Kindness on Her Tongue

And the Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For…Not really, but I’m excited about it.

I am finally ready to show you my dining room table. For my facebook friends out there, you’ve been with me through it all – the laughter, the tears, the sanding, the staining, the sanding, the staining, the sanding, the staining. And NOW! I can finally show you what it was all about. This is my lovely dining room table. We all remember these “farmhouse” tables. They are soooo ten years ago. Come to think of it, that’s about when we bought ours. It was within the first two years that we were married and it was our first big purchase together. Our first new piece of furniture. I remember at the time that I did NOT want white legs because that was so, like, 5 years before that. But I did and still do really love the shape of it and the turned legs and the fact that it is solid, and I mean SOLID wood, and it also has a leaf that folds up and goes inside and it really is a classic style. I have for quite a while desired to redo this table. I wavered between black paint and a dark stain. I chose the dark stain. There was problem – I had never stained anything before. Didn’t have a clue what I was doing.


These pictures were taken after I very carefully and painstakingly sanded it – the first time. Not to be mistaken with the second time that I very carefully and painstakingly sanded it, nor the time after that that my Man sanded it – though it turns out that my sanding was not so careful nor painstaking as his. So after the first sanding I very excitedly wiped it down with my latest discovery, tack cloth. Oh. MY! I will keep a stock of tack cloth around forever. I can’t believe I’ve lived and sanded and painted without it. If you are unfamiliar with tack cloth, it is basically a sticky rag that you use to wipe something after you’ve sanded it and it picks up all the dust from sanding, unlike a plain ol’ rag which can either miss some of the dust or just move it around. I have always used a damp rag in the past, but I am telling you what – tack cloth has changed my life (did you see that, Tara? It changed. my. life!) Back to the story at hand. I then began staining the table. I had chosen a beautiful stain color from Minwax called “Provincial”. Doesn’t that sound positively, well, provincial? It wasn’t. It looked awful. There were big, dark spots. And there were big, light spots. And on the legs, the stain simply slid off. I should have taken a picture. But instead, the Man and I hauled it back outside to sand it again. Then we hauled it back inside and I gave it another shot. This was over a period of some days. Here’s what it looked like after the second attempt at staining:

DSC01850Yuck! (the table, not my photo, though that’s pretty bad, too. Now my sister-in-law, she can take some pictures! Hey Tawny! You stalking?)  It looked terrible! And not only did it look terrible, it never dried. Even after a week it was still sticky. Well my Man stepped up and sanded that table. Really sanded. Like took a whole week to sand it. Took about 2 hours to sand each leg. Oh, and I also found out something very important from my friendly, neighborhood Sherwin-Williams store (love SW, which as my son pointed out are also his own initials.) There is a product called wood conditioner. It is as important to the staining process as priming is to the painting process. I am very thankful to have found that out between the time that the third sanding was complete and the time that the third staining was attempted. Between the very wonderful sanding that my very wonderful Man did and the wood conditioner, here is what we ended up with:

DSC01874DSC01878And with my bargain dining room chairs:

DSC01871And now it must be told that my brother -in-law, Richard the Second, was an integral part of the the staining process as well as in the assembly of the chairs.

So, there it is. I’m sorry I’m such a terrible photographer – wish I could get you some better shots. I love all your comments and input! Please let me know what you think about this project.


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  1. * Tara says:

    That is one beautiful dining room table!! And I don’t think it will look dated in 10 years. 🙂

    I’m wondering if there’s a “thorough sanding” gene which is found somewhere on the “y” chromosome. My hubberdaloo is so much better at sanding too.

    Wish I had known about that life-changing tack cloth before my super cute office nook project. I’d be a different woman by now.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago
    • * Kindness On Her Tongue says:

      i was thinking of you and your lint/dust as i was tack cloth-ing. sorry. but now we know.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago
  2. * Jennifer Schwarz says:

    Your table looks great! That wood conditioner is a good friend of mine. Could you please tell me more about sanding the legs. What did you use to get the finish off them~ Just hand sanding with paper? I bought a great table at GW for $100 (table with two butterfly leaves~ one hand open & 6 chairs) but all I have ever sanded & stained are flat surfaces. Any tips you can give would be very appreciated.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago
    • * Kindness On Her Tongue says:

      jennifer, all i can say is that my husband went at it with a vengeance. he was able to unscrew the actually turned part from the cubish looking part at the top of the leg and i think that helped. he actually took the entire table apart so that he could hold the legs and get at them better. he just hand sanded with paper and a little file for the tiny curves. he used an 80 grade sandpaper. i wasn’t very particular about going back and resanding everything with progressively finer paper be/c i wanted an old looking table, not a perfect looking one and that thing was already driving me crazy, so after he finished, i went back over it lightly with a 220 grade paper. i really love how it turned out with some areas making it look very aged worn. but if you want a new looking table, i’m not sure how to accomplish that on the legs. i won’t kid you – they were a pain! good luck to you. i would love to see how it turns out.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago
  3. * Sandy says:

    Thanks for sharing your table experience. I too will start the second stripping because the product I used was finish and stain together and I didn’t get as dark as I wanted, also forgot the conditioner. I think your table looks great, I hope mine turns out that way. Have a great day.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago
  4. * Kammy says:

    Great job ! It does take alot of sanding and practice !
    Hugs ~ Kammy

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago
  5. * Marie says:

    Wowee! What a heavenly table make-over! I love the way it turned out and it looks fabulous with the black chairs. You really did a terrific job. Your hard work definitely paid off!


    | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago

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