I’ve been unhappy with our dining table ever since we moved here three years ago. We had a different table then, it was a pedestal table with a black base and light stained top. The chairs were all black. It worked for us, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Then one day, my husband’s aunt and uncle gave us their old dining table. It was gorgeous, but it still wasn’t quite us.
The whole look was just too dark for us. The table was dark (and scratched) and the chairs were dark. It was all just too dark! (Lots of darkness going on here!) I knew it had to change, but I hemmed and hawed over it for over a year. I was scared to paint the table because we have two little girls (you can see one in the window reflection) and I was scared that they’d ruin whatever finish I chose. So I let it sit there forever, being unhappy with it.
I finally had the perfect opportunity to change it when Miss Mustard Seed sent me some of her new European milk paint colors to try out! I knew it was finally time to tackle the dining room table!
First, my husband sanded the top. We were thinking stained top and painted body at this point, but weren’t sure how it would look. You can’t really tell in this photo, but once it was sanded, the cherry wood was still a little too orange for me. I decided I’d try a very watered down white wash to soften it up a bit.
Which clearly was not the right thing to do. My white wash turned the table pink! It was very obvious as my husband sanded the table again for me! Apparently cherry wood can be a little difficult to work with. You need to seal it with shellac before trying to paint over it or you will keep pulling that red/pink color out.
After getting the table re-sanded, I covered it with two coats of shellac. I’m crying on the inside here as I look at this picture. My husband and I quickly grew to love the unfinished look of the table, but knowing we had to seal it in some way, we had to let that go. This is the table with nothing on it on the left and shellac on the right.
For now, we’re keeping the top just shellacked. I need to decide if that’s it before I fully seal it. Either we’ll try a light white wash again – which scares me after the last attempt – or just leave it as is and throw a coat of poly on there! I think the color is growing on me, though, so I’ll probably just poly it.
As for the body of the table, well, that was my favorite part! Have I told you how much I adore milk paint? I just love the authentic chippy look you can get with this paint!
I painted the whole body with MMS’ new European color, Mora, which is gray with green/blue undertones. Then I went over it with Bergere, which is another new European color that’s kind of a baby blue. I finished it with a coat of antiquing wax to dull it down just a bit and make it blend in with my gray/green cabinets.
Last night after my huge headache went away, I ran out in the rain to our shed to grab our metal chairs. We had been using them at our outdoor table – which wasn’t smart since they’re indoor chairs – and had put them away for the winter. I saw the same ones at a friend’s house and then yesterday at my brother’s house and really wanted to try ours indoors. I also painted two of our black chairs white to brighten up the space. I still have to finish those since I only have one coat of paint on them so far!
I’m pretty sure my husband hates the metal chairs indoors – especially since he told me not to bring them in! But I just had to try them and I seriously love them! I totally get why he doesn’t like them though. The seat is about an inch higher than our old chairs and the back is shorter. As I looked at his 6 foot 2 inch frame awkwardly sitting in one this morning, I could tell he was uncomfortable. Not gonna lie, he kinda looked like a giant! So…I really want to keep them, but I don’t know how long they’ll last. We shall see!
I’ll be back soon with some tips on getting the perfect chippy finish with milk paint! Painting has seriously become a passion of mine and I love sharing what I’ve learned with you guys!
Oh, and I’ll have to let you know what happens with the chairs. ‘Cause I know you’re waiting on the edge of your seat to find out! Wink!
*Linking to Lil’ Luna