Before and After

Lacquered Dining Table Before and After

Our dining table has been in my family since I was little.  There is even proof in the form of lovely Megan and Colleen drawings underneath the table from when we thought it was cute to draw on furniture (definitely no longer cute).  I was using it in my old apartment as a small kitchen table that I painted black right before grad school and was planning on getting a new dining table sometime soon, but when I realized that we still had the leaf, it seemed like a good idea to prolong its life for just a bit longer.  And also, mostly, to save me money.  Since I have been spending money like it is my job, saving money where I can is necessary.  Jenny from Little Green Notebook has been professing her love for oil-based paints recently for their ability to make things nice and shiny and lacquery.  Specifically these which come pre-mixed for like $10 bucks a can.  I figured this was the perfect time to try them out.


Below is the lovely before form.  Note that the leaf was not painted the same as the other pieces.  Keeping it classy around here.  I decided to go white, although I was thisclose to the green color.  White seemed nice and crisp.  Beware though – white oil-based paints can often turn out yellowy over time.  Since this was so cheap and easy I figured it didn’t really matter if I had to repaint before we replaced it.  Basically I just sanded the table really well, wiped down, and then painted.  Oil-based paints kind of go on like nail polish, so be careful to not overwork it.  If you are planning to use oil-based paint, read Jenny’s post for expert advice as I am no expert.  While I was painting, these little bubbles kept showing up.  Even though I wasn’t supposed to overbrush the paint, I kind of lightly brushed over the bubbles to get rid of them.  Not sure if this is typical or not, but they did show up after the first coat dried when I didn’t get them out.  The second coat dried nice and even, after I got rid of the bubbles.  Sorry about all the talk about bubbles.  Let dry for about 24 hours between coats, and I just used a relatively crappy brush that I could throw away afterwards because apparently the paint is really hard to clean off.  You need mineral spirits and jazz.




I think it looks pretty fantastic, particularly with our new rug that is still on sale and these super comfy World Market chairs.  Pica is not quite as impressed, although she does like the rug.

C signature



  1. Quinn @ Kimchi & Sweet Tea

    Love the look of that table now! We have lots of old furniture that needs some rehab love. I’d love to know how the top of the table holds up after a few uses. We have a small kitchen table that we use for almost every meal that I would love to redo, but I’m worried about how different paints would hold up over time.

    • Colleen

      Hey Quinn! Supposedly the oil-based paint is much more durable, but only time will tell. I will give an update in a month or so if it starts getting scratched up.

  2. Nicola

    Colleen this looks beautiful!! I love how it transformed the room – so smart!!!

    • Colleen

      Thanks Nicola! Miss you!

  3. Ivy + Molly

    I love it, it looks gorgeous!! I am also totally in love with the chairs. This is the exact look I want in our new dining room.


    • Colleen

      Thanks honey! Wait for the chairs to go on sale but definitely buy them from World Market because they are the most reasonable Louis chairs I could find.

  4. Marilyn

    I know that table. That is one of the most amazing
    changes I have ever seen.

  5. chartreuse & a twist

    This turned out SO beautiful!!! We have an old piano that we inherited…I absolutely hate it and have been trying to find a way to get rid of now…now I am wondering if it might just need a little lacquer love 🙂 XO Brynn

  6. Stephanie Geohagan

    I love it !!!

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