Kitchen Set with a Rustic Table Top

This post has been saved as draft for a long time. The project is from last fall, but I finally found the time to finish it up and share it with you.

When I started working on this kitchen table, the original idea was to do a rustic, barn wood look on its top.

I considered painting and dry-brushing different shades of brown and gray, but when I noticed how beautiful the wood grain was, I decided not to hide it with paint. Instead, I used different colors of stain and a gray wash.

Although the final result doesn’t look as rustic as I envisioned, I think multicolored effect of the brown, black and gray look very pretty!

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 2 (1 of 1)

Check out the short video tutorial at the end of this post if you want to watch how I did it.

Here is the step-by-step of how I refinished the table top.

  1. First I stripped it with zip strip. (This is powerful stuff,  friends! Wear thick gloves and protection goggles).
  2. After cleaning it well with denatured alcohol, I sanded it down using 80, 120 and 220 grit sandpapers, in this order.
  3. I cleaned again then applied General Finishes Antique Walnut Gel Stain.
  4. After about 6 hours, when the stain was dry to the touch, I applied Minwax Ebony stain and let it dry for about 2 hours.
  5. Using a wire brush, I brushed several spots of the table top always following the wood grain. The idea was to remove the ebony stain on those spots so the brown from the gel stain could show through.
  6. I removed the dust with a clean brush then applied the gray wash to the entire top using a chip brush then wiping off the excess with a rag.
  7. Repeated step 5.
  8. Finally I sealed the top with three coats of Minwax polyurethane satin.

Here is a one-minute video tutorial.

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 7.56.05 PM

And now more pictures of this cool set.

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 2 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 1 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 4 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 5 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 6 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 3 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 7 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 8 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 9 (1 of 1)

The Wood Spa - Rustic Table Top 10 (1 of 1)


I painted the table legs and chairs with Valspar Graceful White, lightly distressed mostly the edges and antiqued with dark wax.

What do you think of the result?

I’m sharing this post on this awesome link parties:

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Thanks for reading!


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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.

11 thoughts on “Kitchen Set with a Rustic Table Top

  1. I think you did an absolutely fantastic job in really giving the table and chairs such an uplift and made an amazing production that far surpasses so many I have seen. The work you did was hard on the table top, and your efforts show the amount of love you put into your work!


  2. Pat that wood grain is gorgeous. I’m glad you decided not to cover it up. It is warm and rich looking. The whole set turned out fantastic. And the white makes for a nice contrast with the wood top, bringing it out even more. I am getting ready to redo my table and I always wonder how you paint out doors without having dust dry on the polyurethane. Last time I did it I ended up with dust particles all over the top.


    1. Thank you Mary!
      I feel your pain. I love and hate painting outdoors. The dust and bugs can ruin hours of work. I usually work inside my garage with the doors open so I get the ventilation, but am a little less exposed to all the things that can land on my pieces. Stain/poly is less of a problem than paint, because you can light sand between coats and after applying the last coat of polyurethane you can finish by light “sanding” your surface with a 0000 steel wool. It leaves it super smooth finish without removing your top coat. Let me know if this works for you.


  3. Love your work. We are building a farm house table -white distressed bottom and stain on top. I would like top sealer to be durable but not real shiny. How are your 3 coats of satin poly holding up.? could I use l semi then 2 satin? Or any other ideas for a durable but not real glossy finish? Always look forward to your posts!


    1. Thank you so much Elaine! This table was for a client so I don’t know how it is today, but I have done the same sealing for pieces in my home and they are still in great shape! The most durable sealers are the oil-based ones, such as polyurethane. You can find them in different sheens (flat, satin, gloss, etc.). Look for a flat sheen and you won’t have any gloss. Also, after you finish all coats, light sand it with a super fine sand paper (400 grit or up) and it will also remove any remainder gloss, if any. Good luck!


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