My First Furniture DIY

by Kara


Last week, I did my first ever furniture DIY: a dining room table. It turned out great!


Our old dining room table had come with our house, and it was old! Not only that, my ever-fidgeting fingers had picked at the table top until strips of the veneer had peeled off. It always had to be covered with a table cloth, which was a Giant Tiger deal that was too big and never stayed centered. It drove me crazy.

Our new table was given to me my by sister-in-law. She had used it when she was first married and had intended to give it a face lift, but had never gotten around to it. She said that if I wanted to redo it, I could have it. Not only that, she said I could work on it in her garage. And so, I went over to her house for two or three days, and I sanded the table down to the pine.

That was nearly 6 months ago. When I was 8+ months pregnant. But when my due date came and went, I decided to stay home and [patiently] await the birth of my daughter. And after my daughter was born, every time I went to visit my sister-in-law it turned into a cup of tea and a long afternoon of chatting, instead of the work dates that we had planned. And so my beloved table sat in her garage for days, weeks, and months.

Last Wednesday, my husband made the 20 minute trek to pick the table up. He brought it home late that evening, and Thursday morning I finally began to stain it. I chose a


The MinWax stain and polyurethane.


dark walnut stain. It was the premixed MinWax stain from Canadian tire, since it was cheap and easy to choose the colour I liked (they had samples of what it looked like on different woods). I love the end result! I did three coats of stain, with 4 hours in between each coat. The can said to use either cheesecloth or a brush; I used cheese cloth, since I felt that would be easier to apply smoothly. It worked quite well, but I was very glad for my rubber gloves! I had to buy cheesecloth anyways to ‘wipe off any excess’ stain after it was applied. Friday, I began to apply the polyurethane finish. Again, I used the MinWax brand from Canadian Tire. The application of polyurethane was slightly more difficult, since it required a light sanding in between each coat. I started with a sponge brush, as suggested on the can, but found that it did not apply smoothly. For the third coat I used the cheesecloth again, which worked much better for me!

In between the staining and the polyurethane-ing, I painted the legs of the table white. I had some of the Behr paint & primer mix in Ivory Palace from when I painted the trim in our house. This went on nicely. Again, I did three coats.

The table was stained, varnished, painted, and dry by 11:30 on Saturday morning. My husband had removed our old dining room table, and I dusted and vacuumed the dining room to make it ready for its newest piece of furniture. The table looks perfect, and I no longer have to deal with a slippery table cloth. All in all, I love the finished product! I’m now looking for two shelves that I can stain & paint to match the table. Hopefully, those will be my next project; but I’m picky, so we may be waiting a while.


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