How to Get a Weathered Wood Look on Your Kitchen Table Top Using Paint & Stain

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Your kitchen table is one of the hardest working pieces of furniture you’ll ever have in your home!

Whatever finish you get on your kitchen tabletop needs to be able to stand up to regular wiping down and lots of everyday wear. 

For that reason, staining your kitchen tabletop is usually a better move than painting it–over time, a stained wood surface is going to hold up better than a painted surface will (and that goes for whatever kind of paint you use!)

But let’s be honest . . . the process of stripping and sanding down a tabletop to re-stain it can be kind of a pain! 

What I wanted to find was an easier way to update a table, but still have a beautiful, wood-look top that also would have great durability.

And I think I’ve got it! I’m excited to share this makeover with you today because I know you will be able to use this technique to update your own kitchen table using just paint and stain, without the messy and time-consuming process of totally refinishing it.

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The Kitchen Table to Makeover

These round oak tables are a dime a dozen at the thrift stores and garage sales here around me (you may have one in your kitchen right now!).

They are great, sturdy tables, but unfortunately, that dark oak wood is not the look most people want in their kitchens these days. It’s easy to update the table base with paint, but the top is what is a bit more challenging.

Follow along though, and I can show you how to get a whole new look with just 2 steps!

 

Materials & Preparing to Paint

 

The first step is always to properly prep your furniture before you paint.

I start by scrubbing my pieces down with Fusion’s TSP to get rid of any grease and grimy buildup (read more about why you should clean your furniture here), then wipe off all the residue with a rag damp with water.

Next, it’s good to give your surface and good scuff with some mid-grit sandpaper (180 ish) to give the paint something to grip to. Your sanding doesn’t have to be extreme–just 5 to 10 minutes roughing the surface up a bit. 

If you’re painting a surface that’s super slick or that is not real wood (like a wood laminate top), then a base coat of Fusion’s Ultra Grip will help your paint adhere better. 

 

Painting Your Kitchen Table

Once the table was prepped, I painted the entire table with the bright white color Casement. 

When painting bright white on a dark surface, be prepared to use 3-4 coats to get full coverage. That’s completely normal for bright white, in any paint line!

Read more about challenges painting white here.

I believe I painted, in total, 3 coats on the base and probably 2 coats on the top. With the top I wasn’t worried about 100% full coverage, since I knew I was going to add another element of color on top.

 

Adding the Gray Weathered Wood Look to Your Kitchen Tabletop

Now comes the fun part!

Once the paint was dry on the top, I poured directly onto the surface a bit of Fusion’s Stain & Finishing Oil in the color Driftwood. 

This stuff is really forgiving and easy to work with! And it has a low odor, so you can use it inside with no problem.

Once I got a bit on the table, I brushed it all over using a chip brush, then started wiping it back in long, smooth strokes going all one direction.

I just folded up an old t-shirt in my hand, and ran it along the tabletop from one side to the other, working my way across the whole table. 

Wiping it in one direction like this helps mimic the look of grain lines, as your stain winds up being applied slightly unevenly.

Don’t worry if the first coat doesn’t look so hot! It took me 4 coats in total, waiting 8 hours in between each coat, until I got the look I wanted.

The great thing about the SFO is that not only can it give you this cool wood-grain look when applied like this, but it also is a very durable product.

It is a stain and oil-based topcoat in one product, so there is no need to apply anything else on top to seal the surface.

Four coats on top of the white paint will give the durability of a stained tabletop without having to actually strip and re-stain the whole thing!

Would you like to try Fusion Mineral Paint for your next furniture project?

They have generously offered my readers a 10% discount on all Fusion products when you click and purchase here.

The discount will automatically be applied in your cart. Yay!

 

Finished Look

Here is the new top–all done with just white paint and stain!

Can you believe the difference?  A fresh, on-trend, light wood-look top and all without breaking out the heavy sander or stripper!

The key is wiping off the SFO in those straight lines–and then walking away and letting each coat dry! That’s how you get that wood look.

So fresh and clean now, AND durable!

I really encourage you to give this technique a try! It can work on coffee tables, dresser tops, nightstands–any place where you want to create a lighter, wood-look top without stripping and re-staining the furniture.

 

Pin this Resource!

Thank you SO much for joining me today! I hope you give this technique a try!

 

 

Lauren

Wednesday 5th of June 2024

How many days did this project take from start to finish? Would love to do this to our dinning room table so doing some planning. Thanks!

Melanie Alexander

Monday 10th of June 2024

I would allow 3-4 hours for the paint to dry, then at least 24 hours in between each coat of SFO :)

Lauren

Wednesday 5th of June 2024

How many days did this project take from start to finish? Would love to do this to our dunno by room table so doing some planning. Thanks!

Kathy

Tuesday 5th of March 2024

I never leave reviews, but I had to after seeing this post. This table is stunning! Thanks so much for sharing!

Melanie Alexander

Wednesday 6th of March 2024

Thank you Kathy! I was really happy with how it turned out, glad you like it as well!

Diane Finocchiaro

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

The table looks great however what I'd really like o know is what type of flooring is under that table? I have two large dogs and I think scratches made by them would hide well in that floor plus I love the look.

Melanie Alexander

Wednesday 14th of February 2024

Thanks Diane! So that flooring was in my paint studio, and I believe it was wood look ceramic tile that was also sealed with a heavy layer of varathane sealer. The owner of the building put it down, but it was super durable!

Melissa

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

What do you use to clean your table with this paint

Melanie Alexander

Wednesday 10th of January 2024

Just water, or a mild dish soap then water. I generally avoid chemical cleaners on any painted finish as it will wear the finish and cause issues.

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