DIY: Dining Table Makover | Dining Room Projects | Furniture Makeovers

Ohhhhhh this table…. Let me tell you about this table.

I found this beauty on Craigslist in the free section at about 9pm one night. The owner basically said “Come take this piece of sh.. off of my driveway.”. I was like “LOOK THIS IS FREE LET’S GET IT” and we hopped in the car and headed to a very dark, questionable neighborhood about 20 miles away. Jvee, already regretting his decision to take me, had doubts about it fitting into our SUV but we made sure to ignore all safety precautions and drive home with our seats so pushed forward that our faces were basically touching the windshield. We got it home where I proceeded to get into all kinds of trouble during prep.

Step One- I washed all of the dirt, grime, and cat prints off with hot soapy water.

Step Two- I stripped all old paint using Citristrip, which is safe for indoor use. Annoying but necessary in this scenario.

Step Three- Since the leaf was missing, I filled in the center separation with wood filler and wood glue. Don’t get wood glue all over the floor like I accidentally did. DO.NOT.

Step Four- SAND. I used my electric sander that has apparently has a feature that sucks up the dust. Except it doesn’t suck up all the dust and I ended up having to block off the dining room Dexter style with plastic drop cloths. Don’t do this at home. (I have since gotten permission to use the roof of our building for future projects.)

Dexter style kill room?

Now it was time to prime and paint. It was recommended that I use oil paint for a durable smooth finish. I had my doubts about it because of cleanup and fumes but decided to give it a whirl. I HATED IT. I couldn’t get the paint to the consistency that I wanted. I kept adding fume-y thinner to the fume-y paint and then more paint back in to that. Ughhhhh. I had to clean my brushes with turpentine and then store the used turps until I could take them to the hazardous waste center (they are still in my storage). THE FUMES. Someone said to store the brushes in ziplocks in the freezer between uses. Well, I didn’t do it right and all of our food tasted like oil paint because of THE FUMES.

It creeped me out. I started feeling really guilty about VOCs and the hazards of working with those harsh toxins in my home and around my dogs. I mean, I won’t even use bleach in my home because I’m unreasonably paranoid about it! And then I started thinking about how we were supposed to EAT on this table. In my usual obsessive state, I decided to look for an eco-friendly paint to try. That brought me to Safecoat Naturals, a plant based oil paint. I decided it was the perfect time to try it. We purchased their primer, pearl lustre paint in white, and clear acrylaq.

After priming, I lightly sanded down any drip or brush marks with a wet/dry very fine sandpaper (the black kind). I did about 4 coats of paint, lightly sanding with the wet sandpaper in between coats to keep it smooth. A coat of Acrylaq topped it off and created a hard candy coated shell. I am happy to say I am pleased with the experience and the result!

And here it is. The free dining table that I refused to give up on.

Housekeeping: Sage All-Purpose Household Spray | DIY Cleaners

This is one of my favorite DIY household cleaning recipes. Vinegar has been a trusted household cleaner for decades and I started using this particular mixture a few years ago to clean our tile countertops and floors to avoid dulling residues. My dogs also suffer from allergies and I wanted to make sure the floors were safe for them too. It works swell on other surfaces as well. I’ll admit I love the Method and Mrs. Meyers line of cleaners because of their scents, but when those aren’t on hand, I fall back on my trusty homemade friend.

In summer I like to add orange or lemon peels. You can easily use essential oils to scent your spray as little or as much as you’d like. They work a little better since the scent is concentrated. I went with fresh sage for this batch because it was over growing and needed to be used.

Get a spray bottle and fill it up. If you’re recycling a bottle from a previous cleaner make sure you rinse it out well before mixing your ingredients (duh).

You’ll need-

Warm Water

White Vinegar

Isopropyl Alcohol

Dish Soap (a drop)

Sage (or your favorite essential oil or herb)

Put your leaves in the bottle and muddle them with a wooden spoon handle. You can also just twist them up or squeeze them in your hand. This activates the leaves to produce their natural oils. Make sure your herbs are very fresh so you get as much scent as possible from them. It’s really hard to completely mask the smell of vinegar but that’s just the price we pay for DIYing it. The smell quickly dissipates when it dries so it’s fiiiiine.

The mixture is easy. 1 part warm water, 1 part vinegar, 1/2 part alcohol.

Add a DROP of dish soap and shake it up.

The sage will permeate the mixture with its oil. Not only does it help cut the alcohol and vinegar scent some but Sage oil also acts as a natural antibacterial component.

There you go! Sage all-purpose spray cleanser.


(You should discard this mixture after a couple days. Otherwise it will begin to smell like pickles.)