Painting a kitchen or dining table isn’t really much more difficult than painting any other piece of furniture. The main factor to be concerned about when painting a kitchen table is the fact that it will take a LOT more wear and tear on the surface of it than your average dresser or bookshelf would. Here are some of the mistakes people make painting a kitchen table:
#1- Not Sanding Enough
You don’t need to sand off all of the stain, however you do need your new paint to adhere to a rough surface. Sand enough until you have a rough surface and can see no gloss. When I sand a table, I use this Black and Decker sander. Not only does it take a 4 hour job and turn it into a 30 minute job, this sander has a pointed side to get into the grooves of legs and edges. I love mine and for less that $30 consider it a must for any DIYer.
If you don’t take time to get everything sanded, including those beautiful table legs, you will end up with paint peeling off.
#2- Not Using Primer or Not Using a Good One
With a kitchen table make sure before you apply your paint that you have at least one coat of oil based primer or shellac based primer. I would use no less than Cover Stain, BIN primer or Kilz primer. On trick I use to cut my time in half is spraying primer, instead of brushing it on. Some hardware stores sell these, while others don’t. You can buy the spray Cover Stain primer here.
This spray cost about $5, give you a softer finish than brush strokes and take half the time to apply the primer then a regular brush…your welcome! Let the primer dry for about one hour before applying your first coat of paint. Note: You don’t need primer if you are painting with lacquer.
#3-Applying Too Few Coats of Paint
If you are going to be painting with a water based paint, I would do at least 3, maybe even 4 coats of paint to the top of the table. With a dresser, 2 coats is enough, but with a kitchen table, you’ll need that extra protection and durability. Remember those coats don’t need to be thick, in fact thick paint tends to chip more than multiple thin layers. Take your time to get your table done right.
#4 The Clear Coat
I am constantly needing to pull out the magic eraser on my painted table to scrub off stains from food, crayons, etc. The magic eraser works great but it pulls a little bit of paint off every time. Make sure you have done 4-5 coats of clear coat on your table. This is where you really will make your hard work last. You need to do at least 3 or more coats of a clear coat. I prefer Polycrylic Protective Finish or this Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Gloss .
For tips on whitewashing your table for this look check out this article: How to Whitewash Furniture Wood.
#5-Not letting it Cure
*BONUS*- My sister had her kitchen table and chairs painted by a professional, but even they made this horrible mistake. The furniture felt dry to the touch so we all sat round admiring the beautiful table and enjoyed a great meal. After dinner we all stood up and saw that the table now had rings where all the plates sat. The chairs were now textured with the pattern of everyones pants. Bumpy jean texture on new chairs is not what my sister had in mind. Follow the instructions on you paint can to allow the furniture to completely cure. This usually takes 5-8 days! This mistake is often over looked.
And as a added bonus don’t make mistake #5 of repainting a table during a season where temperatures are below 50 degrees, not only do you need the temperature to help cure the paint, but you need to be able to open up the doors and let out the smell of these paints.
Need some inspirations? Check out these beautiful makeovers: Top 10 Kitchen Table Transformations. If you have any questions please comment below, I love to hear from my readers!