Refinishing a Table

Refinishing a Table


I talk to my house.

All the time.

It’s a running conversation.

Sometimes we talk about refinishing a table or new burlap curtains or how the butler’s pantry was acting up last week.

I’m always telling it how cute it is and how skinny it looks in its lace jeans and that I’m so glad it got its roots done and what a perfect shade of lipstick the library is wearing.

And that I’m so happy it loves yard sales as much as I do.

Because there’s nothing like a really good yard sale find.


Well…..except maybe the side of the road.

Or a really great no-bake recipe for the Fourth of July.

Or transforming a really good yard sale find and into something extraordinary…..

…..and telling your house all about it. ๐Ÿ™‚


This table didn’t start out like this.

It wasn’t holding its head up high.

It was sad and neglected and a little despondent.

The top was damaged with white rings and deep gouges and looked a little…..


….like this.

It totally needed a make-over.

So I decided to transform the top.

I created a faux wood top with painter’s tape and different colors of stain.


I sanded the top completely down to reveal the pattern in the table top.

I used 60 grit sandpaper to make sure all the old surface was removed.

Then to seal the wood….I applied a layer of natural stain.

Let dry according to directions.


Next….I taped out a border with painter’s tape and a center square.

I used my Kroger card to score the tape.

Make sure all edges of the tape are securely attached to prevent the stain from bleeding under the tape.

I applied Dark Walnut stain.

how-to-stain-a-table-top After it dried….I removed the tape to reveal this pattern.

I could have stopped there.

But why? ย ๐Ÿ™‚

how-to-stain-faux-wood I crisscrossed the tape to mimic the look of inlaid wood.

Each square is approximately 2″ x 2″.

I also covered the edges of the dark walnut to make sure the edges stayed crisp.


Next I applied Special Walnut stain (a lighter color than the Dark Walnut).

Let dry according to directions.

Then removed the tape.

how-to-stain-faux-wood-pattern Here’s what the pattern looked like before I applied a clear coat of semi-gloss polyurethane.

You can see the layers of stain really work well together.


I love it.

It looks worn and a little faded and has the texture and appearance of a fine antique.

On a yard sale budget.

The end. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  1. I love it too!

  2. What a GREAT idea — to layer stains?? Pinning to share, Kari! TGIF, my friend!
    xo Heidi

  3. I love this, and even I can tape. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. PS. Did you notice I can’t spell me own name.

  5. GORGEOUS!!!

  6. Oh I just LOVE it! Great idea and execution!

  7. Love it! My question…..will a Blockbuster card work just as well? ; ) I always enjoy waking up to your posts!
    XOXO !

  8. love, love, love! I was just thinking the other night about what we’re all going to do with this painted furniture when that goes out of fashion!

    • I was too! And wondering if every antique my kids and grand kids find in their futures will be painted. Note to self: Buy some stock in a stripper company.

  9. Love it! Now I want to go find one!

  10. She’s looking so fine – she’ll be talking back! Better watch out!

  11. That’s absolutely gorgeous KariAnne!!

  12. C’est superbe !
    Bravo !

  13. Gorgeous! and genius….totally genius. Definitely remembering this for future copycat use.

  14. That table is just beautiful. The way you taped and stained it, made an average table a sensational table. Good job girl!

  15. Love it! I am a big fan of painting furniture, but I am so glad you decided to stain this pretty piece. Have a great weekend.

  16. Wow, Kari that looks fabulous!

  17. Gayle Maestri :

    Fantastic find and fantastic job! I’m glad to see you bring something dark into that corner. I have a friend who
    is a professional designer and she always says that every room needs something black “dark” do anchor the room.
    Good job! Love the inlaid look!

  18. She’s the talk of the house … and in a good way. Not a mean girl gossipy way …

    ๐Ÿ™‚ me

  19. Beautiful, just beautiful!

    Thank you for all that you share with us, your followers, your FANS. We love you…and we love your house too!

    Lisa from Indiana.
    PS. I’m getting ready to paint my dining room this weekend. Rice Grain by Sherwin Williams – YES… I got my inspiration from your home. โ™ฅ

  20. She is beautiful!!! I am always looking for that antique look on a yardsale budget. You totally scored!!!

  21. Beautiful! Hope you have a wondered and blessed weekend!!~~Angela

  22. I’m impressed! It looks like an expensive antique. I wish I enjoyed and had the patience for painting and staining things.

  23. That is one of the most original refinishing jobs I’ve ever seen ! It’s gorgeous ! Kudos to you for coming up with this. Hope you don’t mind me pinning this in my Furniture Finishes ! GREAT inspiration for others, thank you!

  24. Oh, you know I love a happy ending! She’s beautiful…gorgeous! Do you have any idea what kind of wood she’s made of? I keep calling it ‘her’…maybe you could name her! Regardless…she’s very high end! Happy Weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Had to PIN this one, super great idea and beautiful results!

  26. Very cool idea! Love that you used stain to make a pattern, so simple, and yet it had never crossed my mind!

  27. I love the idea of using tape to create a design and then stain the table, brilliant!!

    xo, Tanya

  28. Ahhh!!!!! I love this idea! You win the day! The result is spectacular, and you did such a fabulous job bringing that oak top back to life. Heartfelt congrats on giving a beautiful antique a second chance ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. My house NEEDS a good talking too. The poor thing has been sadly neglected of late. From the outside it looks charming and lovely but on the inside, an entirely different story. There is a huge Bowflex sitting in the middle of my living room! My husband’s bright idea. I wonder if he would notice if I sold it…..
    Lovely job on the table, love reviving a thrift store find or one found on the roadside. I have yet to find one but someday, if I do, I will know how to fix it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. GREAT JOB Karianne!!! I just bought two little harp end tables real cheap, I Annie Sloaned (The self made colors, that is!) them in a similar way…have a BLESSED DAY! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. Just beautiful! I just purchased a nice side table which is in excellent condition except for the top and I had no idea what to do with it except slap some paint on it. Not anymore…. I thank you and my husband thanks you, He really hated that I was going to paint it!!!

  32. OMG! love it! I have just found a beautiful little oak side table, it was left behind when a family moved down the road….As I passed it, it waved to me and asked if it could jump in the back of the pickup I said why not? its been sitting in the garage getting acquainted with the “Other” orphans….but now you have given me an idea! so off I go to make these little finds part of the family! I love the trellis look on top of the table! great idea….you go girl!! TGIF….

    Lois from PA

  33. This little side table found someone who could see it’s potential! Beautiful job of adding detail and design, XOXO

  34. Dare I say it? You are a genius. Seriously. I love this. I have a little table in our building that is simply crying out for special treatment, and THIS is special treatment! ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy sun-shiny Friday!

  35. I have the same table top and wish I would have thought to do this! Love IT!

  36. That is so cool as to be absolutely amazing. Wowza. Great vision! Great execution! And may I say you’re looking really skinny and I love that shade of lipstick?

  37. I think I see a smile on the top of the table too. It is happy now and thanks you!

  38. Oh well done!!! It is wonderful… does look like w well worn antique. Hmmm… thinking… thinking…
    You inspire me Lady!!!
    Hugs, Gee

  39. And that is why we LOVE you!
    I was going to comment on your post a couple of days ago about your cute daughter, I loved that story, but what really got me giggeling was your comment on your yard ornament…sorry, that is just how I am.
    And I totally love crisp white linens that has sun dried on the clothesline!

  40. Sending 10,000 hugs for originality and creativity!

  41. I love the table. From one DIY girl to another “How Wonderful!”. I always have a project going too so you are a great inspiration. Having to move soon so had a contractor paint the new house but I’m having fun on all the small projects to give it LIFE!

  42. I love this! It’s so subtle and antique-y looking and CREATIVE!

  43. Love the lampshade too!

  44. Once again you hit it out of the park, KariAnne! Who else but you would think of such an ingenious way to refinish a needy table?

  45. This is beautiful!!

  46. It’s fabulous! Seriously. Fabulous. ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Of course you did! I never go to garage sales, because I might find something! Of course if I find it along the road I have to stop and bring it home!!

  48. Lisa Conforto :

    I love the look, this is a refreshing application that you have done……seeing too much of the same paint treatments out there everything starts to look the same. This is totally refreshing and is the star of your room.

  49. Do you know how long I could stare at a piece of furniture and still not come up with this? I’m not talking hours…I’m talking years. No more staring for me and no more pressure. I am and will be one of your happiest and loyal-est – that SHOULD be a word ๐Ÿ™‚ – followers and that’s all the inspiration I need!

    Love the table and the idea of layering stain…BRILLIANT!

  50. Fabulous! Love it. Nice job ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. I love it too! You are so right, KariAnne… it does look old and well loved!!!! Wonderful job!

  52. Well done! Speaking of yard sales, I’m having one tomorrow! Have a great weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Looks great! I love how you stenciled it with stain instead of paint or something like that!

  54. I love the transformation…sometimes just playing around like that leads to the best things…

  55. I love that I can hear your sweet voice in my head when I read you here. Great tape job, gotta get me a Kroger card. Happy Summer! Love, Penny

  56. That table has a great big smile on her face! She looks beautiful.

  57. Jan from Michigan :

    You NEVER fail to amaze me!!!! COOL, BEAUTIFUL, CREATIVE! You are the best!

  58. Wow, that is gorgeous! Very creative too!

    Sheila in Oregon

  59. What a great idea! I love the look of the table!

  60. Girl, you’re just downright clever! It’s cute as a bug’s ear. And that’s my highest compliment.

  61. Looks gorgeous! Love the pattern. Great job!

  62. Penny @ The Comforts of Home & Flea Market Makeovers :

    I absolutely love it! Beautiful!!

  63. Yvonne Ester :

    What a special talent you have….. Love the rustic look!!!!

  64. Wow, those diagonal stripes are so snazzy! Gorgeous piece!

  65. This is gorgeous, KariAnne! Love the pattern you created!

  66. You did a remarkable job as always Kari..The table is gorgeous and love your technique!…Now if the house “talks back” let me know what it says!!!

  67. This came out gorgeous!! It really needed some TLC and you gave it a great look. Very creative but then again I am not surprised. Sorry I am responding so late but things have been vey hectic, via my blog.


  68. Side of the road?!? Can’t believe it and I’m super jealous!

  69. Fantastic as always!

  70. Beautiful table- will have to try this technique…