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making a new table look old…


 I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  We spent a much needed Saturday at home.  Between sickness and traveling over the past few weeks, we were all behind on our chores, laundry, cleaning, mowing, etc., so we took a day to take care of those things.  Picking up toys turned into organizing the basement and picking out toys to give to younger boys.  That turned into hours of great playtime with toys that had been buried and forgotten.  So, it was a balance of work and fun and a great lesson on the joys of being able to actually find your stuff!

Sunday was a bit more restful and involved church, some light yard work (the day was gorgeous), errands and dinner out with my parents.  It was a nice break from the frenzy-that-is-my-life in the weeks leading up to the Lucketts Spring Market.

Anyway, today I’m going to share how I made a new-ish table I bought off of Craig’s List look like an old farmhouse table.

Would you believe that this…

farmhouse table makeover | miss mustard seed

…started out as this?

table before | miss mustard seed

I had been hunting for a really great, large farm table for my space at Lucketts, but everything I was finding was just too expensive to sell at a profit.  So, I decided to open my search to include new, solid wood tables that could be refinished to look old.  That search yielded this newer table that had a great shape, but the shiny, orangey finish wasn’t the look I was going for.

I tried stripping off the finish with a chemical stripper, but it only took a little bit of the shine off.  So, we had to go to sanding.  Kriste sanded off the finish one afternoon when it was pretty and the table could be carried outside of the studio.  It took some time, but she was able to get it down to the raw pine boards.  Now it looked like a brand new, unfinished table.  I wanted it to look old and worn, so I abused it with various sharp and blunt objects…denting, dinging, scratching and poking it.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

I tried to be random with the marks, except for clusters of pinholes I made with a nail, meant to look like worm holes.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

I wanted to give the wood a rich patina and a finish, so I slathered on some Antiquing Wax.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

When the excess is wiped away, the Antiquing Wax stays in the dents, dings and “worm holes”, simulating the look of age, wear and patina.  It’s not quite as warm as pine that has been aged over decades, but it’s a great option for instant age.

how to make new wood look old | miss mustard seed

Here is a quick video on the finishing process, so you can see it in action.

The cool thing about using the Antiquing Wax is that it’s one step.  It’s the technique and the finish all in one.  I only applied one coat, buffed it by hand and then buffed it with a buffing pad on my orbital sander to make it smooth and slightly shiny.  It’s not glossy, but the buffing pad brings out a luster.

And I love how it turned out.  When I showed it to Kriste she said it didn’t even look like the same table.

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

 We lightly sanded the table base and applied a coat of Lucketts Green followed by a coat of Ironstone.  We then distressed and left the paint unfinished.  (I say “we” because Kriste and I both worked on it during various stages.)  I like the two-tone look for the legs, because it’s pretty common to see that on old tables.   It also gives the legs some visual texture, since they are pretty smooth to the touch.

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

making new wood look old | miss mustard seed

The table, and pretty much everything else in the photo shoot, will be available for sale at the Lucketts Spring Market!

And I just got boxes and boxes of ironstone and other goodies on a great shopping trip on Friday…

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  1. Love this table!! Will you be putting anything else on top of the wax? I am in the process of making a kitchen table and I am thinking of using your antiquing wax. Just was wondering if it would need something else on top of it?

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      No, it doesn’t need anything else. Treat it carefully for about 30 days as it cures, but you can use it during that time. The really nice thing about wax is that if it starts looking tired or it gets marred, just lightly sand the area, apply more wax, buff it out and it looks good as new.

  2. Sue Pagels says:

    I don’t know why, but the weeks up to your Luckett’s sale just fascinate me!! You do sooo much and it’s all so cool!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Thanks, Sue! This time is such a “creative crunch” for me and I feel like I do some of my best work during it. :)

  3. Katy B says:

    Doesn’t look like the same table for sure.
    I have an old 5 legged farm table that extends to 12 feet. It is oak and I want to lighten the finish up. Any suggestions? I can’t paint the top, as my in-laws had 6 leaves custom made for it.

  4. Shelley says:

    That turned out beautiful!! Is antiquing wax the same thing as the AS dark wax?

  5. Your table turned out beautiful Marian! I watched your video a couple days ago and used antiquing wax on some new wood crates and I love how they turned out. As usual, thank you for all your great ideas!

  6. Another super pretty piece! My husband read the post before I did and he was impressed that this started as a newer piece. In his words “I really like the finish on the top of this table”. Heard him watching the video too 😉

  7. Lee Joyce Pinchuk says:

    I love the look of a distressed table, but how do you take care of it? I would think that food debris would get caught in all the holes and crevices.

  8. truly amazing! you all did a fantastic job on this table, whoever snaps it up is one lucky dog.

  9. LayLa Benson says:

    I have a table and I will be doing this to my lovely orangey table! Thanks for the inspiration once again!

  10. Beverly Farkus says:

    Where do you find your ironstone?
    Love your blog and the farm table, and just about everything you do. Keep up the good work. Thanks for all the info you provide too.

  11. Hi Marian…the table turned out great!! I bought a new farmhouse table many years ago at Macy’s and the top is a shiny pine! Love the pine…hate the shine! I just painted and antiqued the legs – so now on to the table top. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m off to sand it and to use your antiquing wax (which I am such a huge fan of). I love your regular wax as well – best stuff in the world.

    Thanks…you looked great in the video!


  12. Barbara Ann says:

    I have some grandchildren that would have been happy to distress the table for you! Seriously, probably would not have turned out as thoughtfully placed as yours!

  13. Holly says:

    I love what you do… And how you do it. You inspire me everyday. You make me think out of the box. I love the table and I like your style… It’s so comfortable. I Thank God for you Marion!

  14. I have a table similar to this that I was going to strip the top off as it has a light oak finish and I wanted to make it look more distressed/darker. Thanks for the heads up that stripper would most likely be a waste of my time so out to the deck it goes to take a belt sander to the top.
    At least now the weather is great so I can do that.

  15. voleen erickson says:

    i, too, have a gorgeous “new” farm table with orange top. It also has factory made dips made to replicate hand planing. Will the orbital sander get into the dips or is there a better tool? Besides my hand that is….looking for the lazy girl’s way out.

  16. Paula Gross says:

    Lovely work, the painting, refinishing and beautiful styling! Marian, you have a gift, thank you for sharing with us and serving as an inspiration. Wish I lived near Luckett’s to meet you in person.
    All the best,

  17. Cathy says:

    Thank you for sharing tutorials on how to do finish a table in this manner. I have an old table that was my grandmother’s and I may get brave enough to try this.
    Do you ever offer consultations for a fee?
    Wish I lived close enough to shop the Lucket’s sale.

  18. Deborah says:

    How do you decide whether to use a wood stain or whether to use the dark antiquing wax after you get down to the raw wood? I’ve been using wood stain and never thought about using the antiquing wax.
    Love it!

  19. Linda says:

    Love those chairs, I’ve been looking for those chairs. My grandmother had them in her house when I was growing up. Love your work!

  20. What a transformation….I am like Kriste, I can’t believe this is the same table. I love that you roughed up the table top to create a more antique/vintage feel. This is definitely a winner all the way around. You will keep the Lucketts visitors stunned for a long time at the great pieces your taking.

  21. Diana says:

    Love the dishes. Last year, I found of stack of this same pattern at Salvation Army. I spent $14.95 for 8 dinner pales, 8 bowls, and 7 salad plates. Great find!!

  22. Lauren says:

    So for the table base did you use a bonding agent or wax or just the two paints and then leave it? I love this so much. I have never tried doing this before and you have inspired me!! Can’t wait for your response then I’m going in!!!

  23. Leila says:

    love the table!! it inspired me to re-finish my childhood desk that is similar style. it had been finished in a clear lacquer of sorts, do you have any tips for the sanding process? i have been trying to hand sand it off but i’m not making much progress, is a random orbit sander the best tool for the job?

  24. Amanda says:

    That looks beautiful! Would your wax work on a pine floor? Would you have to top coat with polyurethane?

  25. Kathy says:

    Can you put this wax over a stained table? Or would I have to sand it first??

  26. stacey says:

    Do you think you can do this with a exterior cedar farm table (brand new-no finish) ?

  27. Joanna says:

    Very pretty! Love the hedgehog pine cones!

  28. Alisa Jack says:

    Looks amazing!! Would you mind telling me what colour your cabinet is painted behind your lovely table?

  29. Reagan Hyde says:

    Hello, I love old antique peieces and redo new furniture to look old. My boyfriend hand made me a round table to use as our dinning table. It’s made out of yellow pine, so there is a lot of detail of the grain in the wood. I have done some pieces with the top stained and the base/legs painted then distressed and stained. But we are planning on have this table forever. So I would like to not put any paint on it incase my taste of the color would change over the years. I’m wanting to make this table look as if it’s 100 years old and been worn and weathered, but still look beautiful as a dinning table. I read and watched your video clip of your antique wax, but I’m wanting my table a little darker. Would you suggest to stain the table first then go back over with your wax? Also, I have beaten my pieces in the past for that worn look, but do you think it would still look good to beat this table if I’m wanting it as a dinning table and forever piece? I do have a lot of scrap pieces from the table I’m going to practice on before i touch my table. Thank you.

  30. Clare Flaherty says:

    I saw this tutorial a couple of months ago and was inspired to give it a try on an old pine table from my husband’s family. It had a dark stain on it so I had my dad sand it down and then apply your Antiquing Wax as instructed. Unfortunately, it came out very dark, unlike the tutorial you’ve shown here. Any ideas on why that might be and how we can remedy it? Very disappointed! :(

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