First, let me start off by saying I am far from an expert on painting furniture. In fact, although I have painted probably about 80% of the pieces in my home I normally just rush through painting them and skip steps and then always end up regretting it later. Well, I don't normally regret that I painted the piece (I LOVE painted furniture), I just regret that I didn't take the time to do it properly. This time I decided to take my time and at least attempt to do it right. I photographed the step by step process of stripping the top. I didn't bother to photograph the painting part because I figured that wasn't really necessary. Anyway, like I said, I really don't know what I am doing I generally just "wing it" and hope it turns out. If you want to really learn more about painting furniture I highly recommend visiting one of these blogs, where these lovely ladies have a wealth of knowledge and give far more detailed information on painting furniture: Marian at Miss Mustard Seed, Shaunna of Perfectly Imperfect, and Kate at Centsational Girl.

Okay, so here is what the coffee table looked like before. We bought it about 5 years ago. It was a floor model at Pottery Barn and was hugely discounted as they were clearing things out plus it had a few little dings in it. I LOVED the size of it and the fact that the drawers pulled out on both sides (there are four drawers and each one is really long and can be pulled out from either side).

When we moved here three and a half years ago the movers damaged most of our furniture. In those first few weeks I painted so many pieces (with help from my sisters) I thought I would scream. The coffee table was on the list but I never got around to it and I just decorated the top to hide all the damage. Over the past few years it has gotten more and more messed up and finally last week I decided to fix it up. I had originally been planning on painting the whole thing one color but then decided it might be fun to strip the top and stain it for a more natural look and then paint and distress the bottom. I figured worse case, if it didn't turn out right I could just paint over the top. 

The top had all sorts of marks like this:

So, here is what I started with:

I followed the directions on the can and brushed on a coat over the whole top and then let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Then I started scraping away.

In some spots it came off ridiculously easy and some spots not so much.

So, I brushed on another layer of the gel:

Here it is after two rounds, looking better but still not done:

Lillie loves "helping" with my projects but because this wasn't a child-friendly project she just watched and made sure I was doing it right. =) She was allowed to help paint the other two projects I did last week, though (a chalkboard frame and an armoire).

Whew! Three rounds later here it was! I could already tell I was going to love it! I have to say even though it did take three rounds it really was quite easy. So much easier than I had anticipated. The last project I did using stripper was a nightmare and I had been scared to use it since. This was remarkably easy and it was even quite fun watching the old stain just peel right off!

After that I used my little sander to sand the whole top down. You could just use regular sandpaper too. I bought this sander at Lowe's five years ago for less than $30 when I was fixing up a pair of twin beds for our last house (those poor beds got damaged so badly in our move I could only salvage parts of both and made the daybed out on our back porch with the pieces that were usable). Anyway, it was a worthwhile investment as I have used it over and over for quite a few different projects.

Once I had it sanded down I used this stain and applied one light coat. After that dried I added a second coat and that was it!

And that was it for the top!

 For the bottom of the table I used Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter. I used one coat and then touched it up in a few spots with a second coat. After it had dried I hand distressed it with sandpaper. I plan on sealing the top but just haven't quite gotten to that yet.

And don't forget today at noon we will be having our largest batch ever of Growth Charts available! Yay! And if they sell out don't worry we will continue to be making much larger batches as long as their is still a demand for them!
I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!


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