I finally decided that a painted table top just wasn’t right for my little breakfast room. I wanted a stained chevron table top, but of course, that posed some problems.
If you’ll remember, I made this table out of cheap pine (or some sort of yellow wood), and I absolutely hate the way that pine looks when it’s stained. The grain turns orangish yellow, and just looks…well…CHEAP in my opinion.
Want proof? When I made this chevron wood table top a couple of months ago, I did try to stain it. And it looked AWFUL!! See all of that orange grain showing through?
(Psst…if you missed the “how to” on building a diy chevron wood table top, you can find those instructions here.)
So that’s why I decided that paint was the only option. But clearly, a multi-colored chevron table top just wasn’t right for my tiny condo. So I tried one color for the whole top, which I showed you a couple of days ago.
Obviously, a neon yellow table wasn’t going to do. So I dragged out my sander and sanded down the table top…AGAIN. Then I used a vinegar/steel wool mixture over the entire top just to take away some of the yellow color.
Then I was ready for stain. I remembered that I had some pre-stain wood conditioner, so I used that first, hoping that it would make this cheap wood take stain a little more evenly. Well, it did. And it wasn’t pretty. I mean, it SOAKED.IT.UP. And can you see how one column looks really dark, and the next looks much lighter? That’s just because of the direction of the wood. It’s kind of like sewing with fabric that has a nap to it (like velvet). Needless to say, I wasn’t crazy about this look.
Also, after sanding all of the yellow off of the table top, and staining it, I noticed that there was some yellow paint stuck in some of the crevices. That just wouldn’t work for me, so I got out my X-acto knife and dug out the yellow paint. It was very tedious and took about two hours. But that left me with all of those deep crevices between the slats of wood. That’s certainly not very practical for a dining table.
To be honest, at this point I was about in tears. I was ready to drag this table to the dumpster and wash my hands of it. In fact, I even got on Craigslist and looked for dining tables. I found one that I loved, and even called to inquire about it.
But I hate giving up. Buying a new dining table just because I want a new table is one thing. Buying a table because I’m giving up is quite another thing, and when it came right down to it, I just couldn’t let myself do it.
So I pressed on, and then had a happy accident. As I was sanding the first coat of polyurethane, the fine polyurethane dust fell into the crevices between the slats of wood, and I loved how it looked! It highlighted the chevron pattern that I love so much, but it was subtle.
But obviously, polyurethane dust would just dissolve as soon as I applied the next coat of polyurethane, so I got out some wood filler, filled all of the cracks, and then gave the entire table a good sanding to get some of that dark stain off and bring out the grain of the wood. I wanted the grain to show. After all, that’s a huge part of what creates the chevron pattern. But I just didn’t want the grain to be orangish yellow. And it wasn’t.
And after a couple more coats of polyurethane, I was loving my table!! I mean, I really love it! The chevron pattern shows, but it’s subtle and, dare I say, sophisticated! And I’m nothing if not sophisticated. (Just kidding. I’m far from sophisticated.)
The finish with the grain showing through almost gives the wood an aged look. And interestingly, the alternating dark and light columns have pretty much disappeared (thank goodness!!!).
And in fact, now the rows appear to be alternating dark and light. And I’m okay with that.
So now, I love my table again. I’m so glad I didn’t give up!!
And talk about a night and day difference from how this table started out!!
I still like that painted top…just not for my breakfast room.
This project was for my condo breakfast room makeover. Click here to see the whole before and after of the breakfast room makeover.
Or click on the thumbnails below to see other DIY projects that I did for my condo breakfast room makeover.