Pre & Post: The Painted Dining Table

Formal dining room + low-budget to fill it + lack of willingness to commit because you are renting = sad dining room! Eating at a glass top Ikea desk seems pretty pathetic post-college.  Way post-college.  I needed a dining table and I needed one now for next to nothing.  I had been cruising Craigslist, perusing rummage sales, and dreaming of overpriced designer models when I came across this gem on Craigslist:

Okay, it's nothing like a "gem," but it had fairly clean lines, a leaf, and it was $30.  $30?! It spoke to me.  Plus, the legs come off allowing it to be crammed into a hatchback car.  Obviously, I couldn't leave it as is... a putrid yellowy wood veneer.

The veneer didn't seem to be in any shape to be refinished, and I had basically already decided the traditional, dark, wood-heavy dining room needed a pop of color.  Since I already had cream and orange chairs, turquoise was in order.  I had no idea how to paint a table, but these  resources were the most useful to me:



And, the ever handy Home Depot.  I sanded, I primed, and then I applied what was going to be 2 coats of high gloss latex paint.  Seemed to work out just fine.  I wanted to finish it with a clear, high gloss, top coat.  After much debate, consulting Home Depot and handy friends, I decided on a clear, high gloss polycrylic.  Long story short: BAD IDEA. High gloss apparently does not like to adhere to high gloss, even if you sand in between coats.  Even if you switch to a foam brush. Brush strokes and streaks took over by beautiful turquoise masterpiece.  In hindsight, I would have used a matte paint.  Instead I ended up adding another coat of latex turquoise OVER the streaky polycrylic, but was still in need of that top coat.  I felt raw paint wouldn't hold up to the whole dining aspect.

A clear coat of Rustoleum saved the day.  Rustoleum is basically clear latex paint so the table is not as hard or as resilient as it would have been with a polycrylic or polyurethane top coat.  I applied 2 coats of Rustoleum with a foam brush (not a foam roller!), and finished off by applying two coats of carnauba wax to the top of the table.  Yes, I waxed the table like a car!  It added shine, and I think it helps to protect the table.  Or provides that new car smell to your dining room; you decide.

One week, about $100+/-, four Home Depot trips, one Auto Zone trip, and a lot of frustration later, at least the dining room has semi-grown up.  Here's the final product:

Brunch anyone?