DEJA VU ~ I think I’ve done this before!

After we completed our kitchen redo, the kitchen table stuck out like a soar thumb!
I bought our table about ten years ago at a naked furniture store. I stained it a honey oak to match the rest of the kitchen. I added a few coats of polyurethane and it was beautiful. Through the years, I had gotten many compliments on the table. It fit the space and our family perfectly.
So when we redid our kitchen and changed everything to white, I didn’t like the oak table anymore.
Then I had a brainstorm. In our house, it’s called “A House moment”! If you’ve ever watched the show “House”, at the end of every episode, two minutes before the patient is going to die of some unknown and rare disease, House (the doctor) gets a moment when everything comes together and he heals the patient. YEAH!!!
My “House” moment was not as exciting but still enjoyable for me! I wanted to do exactly what I did to the island. DEJA VU!! I wanted to paint the legs white and stain the tabletop the same color as the butcherblock.
So here’s how it went down……
I painted the base and legs of the table and the four drawers the same white as the cabinets. I thought it would be a lot easier to paint over white if I make a drip boo boo with the stain than to stain over if I made a boo boo with the white paint on the stain. Understand??

Next was the staining.
My first attempt we’ll call “The Lazy Way”!
The whole family went out to the deck and sanded the whole table. We all sanded the legs and the details of the table with 120 grit sand paper while Son #4 sanded the flat areas with this baby.
The goal was just to sand off the multiple layers of varnish. In some areas that had dents, we sanded more. It looked like this.
Because some areas were sanded more than others, when I stained it, it came out looking like this.
This is where being lazy does not pay off!!!
The table went back out to the deck and we sanded until there was no stain left on this sucker!
Thanks to Son #2 and Son #4 for doing such a great job with the sander!
I conditioned the wood with Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.
Then the stain….I used Minwax Wood Finish in English Chestnut. I painted a thick coat on the whole top. I let it sit for 15 minutes, then wiped off any excess.
Six coats of Cabot Gloss Spar Varnish brushed on carefully and…..

We’ve learned from varnishing the island that we can’t put anything on the table or put the leaves together for about a week. It’s still sticky until then.

I started with a before and after and I’ll end with a before and after. I LOVE before and afters.

What do you think? I love it. It matches the island perfectly!!

We’re off to the Haven Conference in a couple of days! I’m excited and nervous to meet all the wonderful ladies I’ve stalked read all about. Are you going?

Linking up at Between Naps on the Porch “Metamorphosis Monday”
Skip to My Lou “Made by you Monday”
C.R.A.F.T. “Making Monday Marvelous”
Cherished Bliss “Craft and Tell”
Craft-o-Maniac Monday Link Party
Making the World Cuter “DIY Linky Party”
Home Stories A to Z “Tutorials and Tips Link Party”
Not Just a Housewife “Show Me What Ya Got”
Carolyn’s Homework “The Inspiration Board”
The NY Melrose Family “Whimsy Wednesdays”

Love y’all,


  1. WOW total gorgeous transformation!!!And what a glossy finish too.

  2. SO beautiful I would be afraid to eat off of it for fear of ruining it! Beautiful job! I think we have the same table…I really need to sand mine down too b/c mine is loaded woth fork dents from when the kids were babies!

    • Andrea~ We had so many dents from the kids. What do they do?? We’ve done the island with the same poly and it’s held up well so far. Hopefully, we’ll have the same luck with the table. Thanks for visiting! ~Linda

  3. It’s gorgeous! The top is so beautiful and the white legs are perfect. It’s so shiny too. I just love it!

  4. I’m a lover of glossy finishes so this is my kind of project! You take the prize for getting the whole family in on it. I love that. Congrats to all of you on a job very well done. I hope you enjoy the work of your hands! Found your post at Craftomaniac. Stop in and see me at Quirky Vistas sometime.

  5. WOW! That is incredible! What an amazing job!!!!!! It was so shiny, I thought at first you’d put on a granite topper!!!

    thanks for sharing,

  6. So pretty, looks amazing! =)

  7. OMG Everything looks fabulous kudos to you~!

  8. The table came out absolutely gorgeous! I am a huge fan of wood on top and painted bottoms. 🙂

  9. I found you through the hop for GFC. Glad I did. I love your kitchen renovation and the price you did it at is awesome. I think you flower pots came out adorable. However, I am like you… never satisfied with how it really looks compared to how my mind thinks it should look. 🙂

  10. Love it! Have been eyeballing my own breakfast table recently thinking it’s time for a redo, but Snacks is only just two, so I may be waiting another year or two. We’ll see! Sneaking a peek tonight from Whimsy Wednesdays – thanks for sharing!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow, that`s so amazing!

  12. Looks great!!

  13. Linda, nice job on the table. Good thing you had sons to help. I don’t know if you remember me. I was one of the few men at Haven. We’re from Cottage at the Crossroads. Come see us.

  14. Gorgeous! I have a butcher block table that I need to redo. There are so many stains and dents in the top of it. The bottom is hunter green. Outdated, for sure!

    The only problem is, the chairs match. Hunter green with butcher block seats. I don’t have patience to sand and paint around each spindle.

  15. WOW! I’m so glad I get to see the end results. I was intrigued to see what your revamped dining room table looked like after you started talking about it at Haven!

  16. That looks so lovely !

  17. Oh wow, that is just gorgeous. OK – so this is a really stupid question, but by “varnish”, are you referring to the protective top coat?

  18. Excellent transformation! It looks great!

  19. Found you through Centsational Girl at just the right time. I am about to redo the top of my kitchen table with English Chestnut stain and am curious about your comment that if you had it to do over again you would use oil based poly. What would be the benefit of the poly versus the varnish? And did you sand between each coat of varnish?

    • We found that the varnish (we used marine varnish that is used on boats) took a really long time to dry and it is softer. It scratches and dents easier. The poly is better for inside use and dries quicker and has a harder shell. Yes, I lightly sanded in between coats. Good luck! ~Linda

  20. Love the table! Before you painted the legs and drawers white, did you do anything to prime them?
    I am completely new to redoing furniture…and jumping right in with doing a kitchen table that I got at a thrift store. I tried staining it black…but it did not turn out. Now I am rethinking what I can do..thinking about just painting it, but am worried paint will chip easily.
    It will be used by my 2 little munchkins (2 and 11 months) for eating and crafts. So I need something that can withstand kids…hard finish!! Thanks for any tips!

    • Hey Erin~ The legs were stained and polyed so I had to sand them real good. Then I just painted them with Sherwin Williams ProClassic glossy white which is what I used on the kitchen cabinets. My table has been used by all six of my kids and not one scratch or peeling paint. On the top, I would recommend 4-6 coats of poly. Good luck! ~Linda

  21. Anonymous says:

    How fantastically amazing and beautiful! Where can you find one of these “Naked furniture stores” you type of? As my family expands and then the shape of our dining room, a size table like yours would be a great fit!

  22. Hi…I just saw this on Pinterest and freaked out b/c we have the EXACT same table! Different chairs though and a bench seat! I did the same thing to our table top but yours turned out better! Did you end up painting the white on with a brush or spray gun? Did you prime it beforehand? Did you sand all the chairs beforehand or???? Sorry, I’m about to start the white paint on everything so I have alot of questions! I hope mine turns out even slightly as nice as yours 🙂

    • Hey Nicki~Thanks for coming by! I painted the legs with a paint brush. A lot of nooks and crannies so I thought it would be easier. I always sand everything before I paint it. I think the paint sticks a lot better. Good luck with your table. Please don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need to. I hope I can help! Have a great weekend. ~Linda

  23. Nicely done, Linda! That Minwax English Chestnut is the perfect color for your space. And that shine?! Looks great. -Bruce

    • Thanks Bruce~The table is holding up great. Lots of bangs and scratching but no dings or scratches. It’s still looks like new! ~Linda

  24. Absolutely beautiful! Tha is so much for sharing and can't wait to follow your instructions on my own table. Lovely! 🙂

    • Thanks Kathleen~ Good luck on your table! We absolutely love ours and it has worn very well! ~Linda

  25. Your table and kitchen are gorgeous! So grateful to have found your project and that it was so simply and well written. Youre an inspiration for sure. Im in the process of refinishing my own table and your tips have been invaluable. Thank you!


    • Lisa~Thank you so much!! I’m glad you can use my experience (and my mistakes!). I love getting inspired with other’s blogs and pinterest. I’m a great copier!! Thanks for visiting my blog! ~Linda

  26. Sophia A says:

    Did you use a paint sprayer or a brush, or foam roller? I am getting ready to do my table and would love to know. Thanks.

    • Hey Sophia~I used a paint brush. There were so many crevices I thought it would be much easier. I’m also not a big fan of foam brushes. I think I’m too tough on them and the plastic handle always breaks through the foam part. Hope that helps. Good luck with your table! ~Linda

  27. Gorgeous! Gorgeous! I'b about to restain my kitchen table. I have 3 kids and as you can imagine they have dented/scratched it up. How is the glossy finish holding up?

  28. Rosie Haro says:

    How long did you wait in between coats of varnish?

    • Hey Rosie~ I am a direction follower. I waited the length the can told me to. Because I used Cabot Spar Varnish which is a polyurethane used on boats, we let each coat dry for 6-8 hours. Regular varnish doesn’t take as long to dry. Hope that helps! ~Linda


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