Farm Table Makeover

How To Makeover A Farm Table Like An Expert/Pro

I get a lot of questions about painting furniture but when my niece called and asked, “Aunt Donna, can you give me some advice on painting a farm table and chairs?” It knew it would be a huge undertaking for her. I was like… can you send me a pic? Well, the picture she sent showed a small table with four chairs. Right off the bat, I noticed that it had been painted before. Let’s just say I knew I needed to do this one. How hard can a table and four chairs be, right?

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Farm Table Makeover

How To Makeover A Farm Table Like An Expert/Pro

Below is a list of the products I used for this makeover.

Refinishing The Table Top

Painting The Base Of The Farm Table Base & Chairs

Removing The Varnish From The Farm Table Top & Chairs

Before painting the base of these farm table chairs, I removed the old vanish with Citri-Strip.

The first project at hand would be to strip the old varnish off of the farm table top and the seats of the chairs. For this, I used a product called Citri-Strip. I applied a thick layer of the orange scented gel (that’s safe for indoor use) with a chip brush. While the orange gel was still wet, I added a plastic wrap over the gel to keep it from drying out. This helps with the breaking down of the old varnish. The longer you can keep it wet, the better it works. 

Scrapping The Old Varnish Off

I used a plastic scrapper to remove the old varnish from this farm table and chairs. The new finish will be amazing!

After about 30 minutes, I lifted the plastic wrap to check the process. With a plastic scraper (caution, using a metal scraper can cause damage to the wood), I carefully removed the melted varnish by scraping gently over the wood. This is a very messy process and you will need a huge trash can and lots of paper towels. Once the old varnished was removed, I used odorless mineral spirits and fine steel wool to loosen any remaining varnish and wiped the wood clean with a paper towel. The farm table top was pretty saturated and needed to dry overnight. The next morning I lightly sanded the wood with a 220 grit sandpaper to remove any leftover dried varnish. After a quick dusting with a lint-free cloth, it was ready for the next step. The WAX!

How To Add Colored Wax For A Stained Wood Look

I customized a gray colored wax for the top of this farm table with black and white mixed together.

Now for the fun part! I used Dixie Belle’s white and black wax to add color to the raw wood.

Adding black wax over raw wood on this farm table created a beautiful finish.

With a paintbrush, I applied the black wax over the wood farm table and chair tops. After the application, I wiped the remaining wax away with a soft cloth to create a dark wood tone. Allow the wax to fully dry (24 hours) before applying the second color.

Customizing Colored Wax

I customized a colored wax for this farm table and chairs. The look was amazing!

The look I was going for on this table top was a bit of a weather gray look. Using the black wax and the white wax, I mixed the two together in a plastic bowl to create a beautiful gray wax. I applied the gray wax in the same fashion over the whole top. This created just a hint of gray.

Sealing The Wax Finish On The Farm Table Top

Gator Hide was the perfect top coat for sealing the wax finish I did on the farm table.

To seal the tops of the farm table and chairs, I allowed the wax to fully cure before applying the top coat. Because Dixie Belle’s waxes are water-based, they can be used in fashion with a water-based top coat. The one thing you must remember is that you need to allow the wax to fully cure before applying the top coat. Applying the top coat before the wax is fully cured and dry will result in the color being pulled away.

Preparation Before Painting

I used a beautiful color called Driftwood by Dixie Belle to paint the base of this farm table.

Before painting any surface you will need to clean it thoroughly. The table had been painted prior, so the prep work is a bit different. Obviously, the table had been painted with a chalk based paint and had a wax finish which is fine. The trick would be to remove as much of the wax as possible to make sure to get proper adhesion. You can paint over some waxes after they have fully cured, but I didn’t want to take that chance. The surface was first cleaned with White Lighting and rinsed with water. A light sanding over the painted surface removed most of the wax. One coat of the Driftwood covered the base of the chairs and farm table like a champ! One coat coverage is unheard of and most of my projects require two. I’m super happy about this! Especially because I strongly dislike painting chairs.

Adding Shadowing With Colored Wax

I used a combination of black wax and Dixie Belle chalk mineral paint on the base of this farm table. It's a great look and so easy!

Dixie Belle waxes are water-based, they can be used with their chalk mineral paint. The black wax was applied in the insets of the legs and buffed with a soft cloth to create a shadowed effect. I blended the Drift Wood chalk mineral paint over the wax to create a blended look. Oh, this was too cool and I couldn’t wait to share my discovery.

Cow art and a farm table go together like peas and carrots.

How about that cow art? I’m in L O V E with her! Get one too by CLICK HERE to purchase!

What a sweet farm table and the perfect size for a breakfast nook.

This was a huge project but the results were so worth the effort. Even all the whaling and gnashing of teeth on those chairs! Ugh! There were so many of them! Ha! This was my big project for the year. Hmmm… a nightstand is sounding pretty good right about now.

Until the next project… xo, Do

12 replies
  1. Melissa List
    Melissa List says:

    Just beautiful. I have that same table and 8 chairs in storage and I am petrified to start it, maybe I will give it a go with your great advise… and a bottle of Tylenol.

  2. Donna Dodson
    Donna Dodson says:

    Hi Cheryl! If you hoover over the video with your cursor, you will see a volume indicator that you can manually adjust. Of course I don’t want you to miss anything. Thanks for reaching out to me. Happy painting!

    xo, Do

  3. Donna Dodson
    Donna Dodson says:

    Hi Julie! That depends on the temperature and humidity. Remember, it’s a water based product so drying times may vary. I allowed mine to dry 48 hours before applying the Gator Hide. Hope this helps.

  4. Lucy Rodriguez
    Lucy Rodriguez says:

    Hi I have a beautiful table and chairs, natural light wood very sturdy and want to give a makeover, I am looking at the pictures of Farm table make over, I love the results. Do you have a video on this, I am a beginner this is the first thing I am going to try.

  5. Cheryl Atkinson
    Cheryl Atkinson says:

    You did a great job on this dining set. I would have never thought to make the color with wax. Hopefully some day i will get to makeover a dining set. You don’t know how much i appreciate you. It is amazing all i know i have learned by reading and watching.

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