Painting the Dining Table: A Survivor's Story

A honest review of homemade chalk paint.

I'm the kind of gal that can walk through a store and talk myself out of every purchase. It's not a gift, let me tell you. I'll see a fabulous home decor something and think, "I could totally make that..." and then my mind starts racing through all the possibilities.

Usually all home decorating boils down to one of two ideals: TIME vs. MONEY. If you don't have the time, you tend to spend more money--and vice-versa.

So, naturally, when I saw a recipe for homemade chalk paint, I had to jump on that train. Enter the girl who is so very thrifty (<-------me). I ordered this exact bottle of calcium carbonate and bought paint. I was. so. excited. I followed this tutorial for homemade chalk paint and this tutorial for refinishing a dining room table. I learned a so many practical, helpful tips about furniture, refinishing, and what not to do.

Here is what my dining room table looked like before:

See all those grooves? That's where all the food gets mashed, smeared, and, wiped. Don't ever purchase a table with deep grooves.

First thing I did was scrub down the table with Dawn and a little vinegar. There is no going back from this because the vinegar ruins the table's finish. Next, I used wood filler to fill in the grooves. Normally you would fill it in, let it dry, sand a little, then fill again. I liked how it looked with slight grooves, so I skipped the last couple steps. The tutorial for refinishing said to sand like you've never sanded before. Dining tables typically have many coats of sealer on them and the paint will not hold up over time unless you do this. Do not skip this step.

The wood along the grooves was swollen from the numerous spills that we clean up around here. I sanded and sanded, but it was still a little raised in some sections.

Here is the finished table! You can see the slight grooves and that's exactly how I saw it in the my head.

At this point, I realized I did not stir the paint and the calcium carbonate enough. It needs to be thoroughly mixed together. Lesson learned. I thought I could maybe spot paint it to fix the white spots, but I wanted it done right. I LOVED the blue, but my living room is poorly lit. The next realization is that I wanted a white table. Ugh.

Shout out to hydrangeas for holding up to my black thumb. Longest lasting flower award.

I seriously loved the colors. But with the table not sealed, it was glaringly obvious when a cup had been set down. The rings were everywhere and it showed every speck. It needed sealed.

So I painted her. (Why are my furniture babies all "she"?) I cannot say enough good things about Behr Premium Plus Ultra in Antique Linen, eggshell. The more shine, the more durable the paint. The dining table is the workhorse of the house and needs to be sealed well. The white paint covered in 2 coats, but I did 3 for durability.

I added "grain sack" stripes to the side of the table just for fun. Because everything I do, I love to make it complicated. Or something. I'm sure there's some therapy I need. YOLO.

Here is something similar I saw in a thrift store.

I'm seeing the vintage grain sack fabrics everywhere right now. So I took a risk. I kind of like it, AND if I get tired of it, I'll just paint it!

Paint all the things,

P.S. It's still August. Stop it with all the fall stuff on Pinterest.

P.P.S. Fall is my favorite season. But, c'mon.

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