Kitchen tables get hammered over time. Whether you have little kids digging in their forks into the table, or just host many dinners with platters scraping the top, the table gets abused. Eventually, most DIYers think of repainting their kitchen table. It is cheaper than purchasing a new table, and the best part: you get to make it exactly how you want it!
Painting a kitchen or dining table isn’t much more difficult than painting any other piece of furniture, but if you don’t know what you are doing, it can turn into a big mess. Before you begin your table makeover, remember the main concern of repainting a table is to make it durable. Kitchen tables take more wear and tear than your average dresser or bookshelf. And who wants to spend hours of work, to see chipped paint a week later?
Here are five the most common mistakes people make painting a kitchen table:
#7- 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 glossy finish. 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, uneven surfaced, and possibly stain yellowing your new paint.
Start sanding with a 80+ grit sandpaper, then move to 120-180 grit. You table will feel smooth enough at this point, but it isn’t. The legs are probably fine at this point, but the surface where your elbow and hands will rub, you need it even softer. Sand it at least one more time with 200+ grit. You will be in love with the feel of this table top after that 200 grit. It makes a world of difference! If you are staining your table top, do one more layer of 250-300.
#6- Not Using Primer Correctly
Before you apply your paint that you must have at least one coat primer or shellac based primer. Shellac is used when you are covering a stained wood with paint. It helps keep the stain in and prevents future yellowing. Primer is used when the wood is bare. Make sure you use water-based primer for
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 a primer if you are painting with chalk paint.
#5- Applying your Paint with a Brush
Keep the brush just for decorative legs
#4- Forgetting Floetrol
Flotrol is a must if you are painting your table with latex. If you are staining it, skip this one.
Floewtrol is a paint conditioner that helps reduce and in many cases eliminate brush strokes or lines. Floetrol also extends the drying time on each layer- which you may think is a negative- it isn’t. A slow drying time means a smoother finish and a harder finishing product. Tip: Never try to heat up your work area to quicken the drying time, let it happen naturally.
#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
#2 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
For tips on whitewashing your table for this look check out this article: How to Whitewash Furniture Wood.
#1-Not letting it Cure
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
And as oil-based don’t make mistake #8 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!