Design, DIY, my house

the one with a pottery barn wannabe

I used to post my goals on the blog, and they definitely kept me accountable – coming back here and saying I hadn’t accomplished them was not cool so I worked my hardest to not. Those posts didn’t stop because of that – they just don’t fit much around here anymore – but last week I got a welcome reminder of what those days were like. I posted all about my newest tablescape to hide our table that we needed to refinish last week, and guess what!? I got the motivation to finish it.


The table was a steal at $50 from an online garage sale. It’s in good, solid condition with no problems AND it holds 8 people. We have a big family so fitting 8 people around a table sounded amazing especially for $50. But I didn’t like the stain on the table top and it did show some wear. Here’s the before . . .


The spindle legs reminded me of something pottery barn would make, and since the table is in such great condition I wanted to do this the right way and make it something that would come out of those glorious pottery barn catalogues. That was a daunting task, even for someone who loves DIY, so the table sat for a year. We did move 1000 miles away from home unexpectedly and on a month’s notice during that time, but still this could have been done a long time ago.

The most daunting part of refinishing the table was getting that varnish and stain off the top. So I took it a little at a time using Citri strip to get it all started. This paint/varnish stripper is genius. you spread it evenly and thickly over your area, leave it for 30 minutes, then sand it off. It was sticky and got really clumpy so the sanding took awhile, then I washed it off, then I sanded it again. Once it was all off and not sticky anymore I sanded the whole table down some more. If you don’t have an electric sander, I’d definitely recommend buying one if you have a project this big. Amazon has several for around $20 and just the help you’ll get to your hands is worth that.


One it was all sanded and cleaned again, it was time for paint. This table is going to be heavily used so I put one coat of Rustoleum flat black ultra cover for industrial use. I know it sounds like a bit much, and this stuff stank. But once it was on it’s so worth it. The application was smooth, and I could tell it’s gripping to the wood the way it’s supposed to so it won’t show wear and tear easily. To get that pottery barn affect, once it was completely dry I took my sand paper – 120 grit- and gently went over the entire top. Some spots came off easier than others, and some spots nothing happened – distressed. On the curved edges, I purposefully pressed harder with the sand paper I spots so the wood would show through. I put 2 coats of flat polyurethane on top for some more protection, and then let everything dry completely.


It’s been two weeks since the table has officially been done, and I have to tell you I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I’ve been sitting here everyday working instead of at my desk or on the couch, and we even . . . wait for it . . . we even sit at the table and eat dinner sometimes now.  I guess I’ll be putting more things that need to get done up on the blog.


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  • Reply Jessica

    Your table looks amazing! It’s hard to get motivated to do those DIYs, but they’re so worth it!

    October 27, 2015 at 6:52 am
  • Reply Faith

    I love it!! It looks amazing, good job girl! I always like seeing your DIY projects. 🙂

    October 27, 2015 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Jenna @ A Savory Feast

    I love it! Aren’t DIY tables the best? You got such a great deal on this and now it looks like a really expensive Pottery Barn table.

    October 27, 2015 at 10:09 am
  • Reply Nina @ Flowers in my Hair

    I love it so much.

    October 27, 2015 at 10:48 am
  • Reply Heidi

    the table looks great! It motivates me to get to some of those projects I have had sitting around for too long!

    October 27, 2015 at 11:04 am
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