You can find deals so much more easily at yard sales than thrift stores these days. Thankfully, my mom is always on the lookout for me even when I can’t join her. She sent me the two photos below, and after having her inspect this antique harp (lyre) table for damage, this beauty became mine for just $20. Check out those claw feet!
The top was a little wobbly but the screws just needed to be tightened – and there were some scratches and small chips that needed to be sanded away. I also thought the stain looked a little dated. A complete refresh is on the agenda! Today I’ll show you how to refinish an antique table with stain and paint.
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First, I used my favorite orbital sander (it even comes with a storage/carrying case) with 120-grit sandpaper to remove the stain and topcoat from the table top.
Afterward there was this smooth, pretty woodgrain left.
I chose Minwax Wood Finish Stain in English Chestnut to refinish the antique table top.
I applied the stain with lint-free cloths, but you could use a brush. I just prefer to throw the cloths away afterward instead of washing the stain from a brush.
I wiped the stain on in long motions along the woodgrain and then quickly wiped it away. Disclaimer: It was about 100 degrees this day, which is hotter than recommended for using this product. Keep in mind it dried very quickly. Also, I only applied one coat, but it turned out darker than the photo on the can.
When the top was stained, I primed the rest of the table with Zinsser BIN shellac primer which stops bleed-through and odors. Grab my free printable guide for how to properly prep furniture for painting here. I applied two coats of primer, and it also dried quickly. Working in this type of heat, I definitely had to hurry so the product wouldn’t dry on the brush before it touched the table!
You can see that I also taped the claw feet to protect them from drips. I thought of removing them but they were pretty tight and I didn’t want to damage them.
Thankfully, evening came and I painted the table indoors where it was nice and cool at night. I applied two coats of Country Chic Paint in Simplicity (white) with a Purdy paint brush and let it dry until morning. Learn more about Country Chic Paint in this review and bookcase makeover.
Next I used a small artist’s brush to carefully paint the top edge near the stained area. You can also use painter’s tape there to help with straight lines.
Finally, I sanded and lightly distressed the paint with 320-grit sandpaper to show off the details better.
No topcoat was applied yet. The stain will get a matte Poly topcoat and the paint doesn’t require a topcoat (unless it’s a high-usage piece).
Here’s how the refinished antique harp table looks now:
It looks SO refreshed, doesn’t it? I love the newly stained table top with the white painted bottom.
This is a great size for a foyer or even as a sofa table.
There are so many charming details on this piece!
Each angle looks so good and different now, even though this is a simple, classic makeover.
Here’s a closer look at the feet below:
I hope you’ve been inspired by this project today and now you have inspiration for how to refinish an antique table. This $20 yard sale find is gorgeous now.
Please feel free to share this project with a friend or Pin it to easily find it again later. I appreciate you!
Don’t go yet – my talented blogging friends are sharing makeovers too!
Below are their Before photos – visit the links underneath to see the amazing Afters and to learn how they did it: