Farmhouse Table Makeover

Easy farmhouse table makeover by choosing to do only the top. Get the details on sanding and staining the kitchen table.

I love my farmhouse table makeover! We bought this table almost 9 years ago so it has lots of wear and tear.

BUT honestly that’s the best part.

I wanted to do a makeover on it but not really hide any of the “memories” that are carved into it.  The top stain was almost the same color as my floor so I was wanting to darken it.  I knew the table had a factory finish on it and sanding would be needed.  The weather here in South Carolina was so warm I took the opportunity to get busy!

Farmhouse Table Makeover Dark Stain

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Steps for table top makeover

First thing I had to do was sand. I used a 60 grit sand paper on my Ryobi Sander because I needed to get to the bare wood. I did a second sanding with 150 grit. I did sand some around the edges of the table but wanted to leave some of the original finish. This will allow the stain to go on differently in places, which was the look I wanted. 

If sanding is out of the question you can check out my gel stain guide.

I wanted the more rustic and worn look as if the table had been that way for a long time.  This part is the hardest part of the furniture staining process but a good work out.

This sander has since died so we now own a Dewalt electric sander. As avid DIYers we always keep the variety pack of sandpaper on hand.

Farmhouse Table Sanding
Farmhouse Table Sanded

Next comes the stain. I used Minwax dark walnut.  It is a great shade of dark brown that doesn’t look red.  I use a brush to apply the stain then I go behind that with a rag and rub off the excess.  The “wipe on, wipe off” method.

Farmhouse Table Staining

You can see here in the close up how the stain absorbed into the wood and didn’t where I left some of the old finish.

Farmhouse Table Stain details

I sealed the top with some Annie Sloan clear wax.

Farmhouse Table wax

This is a good view of the table to see how the knots look as well as the contrast of the hardwood floor.  I think the knots must have been sealed with a shellac before the original stain was applied.  This would not allow stain the penetrate the wood. I love this part and I think it gives the farmhouse table a lot of character!

Farmhouse Table knots

Farmhouse Table
Farmhouse Table Makeover

Visit the Kitchen tour to see what has changed!


  1. Hello Sonya: I was wondering if you ever got info from “Wanda” regarding the “Restore” product? Is there such a product to not have to strip and sand? Starting a dining table project. Love your project. Want the exact look for my pieces. But I have a table, buffet and cabinet to paint and find an solution for each top. Lots of work ahead of me plus not much space to work in. Will actually have to do the work in the dining room area. Too hard to get each piece to a basement. Any advise/help is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. So did you use the soft wax instead of poly? I HATE POLY!!!!!

  3. Where did you get your table runner? I’ve been looking for something exactly like it.

  4. Can you tell me what kind/style of chair you have paired with the table? Thanks!

  5. I was curious if you could tell me where you got your herb plants?

  6. As with all paint projects they have a chance of getting scratched. It is hard to repair poly or varnish with out sanding and refinishing, with wax you can touch up the paint and wax right back over. Plus it has a great feel to it. You should try it.

  7. Your table looks awesome!! I have never used wax but see many people use it now. Why would you use a wax vs. a varnish? Just curious since I have a couple of projects in mind.

  8. Love love love this makeover! Can you tell me how the wax has held up against wear and tear? Im refinishing a farmhouse table too and would love to avoid poly if I can 🙂

  9. nice job dear! i love especially love those three pots, icing on the cake! 🙂 so adorable!

  10. Gorgeous – Minwax Dark Walnut is my favorite too! I learned something new today from your post…I’ve never tried Annie Sloan Soft Wax over top Minwax stain. Thanks for this tip! I love your farmhouse table, those gorgeous painted chairs, and how it is all put together in the room.

  11. Love this! Thanks so much for sharing the stain and wax that you used! I have been wanting to refinish some wood pieces in a rustic look but wasn’t sure which stain to go with!

  12. Wanda, I would love to know where to get the products you mentioned. I did a google search but I don’t think I found the right thing.
    Thank you!

  13. Looks SO different. Better different. Great job!! 🙂 Love how you use what you have and find cost effective ways to make your updates/changes.

  14. I didn’t paint the legs, they came that way when I bought it. BUT it is very close match to Sherwin Williams Antique White.

  15. what color is painted on the legs of the table. A job well done on the top.

  16. I love it Sonya! Mine is in really bad shape and needs some TLC. It’s on the list of things to do!

  17. Let me know if you can’t find either of these and I’ll give you the mans website to order from and get more information on it. All the antiques store here in our area sell both products now.

  18. Now I’m going to tell you a secret. You don’t have to sand to restain. There is a product called Restore. You just wipe it on and it stains wood through the varnish. You don’t have to strip unless you want a lighter color. Just to wipe stain on make darker or same color it is now . It travels through the varnish and doesn’t hurt it at all. You then can put on Wax and feed and looks just like you did a refinish job. Just thought I would let you all in on this secret. This is what antique places have used for years.

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