Dining Table Makeover

So here it is, after two days of hard work! Before I show you the final result, let’s see how the dining table looked like before:

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

And this is how it looks now:

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

First I had to strip the existing paint to reveal the raw wood under it. Then I painted the base glossy white.

And then comes the interesting part of this project: my very own home made steel wool and vinegar stain. I put some steel wool into a container and then covered it with vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar). Then I let it sit for 24 hours. The more it sits, the darker the final result. After a week it should turn the wood almost black. But I wanted a grayish color for my table to make it look like old wood, so I only let it sit for 24 hours.

The color can be made darker with tea under the steel wool and vinegar stain. Apparently light color wood, like pine, are low in tannins, which you need to get the chemical reaction from the stain. Tea contains tannins so it makes a stronger reaction. I added two tea bags in one cup of hot water and let it brew for a while. When the tea had cooled down, I applied it to the wood using a paint brush. Then I let the wood dry. After it had dried, I applied my steel wool and vinegar stain. The wood starts to turn gray immediately. Here you can see the color chancing as the stain dries:

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

I did one more coat of tea+ stain and let it dry.

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

I added three coats of clear lacquer over the stain so that it would be durable enough for use.

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

Wooden dining table makeover with steel wool and vinegar stain

I also made some other changes to the dining area: changed the curtain and replaced two white chairs for two black ones to mix it up a bit. I like the contrast it has now, much better!

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7 Responses to Dining Table Makeover

  • Jenni says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I have one question before attempting this project myself. Did you let the vinegar steel solution sit in the jar for 24 hours or on the table for 24 hours?

    • Minni says:

      Thanks Jenni! :) I let the mixture sit in the jar for 24 hours. This makes the stain darker and more effective.

  • Zuzana from Slovakia says:

    Beautiful :) could you please tell me how you got the original paint off? Ive got this plain Ikea table and want to spice it up a little, just dont know where to begin. Thanks a lot.

  • carmen says:

    Hi,
    Can you tell me which clear lacquer you used?
    Thank You

    • Minni says:

      Hi Carmen! I used a water-based lacquer on top of the stain. I wouldn’t recommend it though, since it wasn’t durable enough in my experience. I would suggest a durable oil-based polyurethane.

  • Leigh says:

    I have this table & have been playing around with it trying to think of ways to make it look good- found what I’m going to do! Thank you! Love this!

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minni

I am Minni, an industrial designer and furniture design student from Finland with a passion for design, decor, and DIY. In this blog I will share my DIY projects and more. Feel free to comment, I would love to hear your thoughts!

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