Independent of one another, two of my friends from church asked me if I could give them advice on refinishing a table.  It occurred to me that I have a table I want to refinish, too, so why not make a day of it and refinished all of the tables together?  Projects are always more fun when fellowship is involved and, as an added bonus, we have boys who are the same age and they could play together while we worked.  Projects are also more fun with the kiddos are occupied and happy!

Since I was working with friends on their tables as well as my own, I didn’t take the time to do a tutorial for this one, but I’ll share links to tutorials I’ve written in the past when I used the same techniques.

Here is the table before…

It wasn’t in bad shape, but it had a very orange tone and the person who last refinished it went a little crazy with the glossy polyurethane.  The piece was smothered in a thick layer and there were a lot of drips on the legs.  It was also very shiny and I wanted a softer look.

Here is how it looks now…

I love how the top turned out.  It really helped that I had beautiful wood to work with!

I completely stripped the poly finish off of the top.  I used the same method, products, and tools I shared in THIS TUTORIAL.

I lightly sanded the base of the table and painted it in two coats of  MMS Milk Paint Farmhouse White.

For the top, I did a white washing with very watery MMS Milk Paint in Farmhouse White.  After the wash dried (which only took about 15 minutes, since it was applied thin and it was a nice breezy day), I sanded it with 220 grit paper in the direction of the grain.  This removed most of the wash, but left faint traces of it.  I then finished it all off with MMS Hemp Oil to wake up and hydrate the old wood as well as make it water resistant and durable.

You can see a step-by-step white washing tutorial HERE.

I lightly distressed the base with 120 grit sand paper, let it chip wherever it wanted, and then sealed it with one coat of  Tough Coat.

I like how the top still coordinates with the buffet, but the painted base ties it to the chairs and makes it stand out off the carpet a bit more.

And we also got the linen cord cover on the chandelier!  The sweet-talking worked.  It only took a few minutes and it is a great finishing touch.

With everything coming together, I was excited to paint the hutch interior and finally paint the window frames, so they match the rest of the trim in the room.  I got those to-do’s knocked out on Friday, but that’s for another post…


  1. Jane

    Oh Marian, just when I think I couldn’t love you more…. The dining table turned out beautifully! Before , the color of the wood blended with the sideboard and kind of read as one. I’m glad you can see the wood grain with the light white wash. Is it crazy that I’m already looking forward to the holidays to see how you decorate your new mustardized spaces?

    I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for many years and in all that time, with life’s ups and downs, you never fail to provide fresh content on a regular basis. Even when you were travelling in China, you had posts prepped and ready to go. That is no small feat! And a real testament to your dedication. I just want to thank you for sharing your many talents with us. Yours is the only decorating blog I read religiously. And every day is a surprise; painted furniture, slipcovers, your oil and watercolor paintings, or maybe even a recipe. You keep Miss Mustard Seed diverse and interesting. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for the very hard work that is evident in every blog post. You never disappoint! Blessings to you and your lovely family.

    • Kim

      I agree with everything you said, Jane! I am in awe of how consistently wonderful this blog is. I believe you have been truly blessed Marian with talents galore and we are all so glad that you share them with us.

  2. sandi

    perfect in every way!!!

  3. Marsha Kern

    Oh it turned out beautiful! You are so talented and just make everything so beautiful!

  4. Mary Anne Saunders

    It looks beautiful! What happened with the stripe that appeared on the kitchen table?

  5. Sharon

    Beautiful. I love it all. The table is perfect. I would love a coffee table in my livingroom just like it. Can’t wait to see the hutch! The walls are spectacular. I agree with Jane. You never disappoint.

  6. ART

    I LOVE the table top!!!!!!! Isn’t it so much fun to paint and create with friends?! I am glad you are having a fun and productive summer….enjoy your family and friends 🙂

  7. kimberly

    I second Jane!!! Truly inspirational and such a pleasure to read every day!

  8. Betsy

    It looks lovely! How did your friends tables turn out?

  9. Connie

    Your DR is such a soft and beautiful place. The mural on the walls is “icing on the cake” and I love seeing your green finished hutch on the other side of the room. I love blue and green together and you have accomplished the best in that look. Love what you do.

  10. Teresa

    Love that you took the table from a reddish oak finish to a more subtle finish. I did the same with a pine farm table that I had but I whitewashed it a little more than yours. Just curious if you have a extra leaf for your dining table? I have never seen it pictured but I would image this table being too small for your family when you have a function although most people rarely use their formal dining rooms to begin with.

  11. Debbie

    It is a lovely blog! I love your decorating style, the fact that you post often, and the fact that you are always very grammatically correct! English teachers everywhere thank you! You have no idea how often I have to restrain myself from commenting on others’ blogs with corrections….

  12. Laurie

    It’s finally starting to look like one of your rooms again!! Table looks so much better! Do you have another leaf for it? It looks small for the size of the room. I like this elegant room!

  13. Laurie

    I recently redid a table for my kitchen and I have a question for you. I sanded the top down to the bare wood and sealed with your MMS Hemp Oil. I was under the impression that I would have to eventually put the Tough Coat on the top to protect it, but you are saying you sealed yours with just hemp oil. Will this protect the wood from water rings from glasses and heat from dishes? I really love the way it looks with just the hemp oil, but if the tough coat is need for protection, I will put it on the top. I learn so much from your blog!

  14. Jodie Felten

    I have to take a moment to stop and comment along with the others. It is all so amazing and you make it look easy but…. we all know it isn’t! Thank you for sharing your amazing talents and insight. I can’t even draw an acceptable stick figure! But I do use your milk paint and I do love your style and have borrowed a lot of that.
    Thank you again for all you do. We keep Calvin in our prayers. The first time I mentioned him while my husband and I were praying together, afterwards he asked me, “Exactly who is Calvin?”
    I told him and now he mentions him by name. 🙂

  15. Marianne

    I just love the table! You did a beautiful job as always!! I agree with all of the comments above! You never disappoint ! 😊

  16. JoAnn

    You have arranged the tureen collection so nicely on your sideboard!

  17. MARY S

    oh my!!! It turned out just BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Andrea

    Agree with Jane! Always a joy to walk into a beautiful dining room, an oasis of beauty. I hooe yiur joy is multiplied by ours!!

  19. Jeanie

    Love the table!! your house looks amazing!!

  20. Jeanne

    Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Elizabeth St

    You did a beautiful job of the formerly orangey, shiny dining table. The transformation made it a perfect match in your redecorated dining room. The way you’ve handled the sanding, painting and white-washing made the table look like a vintage table that was painted by an ancestor and now is showing its age, in the best vintage meaning of the word.

    The dining room is no longer a room . You have successfully your vision, talent and hard work to turn it into an environment. What a fantastic job you’e done of it/ I can’t wait to see the remainder of the work next time.

  22. Carol

    Love, love LOVE this project! It’s perfect. Painting furniture is always a delightful adventure!

  23. PJ

    So lovely! How often will you reapply hemp oil to keep the water resistance?

    • Marian Parsons

      Maybe once every few years or if it looks dry.

  24. Arlene

    Love the table and your blog!

  25. Debb

    Lovery how your dining room table turned out. It definitely is the finishing touch to the room. You have a natural talent on interior design and a knack for refinishing furniture. Beautiful ideas throughout your new home.

  26. JC at the uncommon pearl

    Perfection! I too am wondering how the hemp oil holds up to water rings. I’ve used the oil for a king four poster bed and love it. I have a kitchen table and four chairs screaming to be refinished.

    • Marian Parsons

      Tough Coat is a bit more durable when it comes to water rings, but I like that, with hemp oil, I can just reapply some oil if the top gets marred. It’s a pretty easy fix.

  27. Sandy

    this is among my favorites! yours is one of the few blogs I read regularly – somehow you always have a fresh take on things and keep it interesting – love it 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! What a nice comment. 🙂


    Love what you have done with your Dining Room table! It’s lovely!

  29. Deborah

    As Jane so eloquently stated, Marian, it’s truly a delight to read your blog! The dining table looks quite at home in its beautiful surroundings.

  30. Tonya

    Love the table and free with with Jane. Always look forward to reading your blog. You are amazing!

  31. Linda

    I’ve been looking for a way to paint a second hand table I bought recently (it has that crazy gear drive in it too!) and this is soooooo it! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the inspiration – I’ll be starting it for sure when these 30+ humidity factor days are over.

  32. Tonita Queen

    Where may I ask did you get the seat cushions. Love the bow and ruffle detail.

  33. Tiffany

    I can’t get this table out of my mind and I’ve decided I would like to find one similar and refinish it like you did as absolutely LOVE the final look. Can you tell me if it is an antique or one made in the last 30-40 years or so. You are so creative and inspirational. Thank you for all your wonderful ideas and tutorials. p.s. I would love to be your neighbor! 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      Mine is an antique, but you can find a round, oak, pedestal table that is “vintage” and it would do fine. The key is getting an oak table, so the grain will accept the white wash the same.

  34. Mary

    Great make over! The before was great, but the after is beautiful.

  35. Katheryn De Wolfe Walker

    I wish I could post you a picture of my dining room you would be surprised at how much they are the same the table the chairs and the buffet. I’m am currently redoing my farmhouse kitchen with a similar finish !

  36. Pam

    Just seeing this Marian, love all your work. May I ask about your dining room mural or wallpaper?


  37. pogo games

    I like the way of decorating your dining table, it is very beautiful and delicate.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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