Farmhouse Table Makeover & Tips for Stripping Furniture

I love farmhouse tables and I have wanted one for a very long time.  

When we moved in to this house 14 years ago we bought a kitchen table for a steal at Pottery Barn.  It had turned legs and a farmhouse-y feel but the finish was always a little darker than what I wanted, but who could pass it up at such a great price?  Besides, we really needed the table, so I was happy to get it!

After years of use, the top was getting really tacky looking with water rings from cups and weird white marks from a little ironing-on-the-table mishap (it’s a long story).  From afar it looked okay, but up close it was a mess.

After spending a few days stripping, sanding and staining my old table, it now looks more like the farmhouse table I dream of.  Yes, it’s still an oval shape, but the new finish gives it a more vintage look and I’m pleased with the results.  

farmhouse table makeover


The top is less perfect, the legs look weather-worn and the hand-rubbed wax finish gives it a more time-worn and planked wood look than it did when it had it’s dark, factory finish.

 Here it is last fall:

fall breakfast nook


And here it is today: 


farmhouse table makeover  

Stripping furniture is not for the faint of heart.  It is a lot of work that requires time, patience and some muscle.   I stripped a piece of furniture several years ago but refreshed my memory with this guide.

I’m certainly no expert, but here are a few tips I learned along the way:

Tips for Stripping Furniture:

Do it outside

Buy chemical resistant gloves

Use safety goggles

Use a wire brush for turned legs

Use these 3M stripping pads
and buy several of them

A belt sander
is a big help on flat surfaces

Clean your piece thoroughly with mineral spirits when you’re done stripping

Apply wood conditioner before staining

Remember to be patient –  it may take 2-3 attempts to get all of the old surface off.  Wait patiently while the stripping agent does it’s work — the longer you leave it on, the easier it is to take off the finish


oval farmhouse table


As you can see, the finish is not perfect, but I like it that way…to me, it gives it that older, more time-worn appearance.  I even added a few more scratches and dings here and there to rough it up a little but I think I should have added some more!  

hydrangeas on farmhouse table


Someday I may get the planked farmhouse table of my dreams, but until then, this one gives me the look and feel I was hoping to achieve on a beer budget.  I can definitely live with and love that!

signature with flowers



*This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own. 


I often share at:  Metamorphosis Monday, Your Designs This Time, The Scoop, Wow Us Wednesdays, Inspire Me Tuesday, Furniture Feature Friday, Something to Talk About, Amaze Me Monday, Motivantional Monday

TDC Before and After
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23 Responses to Farmhouse Table Makeover & Tips for Stripping Furniture

  1. Beautiful Julie…I love how you kept the 2 chairs at the ends of the table stained and the others painted…Great job!…and loving the beauty in the background!

  2. Missy B says:

    will you share what products and colors you used on the finish please?

    • Julie Julie says:

      Hi Missy! Sorry for omitting such important information!
      The stain is Special Walnut by Minwax and I used Annie Sloan dark wax in a few places that got really light after sanding and stripping. I finished off the entire piece with Annie Sloan’s clear wax. I may eventually use a polyurethane finish but I wanted to try the wax first to give it a more aged look. Hope that helps!

  3. Lauren says:

    What a stunning transformation Julie, I love how your table turned out and the chairs too! The entire space is gorgeous! I have been wanting to do the top of our kitchen table for so long but have been too afraid I would mess it up. Thank you for sharing the link to the tutorial and your tips as well, they are so helpful. I think I may now finally try tackling mine which is covered in glitter glue and paint from years of crafting with the kids. Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter!

    • Julie Julie says:

      Thank you so much, Lauren! Refinishing just the top is the easiest — I’m sure yours will turn out great as everything you do looks so good! Have a great week!

  4. Jill says:

    Hi Julie! Your table turned out beautiful! I love your house! I really like the paint in your living room or family room. I have been looking for a “country blue” to paint my house. Do you know the name of your paint? Thank you!

    • Julie Julie says:

      Hi Jill,
      Thanks for your nice compliments! The name of the paint in my living room is called, “Valley Hills” and it’s by Behr from Home Depot. Fyi…you will probably find the paint chip very surprising because it doesn’t look a thing like it appears in my house or here on the blog. It’s actually a shade of gray that appears blue in my house. I’ve had other readers try a sample and write me back to ask me if I’m sure that’s the color I used…lol. Yes, I’m sure that’s the color I used but I think it looks really different in my house because of my tall ceilings and the type of light it receives during the day. I hope that helps and good luck finding the perfect color!

  5. Crystal says:

    I’ve always wanted to re-do my PB table and chairs but was nervous to try and strip it down. So excited to see it was a succeess! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Julie Julie says:

      Thanks, Crystal! I was a little nervous about stripping my PB table as well. I would definitely recommend using the stronger stripper as mentioned in the This Old House article. The finish PB puts on the table is pretty thick and the stronger stripper worked the best (I started with Citristrip — which did work but not as well or as fast as the stronger one). Good luck refinishing your table — I’m sure it will look great!

  6. Betsy Holets says:

    Great job, and I love the worn look. I have a dining room table that I’ve wanted to tackle for years now. Hopefully, I’ll get to it some day soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Beautiful Job on the table. I love it. Looks wonderful in your amazing home! Saw your post on the link party.


  8. Hi – found you from a linky party and saw your farmhouse table. I linked up my table this week too and our tables look like cousins. I love how yours turned out – such a beautiful result. And, boy, do I wish my chairs seats were wicker. Gorgeous result – so glad to have found you!

  9. Your table it so gorgeous! I have a nasty oaky oval table that my hubby will not let me paint and every time I see a fabulous makeover like this I always have to ask him again. I’m hoping one of these day’s he will say “Sure, I don’t care”

    • Julie Julie says:

      Oh Robin, what is it about husbands and stained wood?! Our kitchen used to be wall-to-wall oak and somehow my husband finally caved in last year and we had them painted when we did a remodel. Truthfully, he did mourn their passing for a few days after it was all done but now I think he actually likes the change. It may take some time, but eventually your husband may give in. I’m rooting for you! 🙂

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  11. Love how that table turned out! What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing with us at Motivational Monday. Hope to see you link up again tomorrow.

  12. Pingback: Farmhouse Table Makeover & Happy Accidents - Lilacs and LonghornsLilacs and Longhorns

  13. Kirsten says:

    Hi Julie,
    A blast from the past. I went to high school with you. I love your blog! Ironically, I’m just about to refinish my farm table which is almost identical to yours. Your tips will come in handy. Now I need to muster the gumption:). Hope to see you at the reunion next year.

    All the best,

    • Julie Julie says:

      Hey Kirsten! What fun to find you here on my blog! 🙂 Thanks for your sweet comments. Hope to see you at the reunion, too! Good luck with your table. If you’re stripping it, it can be a tedious process but in the end it’s worth it. Have fun! 🙂

  14. Jen Lovelace says:

    Hi! I LOVE this post – the table is gorgeous! I do have a random, not-table-related question for you though. What is the blue color on your kitchen/family room walls? I’m looking for the perfect blue shade to dress our oak builder-grade cabinets and I was curious. I like yours!

    • Julie Julie says:

      Hi Jen,
      Thanks so much for your sweet comment! The blue color is actually a grey/slate color that reads blue. It is called, Valley Hills by Behr from the Home Depot. When you see a sample, you will not think it’s the same color. How it appears on your wall will totally depend upon the lighting in your house. My living room faces north and gets quite a bit of light from the two-story windows. I am often asked about this color and then asked again if I’m sure it’s the right one when someone goes and gets a sample — it’s very, very different on the wall! I hope that helps! Good luck!

  15. Melonee says:

    Can you tell me where you got the floral affaingment on the table. I love it!

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