The “nightmare” dining table

Look at the design of this table. Please, look again. Is this stunning or what?
When my customer dropped off this beauty at my house I couldn’t help feeling a little nervous. It’s one of those pieces you just can’t mess up.



A shame I don’t have the “before” picture, but it was a very dark stain, with scratches and marks everywhere. The project was simple. I just had to find a nice shade of brown for the legs and a little ligher stain for the top. No big deal, right? Well, I thought I had everything under control until I started stripping the top. Things went downhill from there. Several thick layers of stripper later, and the top still had horrible dark and yellow marks. I was trying to avoid sanding, as I wanted the top to look impeccably smooth, with no sanding marks. It just wouldn’t happen.


I applied a coat of dark walnut stain and it only brought up the dark spots. My first attempt was a total failure. That night I had my first nightmare with this table.
The day after I tackled it again. Stripping, a little bit of sanding, and a new coat of stain. There were the ugly spots again. Ugh! At this point I was almost in tears. More nightmares.

Third day… more stripper, more sanding, more praying, and this time I decided to try gel stain. Not sure if it was the more powerful stripper, the two-hour sanding, the prayers, or the gel stain, but finally the top started to look good.
Even my husband and sons celebrated my victory that evening! They took me out for dinner and were just happy to see me in a better mood again. That night I slept like a puppy.

I know this wasn’t the last time I will be in trouble with stain. I just hope I have a loooong break before my next, so I can recover from this one.

Here is what I used.
Legs: Ben Moore Brown Sugar, glazed with Minwax Dark Walnut stain
Top: General Finishes Antique Walnut
Sealant: Minwax Polyurethane spray

Have you had many nightmare projects?



Posted by

It all started in the spring of 2013. I realized how tired I was to see my house entirely decorated with IKEA stuff. Nothing against IKEA, but after 12 years, I just needed some change. I wanted stylish, original furniture, but noticed that everything I liked from retail stores was way out of my budget. Thanks to Google, Youtube, and a couple of amazing blogs, I was able to discover and explore the world of furniture refinishing, and it was the beginning of my addiction. I now spend my days rescuing old, dull, unwanted pieces of furniture to give them a fresh look so they can be displayed, used and loved again for many more years to come. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s