Monday, September 4, 2017

Dining Table Chalk Paint Transformation: Part I

We've had our dining room table ever since we moved into our house, which has been about 9 years now. It's nothing too special really, but a solid piece of furniture nonetheless. The finish is black with a bit of subtle distressing, and it has a hidden butterfly leaf allowing it to expand to 54x54" (although we usually keep it to the smaller 36x54"). 

The table is also counter-height (36"), which worked out really well back when we had a wall separating our dining and living room as seen above. We had initially cut out this window opening in the wall in order to connect the two spaces a bit more (and let's be honest, in order to be able to watch TV while we ate). Anyway, the counter-height table allowed us to easily see through the window into the living room and have conversations with anyone else sitting in there.

Fast-forward to last year when we removed the walls pictured above to open up the entire space. The need for a counter-height table kind of diminished, and we were also getting tired of not being able to easily scoot chairs in and out without having to get off of the chair first. (Maybe that's just our old age setting in.) Time for a change-up!

We shopped around quite a bit for a new table, both online and in local furniture stores. Of course there were plenty I liked, especially the two-tone farmhouse-style tables (similar to my chalk painted coffee table). But being the thrifty folk we are, we began thinking of how to achieve a standard height (30") table with our existing resources. Since the legs can be unscrewed from our table, we figured we might as well just try to cut them down and see what happened. So we did just that. 

The legs have a subtle curve at the bottom which we didn't want to lose because it adds some character. So Luke cut 6" from the tops of the legs instead. It was a bit tricky because he had to carve out a flat edge again and re-drill holes for the bolts (using the cut-off piece as his template). But all in all, the process went pretty smoothly. 

Since the legs were off anyway, it was the ideal time to give the table a makeover too. That's where yours truly come in again. I was tired of the all-black and also wanted to create some contrast with our new dark floors. I had some Annie Sloan French Linen chalk paint on hand from my recent bathroom cabinet project and decided this color would be ideal for creating a two-tone look (leaving the black top alone because I didn't want to paint it or the built-in leaf... I'm slowly losing ambition with all these painting projects).  

Bye bye, black legs.

One coat of French Linen chalk paint...

Two coats...

Followed by some light distressing on the edges
to reveal some of the black underneath...

After painting, distressing, and waxing, the legs were ready to be attached again. Well, something still didn't look quite right. After a Pinterest search I realized the apron of the table needed to be painted too. I was able to do that pretty easily with the table upright and the legs still attached. Much better. 

Sneak peek (a bit washed out from the lighting)

But we're not done with this table transformation yet! Obviously our old counter-height chairs no longer work, and the idea of cutting down all those legs is not appealing. So the search is on for some new dining chairs. I've seen a lot of people pairing those metal bistro-style chairs with farmhouse/two-tone tables, and I dig the mix-and-match approach. So with that in mind I've had my eye on a few styles from Amazon in particular (which would also be pretty easy on the ol' pocketbook):


I think the chairs should have a bit of a distressed look too... What do you think we should go with? Gunmetal? White? Colored? So many choices!

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