Dining Room Table Makeover-a journey…..before and after!

I am in desperate need a new dining room table, however, purchasing a new one is not in the budget right now. So of course, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to the rescue. I have to admit, this large piece of furniture was a little intimidating. I decided it was worth it, because I was ready to put my table to the curb, I was so over it, and of course, if I didn’t like it, I could paint it again. So I went for it. Wow, I had to go all the way back to the pictures from my Red Room Reno, to get find a picture of the table. I did try to avoid getting it in any shot because of the shape it was in.. Now you probably see what I mean now!

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This is the before.


The table was pretty beat up. It was going to be some work. For those who asked when I posted a picture on Instagram, why I choose Chalk Paint over Latex Paint, the simple answer is-NO SANDING NO PRIMING REQUIRED. More importantly, you get to control the finish you  end up with, because of  the final step of waxing.  The one exception to the sanding rule in my book, would be if there are textual issues with the piece, and still if that’s the look you want, then go for it. In the case of the condition of my table, I felt a little sanding to smooth out the rough areas would be worth it. So I did sand the table top lightly.


Well it has been quit the rocky road. Originally I purchased Graphite and French Linen to paint the table. The plan was to paint the legs of the table in graphite and the top in French Linen to match the Armoire.  But then, at some point I got side tracked by a beautiful picture of a white piece of furniture. Yes, you guesses it, I tried white, over graphite and thought I would sand the white away to expose the graphite. Well, lets just say it was a big fail. We all make mistakes sometimes, right. After a lot of painting, sanding, and cleaning up, and painting again. Back to plan A, I repainted the table top in French Linen, to match the Armoire that sits in the same room. I am not completely in love with the table top color, but since I waxed it, I will wait to repaint it until after the 30day cure time. The wax isn’t working out to well, with the constant wiping with a wet rag. Here the table and armoire are the same color.

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Well it has been months, and I have been searching, researching, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do to this table top, which I just simply did not like. I was just about to add a new table top……when I visited a shop at the beach, where the owner gave me her secret to the perfect table top finish. Looks like I am repainting the table top and adding three coats of General Finishes Poly in Flat.

So this is how it went down. I painted the table top in a custom color, 2-parts Paris Grey and 1-part graphite, then I made a wash of 2-parts graphite and 1-part water, I gave it one coat of wash, then added an additional 1-part water again to the mix, making it 2-parts graphite and 2-parts water, and gave it another coat of the wash. I didn’t want it to get any darker so I watered it down a little more .I brushed it on with a brush and off with a rag, going in the direction of the grain. I allowed that to dry over night. Then using a small roller I rolled on three coats of Generals High Performance Poly, sanding with 320 grit paper the first time then 400 grit the second time, between the coats, and wiped the table down with a tack cloth both times before moving on to the next coat.

Here you can see it is just a subtle change in color, a little more gray. Two coats.

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Then the first coat of wash.

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Then the poly, and done. I am very happy with the table, the finish is so smooth to the touch.

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Now what do I do about the chairs. Here you can see one still in need of its final coat of white. Now starts the process of trying to figure out what I want. I plan to get two upholstered chairs for the ends of the table and they will be white, so we will see.

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Thanks For Stopping By The Blog

Tammy Damore


  1. The table looks beautiful! I just took my first furniture painting class using chalk paint over the weekend and loved it! I hope you don’t mind my questions to help me learn! So, you repainted the table from linen to a custom color chalk paint, then did your sapphire washes, but rubbed it off (kind of like antiquing or rubbing on dark wax, but it was chalk paint, then the poly? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Thea,
      Yes, the custom color was 2-parts Paris Grey to 1-part Graphite, then the wash, I brushed it on and wiped it off with a rag. Then the poly. Good luck with your piece.

  2. Hi!! I just love your weathered grey table top! I was wondering what mixture did you use for your custom color before applying the graphite wash?? Was it a mixture of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
    I would really like to apply this technique to a piece that I have. I’m very familiar with General Finishes products as well. I’ve used their flat top coat and several of their paints as well. I’dlove it if you could share how you got to the custom color base coat when you started this table top all over? ?

    Thank you! !
    Patricia Miller

    • Hey Patricia,
      Typo, sorry about that I left the …… in order to go back and add the recipe which was down stairs at the time. It was 2-Paris Grey 1-Graphite.

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