Project Dining Room: The Table

Blame it on Pinterest or HGTV or my dear sister Tracey but I’ve got a DIY bug…

A few weeks ago I was stalking staring obsessing browsing through Pinterest when I came across this beautiful gem…

I seriously adore this entire look. How warm and intimate the round table is. The cool glass pendant. The giant ‘e’ on the wall. I even love the bent wood chairs which manage to go from country to hip in this setting. But the real star of the show is that kelly green pedestal table. I’ve been drooling over it for weeks.

During one of our endless conversations about home design I mentioned I wanted a pedestal table that I could paint a glossy turquoise blue. Like the photograph I’ve been drooling on, only with my signature color.

So on a recent thrifting trip with my sister she hollered at me from the back of the store. She found a beat-up but solid oak pedestal table for $23.32. That’s right. Under $25. We thought about whether or not we should get it for about five seconds. Then we had to figure out if we could get it in the car.

I wish someone had a camera on us as we loaded up the leaves and the base into a cart and I rolled the table top through the entire store and out to my car. It must have been a sight to see.

Only here’s the thing. I’ve never painted anything but a couple of walls in my bedroom when I lived in Chicago. But when it comes to painting an actual piece of furniture, well, I’ve never been to that rodeo.

My sister, the DIY and thrifty home decor diva that she is, said it wouldn’t be too hard. Gave me a list of things to pick up at the hardware store and said she’d come and help me with the project.

And so Project Dining Room was born.

Cause if I’m going to paint the table, I’ve got to cover the chairs. And if I’m gonna cover the chairs I’m going to need new accessories and a new furniture arrangement. Right?

Well maybe we’ve bit off more than we can chew. But I hope not cause the table is nearly done and it was one hell of a project.

We started off sanding as little as humanly possible. Cause I hate sanding.

Then we raised it up onto empty storage bins so that it was easy to get into all the intricate details on the base of the table.

Thanks to several really helpful Pinterest posts we were convinced that using Zinsser primer we didn’t need to sand.

So true. That primer is brilliant. Went on super smooth and covered everything so nicely in just two simple coats using a brush on the base and a roller on the top.

Then we took a well-earned beer break. Cause that’s how we roll…

Once the primer was dry (not too long on such a hot summer day) we noticed we had a slight problem.

The brushes we so diligently wrapped in foil and put in the freezer until we were ready for the next step? Totally goopy and destroyed by the oil-based primer. We didn’t think to wash them before we froze them. And they were too far gone at that point for paint thinner to even work on them.

Two brushes. $20 a piece. Gone.

So we ran to the hardware store and got some el-cheapos that would go on to leave horrendous brush marks and shed bristles like crazy. At that point though we just wanted to get the paint on and figured it wouldn’t matter if we used the roller on the top.

We went ahead and started painting. By that point we had a little helper in our midst.

And another little helper parked outside the garage just cooing and waiting with her furry sister.

Even with shedding bristles the base of the table was covered nicely and had a beautiful glossy finish.

But the top? Problematic to say the least. There were a few cracks along the table that were pretty hard to disguise, marring the ‘perfect’ look we were going for (Shabby Chic is just not really my thing).

Also, the roller the seemingly well-meaning older gentleman at Home Depot recommended? Complete shit. It had a bit of a nap to it and left the surface of the table full of little threads and not at all smooth and glossy.

We tried our best to sand it out between the first and second coat but that roller was just wrong.

In the end I went back to HD, returned the roller, and got foam ones for a high gloss finish. Despite having said what I was trying to achieve to the ‘nice’ old man he still gave me that crap-ass roller. Oh well. Live and learn.

This paint color is Martha Stewart Living in Hummingbird Blue. It’s the absolute perfect Tiffany’s box robin’s egg blue. I want to paint everything in my house this color now. (Tracey – PLEASE don’t let me do that.)

In the end I listened to my Mom (cause she knows everything) and scuffed up the surface with steel wool, removed the dust with tack cloth and gave it one more thin coat of paint with the foam roller.

So at the end of the day the table came out to roughly $100. That includes the extra set of brushes/rollers I had to buy. Without them it would have clocked in around $75. Not bad, huh?

The sad thing is this poor beauty is still sitting in garage awaiting a couple coats of varnish. Between traveling, visiting relatives and 90+ degree heat there hasn’t been a good day to finish it up. But I’m making myself get out there and finish it Monday, regardless of the heat. Cause it’s just too pretty to not be used, don’t you think? As soon as it’s finished I’ll post another picture.

Next up? I tackle the reupholster the dining room chairs. Another first. I think I can, I think I can…

A HUGE thank you to my sister and BFF Tracey. Thanks for inspiring me and sharing my love of taking on these crazy projects!



  1. Sarah says:

    SO COOL!!
    Sarah recently posted..Weight Loss Wednesday Week 3

  2. Tracey says:

    Anyone who said that DIY is easy never tried to paint a table in a 90 degree garage with a two-year-old underfoot! And though it’s not quite finished yet, I have no doubt that it’s going to look great (though I have a sneaking suspicion that the table, or more likely it’s owner, is waiting for me to come back and help finish the job).

    • Alexia says:

      Haha! Right?! I think I was subconsciously waiting for you. But I’m going to HD today to get some new brushes and going for it on Monday. After writing this I just really want to put the room together. Going to get started on the chairs today!! I DO want your help putting all the accessories together though. You’re so good at that.

  3. I love this!! Can’t wait to see how it looks. I’m pretty sure Mike and I have that exact table in our basement and I’ve been thinking about painting it. Maybe I can hire you and Tracey to come do it for me. I mean, you have the experience and all…plus, I can throw in another 2 1/2 year old helper!
    Leslie Arends recently posted..Summertime in Northern Michigan

  4. Sabrina says:

    Looks fabulous!!!! Can’t wait for you to see the color of my bathroom you are going to love it! And I’m completely open to decorating tips from you two divas when you come over to my new place :)

  5. Dani says:


    I have a coffee table you can finish!!

  6. Michelle says:

    Love it! I paint everything…hutches, tables, bookcases. Nothing ever stays “as is” for very long! I am jealous of that table considering I just spent $600 bucks on a pedastal table from Crate and Barrel and you know we share a love of turquiose! You should get on board with a little shabbiness, it makes the whole process so much easier! I love the vintage look, though! Can’t wait to see it all put together.

  7. Pam English says:

    Absolutely loved the story and the beautiful job on the table… Can’t wait to see the finished product also… You too are in the wrong business…seems like taking old crap and turning it into wonderful items should be more your occupations…. OH ALI,,, besides being the best mommy ever, I mean….

  8. Teresha says:

    I love that color! It’s so you. It’s going to be worth all the elbow grease when it’s sitting pretty in your dining room.

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