I kind of left you hanging with my ten on ten photos, didn't i? I did indeed finish my table on Saturday, right before (a late) supper. Let me start by saying that this is a crappy table purchased at a big box store. When I bought it, I was looking for something inexpensive that I wouldn't mind my kids destroying. Our previous table, a farmhouse table made from reclaimed fencing, looked cool, but wasn't the least bit practical and was uncomfortable to sit at.
After only a few weeks of use, the finish on this table was destroyed. It scratched easily and there were spots where the finish chipped off. With such a dark finish, these imperfections were very noticeable. I emailed to complain and was given the option to return it or take a partial refund. I no longer had all my packing material and I liked the size and general sturdiness of the table, so I took the refund. I knew I could do something with what I had.
After more and more chips, I couldn't take it any longer. My plan was to paint the table top with chalkboard paint. With the kids in mind, I thought this would be a good solution. Before I could paint, I had to sand, so while I was at it, I decided to sand it all the way down, just to see what was under that dark chippy finish. I liked what I saw. The grain of the wood reminded me of my old farmhouse table, kinda sorta.
There's no way I could leave it bare like that, so I chose a water based stain applied very lightly, just to give it a little color. I finished it with a few coats of paste finishing wax. Yes, I know this table will still be destroyed (especially without any sort of polyurethane finish), but now it has a little character, and will hopefully gain a little more with all the spills and 'oops' crayon markings.
Shoot, if it starts to look too shabby too quickly, I can always go back and paint it. At this point, I've got nothing to lose! And while I'm at it, the legs night get a coat or two as well.
**the white chairs are from here - they didn't get great reviews, but I've had no problems with them. Again, I had the kid destruction factor in mind when picking them out. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect end chairs, but haven't found them yet...