An Easy Wooden Table Makeover (#12MonthsOfDiy) | Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

An Easy Wooden Table Makeover (#12MonthsOfDiy)


This diy thing is loads of fun (and a bit of hard work too)! March is month three of the #12monthsofdiy project I'm participating in with 11 fabulously talented Canadian bloggers. Our month three material is wood. Fortunately I had a wooden table handy that was just begging to be refinished. It was sitting in our kitchen, serving as a homework station with a carousel on top for supplies such as pens, pencils, glue and rulers. On the bottom shelf, we had placed a storage unit with a couple of drawers and some shelves for more homework-related materials and books.

I have always liked this little table - we've had it around for so many years I can't recall where we got it - probably at a thrift store or garage sale. It had a rather funky surface though. I like a sort of distressed, "rough" look on furniture. On the other hand, the top of this table was perhaps a bit too distressed - lots of strange little circles and indentations.

The table has a handy small drawer, which I previously kept napkin rings in. Of course I never remembered that they were in there and they never got used.

I started my diy table makeover by stripping that funky, waxy, strange finish. I wasn't quite sure what was on there, so my husband went out and bought Heirloom Furniture Stripper for me. We figured it would remove the finish, whatever it happened to be. This was the trickiest part of the table diy. It sounds simple enough, mind you. You just pour on the stripper and spread it out with a brush. Leave it for 20 minutes and, voila, your finish is gone!

That IS true, but I found that the gucky stuff that comes up (a combo of the finish and the stripper) isn't easy to remove. I used newspaper and rags to pull some of it up, but it got sticky. Then I used a rag dipped in Varsol (paint thinner) to get off any remaining sticky stuff. As a side note, the smell of paint thinner so reminded me of my dad! He was always doing some project around the house (wearing his electrician's work uniform) and I had no idea what the smell was at the time. So the odour of Varsol isn't entirely unpleasant to me now although I know it's not a healthy one.

That's why I worked out in the garage. You'll see from a few clues in the background that our garage isn't real tidy or organized. Anyway, I ended up stripping the legs a second time because I missed clumps of gooey stuff that had dried on by the next day. I wasn't as thorough with the table legs largely because I am out of shape and bending over the table irritated my sciatic nerve. Time to hit the gym! I followed up by sanding the table just to make sure the surface was clean and ready.

And then came the beautifully simple (and much more fun) part. This month's #12monthsofdiy sponsor is Fusion Mineral Paints. They were kind enough to send me two beautiful paint colours - Renfrew Blue and Prairie Sunset. You have to check out their full colour line. The colours are truly stunning. I went with Renfrew Blue for my table because it's quite similar to the colour of an armoire we have in our dining room. We also have blue touches in our curtains in the kitchen and the adjoining family room.

Renfrew Blue goes on quite blue but dries with a lot of green in it. Fusion has several blues to choose from, including a sort of baby blue called Inglenook and a darker, dramatic paint called Homestead Blue. Fusion's mineral paint goes on beautifully, is eco-friendly and has zero VOCs, so you can use this paint inside the house without worry about odours or toxins. I admit I'm not a super-experienced painter, but I found Fusion very easy and pleasant to use. It also helps that the bottles are lovely. You could easily put them on display. Fusion is 100% acrylic, water-based paint. The “mineral” refers to pigments harvested from the earth. No primer or top coat is needed, so it's a one-step process (unless of course you have an old nasty finish to strip first). I applied two coats of paint, waiting for about four hours for the first coat to dry before applying the second coat.

The paint dried to a beautiful, matte finish and I love how the table now makes a colour statement. I'm not sure what we will use this table for yet. For now it's in the bedroom, but it may go back to being a homework station in the kitchen at some point because I like to keep homework materials handy and close to where I cook so that I can help out with homework when needed. For now, I placed an adorable artwork painted by my daughter atop the table.

The bottom shelf holds a beautiful ceramic dish that my husband gave me years ago. It was stored away in a cupboard, which is a shame. I thought of it immediately for this blue and yellow palette.

I will be using Fusion's gorgeous Prairie Sunset yellow colour for an old dresser in our spare room. In the meantime, I painted a mason jar with it, because I love the way it combines and contrasts with the Renfrew Blue table.

how to paint and distress a mason jar - #diy #crafts #decor

Painting a mason jar could not be simpler! Just use a small paint brush and put on two coats of paint, letting the paint dry in between coats. I decided to then distress my mason jar a little bit. I took 80 grit sand paper to the elevated areas such as the letters, logo design and rims at the top of the mason jar. Easy peasy. (I mean even I could do it, so there's that.)

I like the calm yet sunny yellow mason jar with the blue-green table. I filled the mason jar with some cheery flowers to remind me and the fam that it is indeed spring although it may not yet feel warm outside.

Although I haven't done it yet (I've been busy with my 4-month household purge), I plan to use Fusion's Tough Coat Sealer on the top of the table. It provides added protection for high-traffic surfaces, like table and dresser tops. You can apply it easily with a damp, lint-free cloth.

If you like my cheery blue table and feel inspired to try an easy wood furniture or mason jar makeover yourself, here's a handy image for your Pinterest board:

An Easy Wooden Table & Mason Jar Makeover - refresh an old piece of furniture and/or a mason jar with easy-on, matte finish mineral paint in a fun colour - #diy #decor #masonjar #craft

Use the hashtags #12MonthsofDIY and #MarchWoodworking to show us your own wood diy projects on Instagram. We'll be choosing our favourite project to showcase on all of our Instagram accounts on March 31st.

Thank you to Fusion Mineral Paints for supplying the lovely paint. Be sure to visit them on social media for great diy ideas:

12 decorative crafts to do with wood and paint, from Canadian home and lifestyle bloggers #diy #project #decor

Oh gosh, the sheer beauty of these wood/paint projects from my talented Canadian blogging friends! Such a wealth of inspiration. (You'll probably want to pin that sucker above.) And check out all these ideas to keep you busy next weekend and beyond!

From the top left, they are:

Wood Slice Art from Vin'yet Etc.

Ikea Bedside Table Revamp from PMQ for Two

Painting Wood Furniture from Fresh Crush

Easy Wooden Table Makeover from Woman in Real Life

Wooden Rocking Horse Upcycle from Mommyzoid

Metallic Painted Nightstand from New House New Home

Industrial Side Table from Love Create Celebrate

Wood Coffee Table Tray Gets New Makeover from Time with Thea

Paint Dipped Frame from Brooklyn Berry Designs

Giant Reclaimed Wooden Clock from an Electrical Reel from The DIY Mommy

Beach Inspired Farmhouse Dresser Upcycle from Sustain My Craft Habit

Twig Houses from Life is a Party


  1. great colour choices, oh so summery and fresh!

  2. Love your paint colours! They are so beautiful together! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. You did a great job on the table Jo, I love the colour. Who did the beautiful art work placed on top of the table :)

  4. Wow, that table looks brand new! I love your colour choice and the yellow is beautiful too! Excellent job!

    1. Awww thanks Laurie! I really appreciate that. :)

  5. that's a beautiful colour! I've got some DIYs I could do but focusing on getting rid of clutter first so I can then find the small furniture under all the clutter...

    1. Thank you very much! I understand completely. After more than a year of de-cluttering I'm finally starting to keep surfaces clear...kind of...sometimes. ;)

  6. What a transformation! Your hard work was worth it. I love your colour choice for the table and how you accented it with yellow!

    1. Thanks so much Thea! You're sweet. :)

  7. Love the bright colour combination and how you styled the table. Great job!

    1. Thanks so much ladies. :) I appreciate your kind feedback. Jo

  8. Looks great, such a great makeover. Love that bright cheery colour!