I want to paint my dining room table, what do I need to do?

I love the shabby chic style, and am going for a white dining room table. It’s like any other table, it’s natural not pressed wood, and has a glossy finish. Can I use some of that new spray paint that “sticks” to everything, I’ve used it on rocking chairs and it’s great. I don’t won’t to sand the entire table, it will take forever. Any suggestions?

6 Replies to “I want to paint my dining room table, what do I need to do?”

  1. Strip it. You can use spray paint, but in the end you’ll be happier if you take the time to do it properly. You have to get rid of the gloss either way to provide a base for the paint to adhere to.. sanding, even a light sanding, is inevitable.

  2. If it has a finish, you’ll need to sand off the stain or paint, then apply a coat or two of primer (if painting, if using stain than just directly apply) then apply paint. An eletric sander will cut the time in half for you, but I wouldent reccomend the spray kinf because you dont get the same color depth or variety.

  3. With proper preparation you, i.e. sanding with 150 grit sand paper, prime and paint, you can get paint to stick. What you can’t get is paint that is tough enough to last very long on a table. I would add pigment to a tough finish such as oil based polyurethane to get the color and toughness for a table. Universal Tinting Colorants are available at woodworking stores.

  4. Glossy factory finishes don’t do well even with the spray paint. You could try washing it with something like TSP to roughen the surface, but I’m not sure about it with clear stains or how well the wood would do with it.

    I’ve used chemical strippers, and wasn’t really happy with them. Even the spray on can be problematic depending on the style of table – if you’ve got curliques or spindle legs, you will still have to do some scraping and run the risk of gouging the wood, although I suppose with shabby chic that might not be a problem if you intend to do some “distressing” as well.

    Your best bet really is going to be at least taking some steel wool over it to rough it up. Have you checked the prices on the mini “mouse” style sanders or can you borrow a palm sander from someone? Tables being mostly flat surfaces take next to no time with an electric sander, though I’ll agree they take a long time by hand with a sanding block.

    If you do decide to try the paint-only route, let me suggest you do go ahead and prime with light grey first unless you want to let the grain show through. White sometimes has problems covering, it sounds strange but grey is a wonderful base to start from.

    I also agree with putting a coat of poly over the top at least to seal the paint, you’ll have a lot more wear out of it that way.

    Anyway, have fun with your DIY!

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