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  • Stephanie Blanchard

Introducing My New Blog & How I Refinished My Dining Room Table

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I've been toying with writing ever since I started freelancing, 5 years ago. At first, I thought that I should write about copywriting and marketing because it's what I do for a living. But here's the truth: there are many awesome blogs about that stuff already. I don't have anything new to add. So I nixed the idea of adding another copywriting blog and just kept the idea of writing a blog in the back of my head.


Recently, I've taken on several DIY projects not related to writing. Since "creative" is in my business name, I figured that I could write a blog about the projects that I'm working on outside of writing and link it to my business. This idea saved me the trouble of coming up with a new domain name, setting up a new blog, and all that jazz. Now you have it -- my first post about a project I recently completed.


I moved into a new home in the summer of 2018. With it came a lot of heartache stemming from leaving my previous place of residence to icky issues with the new house. Over the past year, I've gotten into the groove of making our house really feel like ours.


Here's the thing with a new house -- I want every room to be done now. That's not realistic given the cost of furnishing an entire house.


Cheap furniture is not an option for me anymore. I want stuff that's going to last a long time and not end up in a landfill. With a budget in mind, I've gotten really good at spotting quality pieces of furniture at consignment stores. I've also painted furniture we already owned and even built a desk.


One of the pieces of furniture we decided against replacing is our dining room table. You see, we have young kids who are messy and not careful. We'll replace the dining room table when my kids are teenagers.



We bought our dining room table at Overstock several years ago. It's not a bad looking table; I'm simply over the dark wood. The bulkiness of the chairs also bothered me. Our dining room in the new house is on the smaller side. I scored some smaller chairs at a consignment store last summer.


My husband was cool with me painting the base of our dining table. But he was against painting the top. He felt that a wood table should be wood. So, I researched for weeks about how to fix it. I considered: applying a wood veneer, covering the whole tabletop with a thin piece of wood, and installing stick-on wood planks designed for walls. With each option, I decided the cost was too much, or I didn't have the tools. I don't own a saw and don't want one. Essentially, this table is temporary, even if temporary is years away. With that said, I tried to keep my budget in check.


First, I tried to lime wax the top to make it appear lighter. But that was a DIY fail, and here's the photo of what the table looked like after I sanded off the wax.




After the waxing debacle, I was so excited to find Retique It Liquid Wood by Renaissance Innovations. It's real wood in liquid form! Genius. I wondered why more DIY'ers don't know about this. After reading countless blogs about refinishing tabletops, I finally found a solution via Google search.


Liquid Wood goes on like paint and can be stained. It's amazing. I applied two coats, letting them dry in between. Since I was only doing the tabletop, painting on the Liquid Wood took less than an hour for both coats. The two-hour dry time was definitely longer. Staining the table was a greater endeavor because I applied several coats in an attempt to match the other wood furniture in my dining room.


I painted the base with Minwax Gel Stain. It's oil-based. While I didn't love how toxic the stain fumes smelled, the coverage was amazing. The gel stain is thick, covers well, and didn't drip. I am a messy painter and frequently get droplets of paint on the floor. I didn't even need a drop cloth with the gel stain.


I applied a coat of polyurethane to seal the table. Then I decided that it was taking too long, so I switched to furniture wax. The cool thing about wax is that you don't have to wait for it to dry.


This whole project was easier than I originally thought it would be. That's mostly because of the Liquid Wood. Applying veneer or a new table saw would have taken much longer, especially because I am not a woodworker. And here's what it looks like. Note that I am dying to transform our dining room walls with some color but haven't gotten to it yet.




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