax? That removes the waxy look and gives it more of a subtle sheen, try that first. If you’re still unhappy, yes you could sand it down gently to remove it then give the table one final coat of paint. The enamel paints have a harder finish, so let it cure for about a week and see how you like living with it with no wax finish.

  49. Mary says:

    Thank you for your response. I did attempt to buff the wax. The sheen is uneven because some of the table is still yellowish as a result of the wax. (I was surprised that even thought I used a clear wax, it still has a yellow tint). I did not start with a completely smooth table. I sanded off the varnish and any flaws, but since it is wood, I did not sand down the wood grain. That might be the issue. I am going to try to remove the wax a car wax removal product and if that does not work, then I am going to sand.

  50. Jessica says:

    Primed my table last night and as I was doing so, a splinter of wood decided to peel up. Now there is a small indent on the surface of my table. Is it too late to use wood filler to fix it? Can I just put in the wood filler on top of the primer, sand, and then paint over that spot with primer again or will that make the surface uneven? Thanks!

  51. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hey Jessica, yes I’d just add that little bit of wood filler to the table even after you primed, just sand it down and make sure it’s completely dry before you paint.

  52. Dawn says:

    Hey there! You are one Centsational Girl! I am tackling my Goodwill pedestal table this weekend and am going for Black. Would you wax or use the Varathane? It is used a lot so I want a strong finish. Thank you, you’ve inspired thsi “fifty something” to go back to my DIY roots!

  53. Sarah Amacher says:

    Glad I found this on Twitter. What a wonderful site! The instructions on refinishing a kitchen table was very informative and gives me the confidence in redoing some of the furniture in my home. I would rather buy something used and repurpose it than buy brand new furniture that I cannot afford. You have given me the inspiration I need. Thanks for providing this wonderful site and kudos to Centsational Girl!

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  55. Gladys says:

    Amazing! You have a DIY tutorial for all of my to do list projects!! I love that you show the products that you use – that’s so helpful because I don’t have much experience with paint and really use your reviews/tips on all of that!
    My husband and I recently found a *free* table on craigslist and after some research we’ve decided to paint it (and the chairs) black.
    Now, I noticed the “break” in the middle of the table (before picture) so I assume there were some leaves involved at some point?
    Were the leaves not included in your purchase? Did you paint the table “shut”? I don’t see the same crease in the after picture…
    The table we found has 3 leaves and I would love to be able to use them all – do you have any tips on how to best approach the painting of the leaves – and also how not to complete paint the table shut when painting?

  56. Kellie says:

    I like the Wax idea! Thanks! I have been wondering how to seal my painted table better.


  57. Jennifer says:

    You did an amazing job. And when I saw this table, I decided instead of getting ride of the one I had from my father in-law that was really gross. I decided to start my very first painting project! Now can I ask why something like Ben Moore and Scherwin over something like Dutch Boy? I do want to use the best for my table. But was wondering what those two do better? I don’t have much experience with painting, other than walls. Thanks!

  58. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Jennifer, Dutch Boy is a good brand, it’s the enamel based formulas that I like for furniture with SW and BM. Dutch Boy would work well for walls!

  59. renae says:

    Would you use the same method and products for chairs?

  60. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Renae, chairs are trickier because of their detail and rounded edges, I’d spray prime but then either spray or brush paint.

  61. Jessica says:

    Finished my table a few weeks ago with 3 coats of the same brand wax that you used. Is it normal for the wax coating to get scuff marks etc when things are moved around on the table top? Just wondering if I did something wrong or if it’s just something I’m going to have to live with. Is that why applying new coats of wax is needed, to get rid of scuff marks?

  62. Jennifer says:

    Hi Kate!

    I’ve started my table. Sanded, primed, and sanded. But then I had a few spots where, when sanding, the primer came off a bit. Do you recommend priming those spots again? I seriously can’t get over how amazing your table turned out! Hoping mine can look half as good. I have a large table with three leaves, will a quart of paint still cover all of that? Also, how do you get thin layers of paint? I am so afraid of too much paint. Last question, because I can’t seem to see it in your blog, but maybe it was there…what sheen is the best? I was thinking Semi-Gloss, but I know that High-Gloss is even more tough. Thanks a bunch for answering ALL of everyone’s questions! Super wonderful of you!


  63. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Jessica, that sometimes happens if the wax isn’t buffed to a harder finish, I’d try to ever so lightly sand them out with super fine sandpaper then give it another coat of wax and BUFF BUFf BUFF (kinda till your arms ache :D) and you should have a more durable top!

  64. Gladys says:

    Hi Kate,
    I’m going to use the Sherwin Williams Pro Classic paint – I saw you said you’ve had some experience with this paint as well. Did you use the floetrol paint conditioner to minimize brush strokes or does it go on pretty smooth on its own?

  65. Jessica says:

    Thanks so much Kate! I’m loving my new table and loving your blog! Lots of really great tutorials and ideas!

  66. Heather says:

    I am getting ready to do my dining room table. I have 4 little boys & was wondering if the Satin choice of paint would be best or should I do a semi gloss? Perhaps the wax wouldn’t work with semi gloss??? Just wondering…. Thank you! I love your website & have shared it with many friends.

  67. CentsationalGirl says:

    HI Heather, yes you can choose semi gloss for a kitchen table, it wipes down easier, and if you use an enamel paint and let it cure a few weeks, you should be fine!

  68. Mehreen says:

    Hello, Your posts are always so helpful, I recently repainted my cabinets after becoming inspired with your posts. I cleaned with tsp, deglossed, sanded and primed with two coats of zinsser. I then painted with two coats of sw proclassic in semi gloss but my cabinets arent at all glossy. Can I used this wax mentioned above to make the cabinets look glossy? If not, what product(s) will you recommed to get a glossy finish for the cabinets. On a side note, I had ugly oak cabinets to begin with. Thanks so much :)

  69. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Mehreen, was won’t achieve a glossy finish, but I’d try Minwax or Varathane clear coat (water based) in a gloss sheen.

  70. Angela says:

    I have a kitchen table that is thick veneer top. Do you think I could do this to the veneer top??

  71. Deb says:

    Did you use the roller for the paint? Or did you just use the brush for that?
    Getting ready to take a stab at refinishing a similar looking table this weekend. Except we are paining it a bright orange. – Deb

  72. CentsationalGirl says:

    Just a brush for the paint but you could use a foam roller Deb.

  73. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Angela, you can paint any veneer with the right adhesion primer that’s designed for glossy surfaces.

  74. Carey says:

    Kate, you really inspire me! Because of you, I’m now brave enough to tackle a long time goal to learn to paint/refinish old furniture. I know it sounds silly, but thank you!
    I recently bought a veneer table (ugly ugly, but it fit perfectly in my small eat-in space) that I want to paint. Do you suggest sanding first or going straight to primer? Suggestions on the type of primer & paint?? Thanks again!

  75. CentsationalGirl says:

    No need to sand Carey, but I do like to scuff with a sanding wedge first, then go straight to an adhesion primer, Zinsser Cover Stain is my fave.

  76. Rapunzel says:

    Great job! I can never envision beautiful things out of old ugly furniture.

    One question: will you ever have to re-wax it?

  77. Kalie says:

    Ok sorryto bombard you with questions. I realized I should just start over, I got off the paint + primer (seemed crappy even to a first time painter). I primed with kilz latex primer. I picked out an enamel paint at lowes. They took it to add the color and when I got it back, they had switched my enamel can with a kitchen/bath acrylic paint. They promises to me that it was the exact same thing. Now I know that’s not true. But they had no enamel paint with a base that I could use with the color I want. Is acrylic paint a good alternative in terms of durability and such? Are there any good alternatives to enamel? I’m having a hard time finding it anywhere in my town. Thanks!

  78. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Kalie, you can use regular latex paint but you might need an additive called Floetrol to lengthen the drying time and condition the water based paint for a smoother result. The alternative is to look for an oil based enamel paint, commonly used for doors and trim, I know Glidden has one and it’s sold at Home Depot.

  79. Kara Rush says:

    I am about to start the painting process of my kitchen table, but I’m concerned with how the temperature will affect my paint. I live in a very hot and humid climate, and was planning to keep the table outdoors on my patio throughout the whole refinishing process. Should I still attempt to paint this table even with the temperature being between 80-90 degrees every day? What problems could that cause? Thanks!

  80. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Kara, the problems you may encounter with higher temperatures is that your paint dries too fast, leaving you with frustrating brush strokes. If possible, I’d wait for ideal conditions!

  81. Bea says:

    I’ve just finished two coats of the zinsser primer on my oak pedestal table. Now I’m giving it a couple of days before I start painting. I’m planning on using the BM Advance paint you mentioned. I want to do black. The lady at the BM store suggested I use the Pearl finish. Good idea, do you think? She says it’s very durable and would’nt require a protectant. Can you just use the wax on white tables or do you reccomend using it on the black painted table as well?
    Just a couple of questions I hope you can help me with. Thanks.
    Love reading your blog. Always so informative. Your table looks beautiful and I’m hoping mine can look that good.

  82. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Bea, the satin Advance formula may need a protectant, with black I’d go with a Minwax or Varathane finish – you choose if you want satin or gloss. If you go with a gloss formula in the Advance and let it cure a few weeks, it’s a pretty hard surface, did that with my son’s desk and was very pleased!

  83. Deb says:

    Still working on our orange pedestal table. How many coats of Polycrylic would you recommend for a kitchen table? The can suggests 3. And should we paint the Polycrylic on the pedestal base as well? At this point my husband only did one coat on the table top. – Deb

  84. Kate says:

    This is perfect! I have a HUGE ugly pedestal table with a veneer top that is just killing me. I have two questions:

    1- the base is actually metal, would I just follow the same steps as above?

    2- i’ll be doing this in Arizona in my backyard. Aside from drying too fast and leaving brush strokes, will the heat and sun quicken the curing time or do anything weird to the various layers?

    Again, so excited I found this on Pinterest, I was about ready to throw it out and head for Ikea :)

  85. Hi Kate! Thank you so much for this post. I have been studying it all week as I have been repainting some new pieces. I was wondering where you buy your waxes from. I checked Home Depot and Lowes and they only have Minwax in natural. I would like clear as you mentioned as I am also painting my furniture white! Thanks!

  86. Jessica Weiner says:

    Thank you for this tutorial… very straightforward and easy to follow. I redid a crappy old drop leaf table I got at a yard sale painted Swiss Coffee. It is used as a mini-gaming spot for my kids for their Xbox & a small monitor, with the leaves down. (1) It just strikes me as BORING, I would like to make it more visually appealing, but not sure how. I tried scuffing it up for a distressed look, but am having a hard time getting the paint off. What about dribbling some liquid stripper here & there? Try a little stain? (2) with the leaves down, the bare wood underside is visible, keep as is or should this be painted too?

  87. kristie says:

    Excellent tutorial! Did you wax only the top or the entire table/pedestal? thanks!

  88. CentsationalGirl says:

    Just the top Kristie!

  89. Deborah says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! The detailed instructions make my job so much easier!

  90. Laine says:

    Hi Kate. i love your site and your step by step instructions and pics.

    Q for you – have you ever done a “Cerused” Oak finish? i am crushing on everything Gustavian right now! i have a very similar oak pedestal table to the one you painted, and wonder if you have had success refinishing oak with an american country vibe, into a subtle, elegant, grey-toned piece worthy of King Gustav’s court?

    thanks for any info you can share!

  91. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Laine! That graywash or limed oak finish is all the rage but you’re right, it’s been around for centuries! I would strip oak down to it’s raw state, then give it a subtle gray then whitewash with paint! You can also buy liming products too, but I haven’t tried them yet.

  92. Karen says:

    Hi Kate,
    My daughter has finished her first project painting a small nightstand. It has been about a month now. She never put wax on as she was too impatient. Now it seems that the nightstand is “tacky” meaning her small lamp is sticking to it and the drawers are sticking. She did let it dry properly. Help!

  93. Lauren says:

    Thanks so much for an amazing tutorial! I recently painted a media stand to reuse as a changing table. I sanded, primed, and painted with a couple of coats of latex paint. After a few days, its still SO tacky feeling! Would applying the Briwax help? Or should I give it a few more days (we live in a humid area)? Or do I need to start over and do it your way? :)

  94. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Lauren, wax always takes away the tackiness from any latex paint, yes give it a try!

  95. Brie says:

    Hi Kate. This was an amazing tutorial on how to paint a table and I am currently sitting at my newly painted kitchen table. I do have one question. I finished the table with SC Johnson Wax. What can I use to clean the table without removing or damaging the wax? Thanks!

  96. Heather says:

    Hey, I recently painted a table with chalk paint and put three coats of annie sloan clear wax on. i allowed 24 hours between each coat and 1 week before I used the table. Everything I put on the table leaves a mark :( is there a way to pull the wax off and use a different product to seal it? I’d love any advice you can give me! I love the look of my table, but the marks show so much!
    thank you!

  97. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Heather, the problem might be not enough buffing. When it is sufficiently buffed there should be no marks – sometimes it takes as much as 20 minutes for each coat (ugh!) but the smoother you get it the better!

  98. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hi Brie, I use Method cleaners or you can use white vinegar dilluted with water!

  99. Jewel says:

    Great job on your table.I am reprinting a white table.I lightly sanded,applied primer then two coats of Benjamin Moore Classic semi gloss acrylic paint,allowing two to three hours drying time between coats.Unfortunately I have some dull spots,I am not new to painting and don’t know why this happened.If I use the Briwax on it do you think that will get rid of the dull spots and even it out or should I use the Minwax polyacrylic to seal it? I am really hoping not to have to start from scratch by sanding it all down.
    Would appreciate your advice.

  100. CentsationalGirl says:

    I think the wax will solve your problem Jewel, give it a try!

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