Would you like to receive an email when I write a new blog post?

How to Refinish a Table Farmhouse Style

Our family has a long history with this coffee table. Today I am excited to share how to refinish a table while maintaining its character.

How to Refinish a Coffee Table

This table has been through a lot in our family. It’s been the resting place for five pairs of feet, that have grown from tiny baby to feet all the way to, in one case, a men’s size 13. It’s been the dining table for thousands of meals as well as a game table, a coffee table, and a pub table, and a work table. But there was one thing wrong with this table. I don’t like that it is so dark and I have wanted to change it for years. I finally decided it was time and I can’t wait to share how to refinish a table farmhouse style.

Refinish a Table

Refinish a Table Farmhouse Style

Why am I sharing how to refinish a table farmhouse style? I love painted furniture and I didn’t want to sand the table to refinish it. I was too afraid I would lose the chips and scratches that represent our boys’ childhood. Milk paint would allow the chips to stay chippy.

Does that last sentence make any sense?

How to Refinish a Table

In case you didn’t remember what the coffee table looked like before, here it is. It’s a very dark brown and kind of didn’t look great in our family room.

Family Room White Sectional

But herein lies the problem. The table has history in our family. The coffee table legs have chew marks from when our dogs Speffy and Sport were puppies. The top edge of the table, closest to the couch, has years of scuff marks from the kids soccer and baseball cleats.

I didn’t want to refinish our table if it meant I would lose the character of our table. So I decided to sand the table lightly and paint it with milk paint. I was pretty sure I could maintain the scuff and bite marks. And the end result would look perfectly farmhouse in our home.

I do want to leave a message here for my youngest son Michael. “I promise I kept all of the character and memories of this table. It also looks so much better and your mom is super happy. I hope you will forgive me for refinishing the table”.

You can guess who didn’t want me to refinish the table. Hmmm.

If you look at how our coffee table used to look like below, you can see the puppy chew marks on the legs of the table!

Home Decor Ideas with Pink Custom Fabric

How to Refinish a Table DIY

What You Need to Paint a Table with Milk Paint

Prepare the Table

How to Refinish a Table Before Photo

A light sanding was all it took to get this table ready for some milk paint. It is important that you sand every surface. Pay special attention to areas covered with lots of paint or any type of varnish. You really need to sand these areas well. (A smooth surface does not like milk paint and it might peel off in huge chunks if it isn’t sanded.)

If you are enjoying my blog, you can sign up to receive my blog updates here. .

How to Refinish a Table DIY

Once the piece is sanded, wipe it off with a slightly damp cloth to remove all of the dust.

Next, mix the Milk Paint, per the instructions, and begin painting every surface.

How to Refinish a Table with Milk Paint

Continue to paint all of the surfaces. it is likely your piece of furniture will take more than one coat. I painted three layers of paint on this table because it just wouldn’t cover the dark wood!

This is how my coffee table looked after two layers.

I love that you can still see all of the cleat marks on the top edge of the table.

How to Refinish a Table DIY

There were a few places on the table where I didn’t sand it enough. To fix it, i painted more milk paint in the chippy areas and then covered it with a poly acrylic finish. On the flip side, if the furniture doesn’t look chippy enough you can sand the areas where natural wear and tear may have occurred.

Here is how the finished table turned out. The poly acrylic finish coat also sealed the chippy surfaces so the chips wouldn’t fall off!

How to Refinish a Table Farmhouse Style

Here is a closer look at the table. I love it!

How to Refinish a Coffee Table

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a good time to use milk paint? 
Milk paint automatically produces a bubbly paint texture, which is a perfect “chippy” distressed look. It creates is the perfect vintage look for DIY furniture and wood projects.

Are milk paint and chalk paint the same thing?
No. Milk paint comes in powder form and will bubble and create a chippy look when it dries. You also need to sand your wood piece to remove any varnish when using milk paint. Chalk Paint has a heavy smooth finish and you will have to sand it if you want any chippy look.

I love the top of the table and it’s the perfect amount of paint and the dark wood showing through. Plus, you can still see the soccer and baseball cleat marks on the top left side!

What do you think? Did I do the right thing? I hope Michael thinks so!

How to Refinish a Table

Links to the Items Shown in This Post

Similar Posts

Pin the image below to your decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!

How to Refinish a Table Farmhouse Style

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

about leslie

ABOUT LESLIE

Welcome to My 100 Year Old Home. I started my blog so I could share my passion for entertaining, décor, cooking, and crafts. You will find all this and more right here. Read more…

7 Responses

  1. Your table is gorgeous! You mentioned in your instructions that you completed your table with a poly acrylic finish. Is that finish a spray or painted on? Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Teresa! I used paint! I linked it in the what you need list if you want to use the same one!

  2. Wow, I love the way this piece of furniture turned out. It looks fabulous. I agree, there is nothing like holding onto special memories. You sounds like a sweet mom to. Thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I'm Leslie,
Welcome to My 100 Year Old Home

I started my blog so I could share my passion for entertaining, décor, cooking, and crafts. You will find all this and more right here.

Explore the categories

Affiliate Links

On my blog at My 100 Year Old Home, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

Would you like to receive an email when I write a new blog post? Sign up here and you will also have access to all of my ebooks, tips and even my Christmas Party menus.