Home Is Where My Story Begins

My New – Old Kitchen Table and Chairs

When we were newlyweds, my husband and I splurged. We went to The Bon Marche Furniture Store and bought a beautiful blonde oak dining table and four matching chairs. It wasn’t one of those dark oak tables that were so 80’s. It was a pale, yellowish oak that looked so 90’s. Fast forward fifteen years… it was still a pale, yellowish oak table that looked so 90’s.

I started shopping around last summer, thinking it may be time to update our first purchase as a married couple. Hmmm… I guess it had been a while since I had been furniture shopping. I had sticker shock. I couldn’t imagine spending $800 on a kitchen table that my kids would color, paint, and spill all over. The answer to my problem came in the shape of mouse ears. Mouse Ears is the perfect shade of black Behr paint from Home Depot. It’s from the Disney line, which is why the name is Mouse Ears.

I started by finding an inspiration picture in the Pottery Barn catalog. The picture had the same shape table and same style chairs, but in a more modern color. What would I do without Pottery Barn?

Next came the sanding, lots and lots of sanding. I sanded for days. I finally felt like it was perfect. No trace of varathane or the old yellow stain could be seen on the table top… so I thought. Once I put the first coat of stain on, I realized that the color was horribly uneven. It was because I hadn’t gotten ALL of the varathane off and the stain couldn’t penetrate to the wood. So, back to sanding I went. My helpers (ages 8 and 5)assisted with the next sanding process. We sanded for a few more days. When we thought it was perfect we sanded some more. It was a lot of work, but it was worth doing it again. We had a much better look the second time around.

We painted the base of the table and all of the chairs with primer and then 4, YES FOUR, coats of Mouse Ears. I put several coats of varathane on the table, but decided not to varathane the chairs. I figured they would get pretty banged up and I wanted to be able to touch them up with black paint as needed.

Then we waited. I wouldn’t let anyone sit on the chairs or use the table for about two weeks, so I was sure the paint had time to cure. Again, worth the wait. Meanwhile, I decided to paint the stools in the kitchen with my Mouse Ears paint.

Overall, I spent many hours on the project, but I’d say it was worth it. We have a new table without spending much money. It’s updated, and so 2010. I won’t be upset if the kids color all over it, because it’s the same table I’ve had for fifteen years.

After my daughter saw the finished product, she said, “What are you going to do when you get tired of black?” My response was, “Maybe 5 years from now I’ll like the cottage look and we’ll paint everything white!” She said, “Oh, no. Here we go again.”

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The Comments

  • Jennifer
    March 5, 2010

    Wow! You did a wonderful job… everything looks fantastic! I have painted MANY things black, so I am hoping I don't get tired of it any time soon.

    "Oh, no. Here we go again" That is SO cute! lol


  • Lisa
    March 5, 2010

    What a lot of work, but it turned out great!!

  • Adrianna
    March 5, 2010

    Lol, black will always be in style! But then I'm here painting things white :o) I love the chairs! Have you tried wipe-on poly(urethane)? So easy to use.

  • Traci at ThreeDogsAtHome
    March 5, 2010

    Out of the mouths of babes. I love the chairs. I am waiting until it warms up to paint my kitchen chairs black as well. I love that you were patient enough to wait until the paint cured to put them into use. Many people don't know that it takes time for paint to truely dry completely.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • mississippi artist
    March 5, 2010

    Great job and great blog- keep it up. I am a follower now. Stop and visit sometime at my blog, paintordig.

  • Becca
    March 5, 2010

    Thank you so much for your nice comments! I really look forward to reading them!

  • Christy
    March 6, 2010

    The table looks great! I also have Pottery Barn tastes on a Kmart budget. ;o) My saving grace has been the Knock Off Wood blog, (http://knockoffwood.blogspot.com) … I've built quite a few pieces that are Pottery Barn, but fit our style better.

  • Leanne
    March 7, 2010

    It looks so great. I love that color. I need to work on my table once it gets warmer. THanks for the inspration.

  • Prior
    March 7, 2010

    your hard work paid off~! Great Table! Lezlee

  • Laurel @ Ducks in a Row
    March 7, 2010

    They look fantastic!

  • Angie
    March 8, 2010

    It looks so great in black! I love a pedestal table like yours. I was going to buy a Better Homes and Garden set from Walmart that looks similar to yours, but I think I am just gonna stick with what I have for awhile. I could paint it like you did, but I am not patient enough!

  • Debbie
    March 8, 2010

    Awesome transformation! You must feel like a million bucks when you walk in your new kitchen!

  • Miss Mustard Seed
    March 11, 2010

    I love the black chairs. They look so classic and chic. Nice job and I love your daughter's comment!

  • Enchanted Rose Studio
    March 18, 2010

    Great transforamtion, Becca! You stuck with it and it looks wonderful. The chairs came out wonderful too. Love your daughter's comment, too adorable!


  • Anna
    March 18, 2010

    I have similar chairs, and I also painted them black last year, I like them so much better now!

  • Kristi
    March 28, 2010

    I'm loving all your project and I am ALWAYS looking for a black paint! You can bet I'm picking up some mouse ears! I'm cracking up because I keep all my Ballard Design catalogs like you keep your Pottery Barn catalogs! They are GREAT for before and after ideas! 🙂

  • Kim
    August 17, 2010

    What a cute comment your daughter made. I can't believe all of the sanding one has to do to get down to the wood.