There is a table we've wanted to buy for a while now, and we had planned to save up for it. That said, six months went by and we didn't save a penny for it (too many other items higher on our priority list). So I decided to try to get the same look with our existing table. It's obviously not exactly the same, but I think it turned out pretty well. Anyway, it's much better than it was, and I certainly am happier with it.
Below is what I had to work with. It has a similar shape compared to the RH table shown above. However, the color wasn't my favorite and the top had some major wear. I really wanted a raw, reclaimed wood look. Fortunately, because my table has straight lines it was fairly simple to sand and it only took a few hours, split between two days, to finish.
Here is a quick tutorial on how I achieved the color.
* Note: Every type of wood takes stain differently so even though this method worked for me, it may not achieve the same result on the wood that you are working with. I recommend testing it in a small area that you won't see. I tested it under my table top.
- Minwax, Classic Gray
- FolkArt Stain, Walnut (found at Joann's or probably Michaels)
- Fiddes and Sons Surpreme Wax, light *Update: I used Krylon's clear polyurethane in satin on my bar stools and it gives the same finish as the wax (not too much sheen). However, it may be a bit more durable and you won't have to worry about reapplying wax.
1) Apply gray stain. I typically apply stain with a foam brush then let it sit for a few minutes then wipe off the excess. Letting it sit for awhile helps to achieve a deeper, darker color. However, this classic gray is very gray so I didn't let it sit on the raw wood for too long. I just quickly rubbed some on, following the grain of the wood, while wiping the excess away immediatly.
2) Wait. You will want to wait the time recommended on the can in between coats because the wood can only penetrate so much color at a time. If you continue to layer the stain without waiting it could end up tacky and once you put on your top coat the layer sitting on top of the wood will be stripped away, making it look blochy.
3) Apply FolkArt Walnut Stain. This stain is dark so I put about a tablespoon of stain in a bowl and diluted it with about 1/3 c. of water. (You can adjust the ratio depending on how dark you want it.) Once mixed, I wiped it on the same way I wiped on the gray stain, applying with the grain of the wood. When working with such a large area, I found it turned out better when I worked on two-inch wide strips at a time. You may need to add another coat to achieve the look you want.
4) Wait again.
5) Apply Wax. I really wanted a raw wood look so I used Fiddes and Sons wax (found on their website). I was worried about this making the table hard to clean, but when the kids have spills, the liquid beads up and it's easy to wipe clean. I do have to reapply wax every once-in-a-while. However, because there's a short dry time it's easy to apply quickly without needing to stay off of it for too long.
Here is a close up:
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