Refreshing our home has been a mission of mine since we locked down in March 2020. Over the last 18 months, Josh and I have refreshed our home and are digging it out of it’s early 00’s rut! At this point of our refresh, neither one of us is shocked to walk into a full blown project. (Selecting Paint Colors, Powder Bath, Dining room decor, and Guest Bath projects linked here!)
Josh will tell you that I am the queen of online garage sale pages and resale stores. I love the thrill of taking something old and solid, and turning it into a custom piece for our space! When I picked this table for $80, I saw potential. I was also 8.5 months pregnant and preparing to move into our current home. As soon as we were mostily unpacked, Josh re-stained the table for me using my favorite stain (Java by General Finishes). While I loved it, we also picked up these black chairs (fo-free!) from a neighbor, and we needed to pivot and find a way to update the table so that the chairs stood out!
I knew paint was not an option, I’m so over the chalk painted trend. While this paint has a purpose in other places in my home, it just wasn’t an option as I am going for a more transitional style in our main living space. After a trusty Pinterest and Google search, I knew I wanted to strip the table and bleach it for a more modern feel!
So I did what I do best, I started my project when Josh was at work! I started off by stripping off the old top coat and as much stain as I could. I knew it would be a feat considering that I was going from dark to light! After removing as much of it as I could, I broke out our mouse sander and got to sanding (we used 400 & 220 grit)! A mouse sander will help you to get in all of the nooks and crannies to sand down to the natural wood.
Now here is the fun part! Make sure you are wearing old clothes because you will be working with bleach! Take a natural bristle brush and a cup of bleach and paint it onto the wood in a consistent motion and avoid drips. You can do this process in a well ventilated area, but if its sunny out, you are going to want to work in the sun because it helps to lighten it faster! I applied 6 coats of bleach to get this effect. The bleach will pull the old stain to the surface and out of the wood. As you can see, we still had a lot of dark stain in the grain of the wood, but I decided to embrace those imperfections as they would compliment our chairs.
**There are 2 part furniture bleaching kits out there (linked below), and I believe that they may be a tad more effective, but with the delays of 2021, they were over priced or sold out at the time of this project. (I already have another piece in mind for a DIY when I can locate one of these kits at a good price)!
Lastly, we decided to seal our table with a non yellowing polyurythane. I wanted this table to maintain it’s bleached coloring and not turn yellow after my hard work. We decided to go with Minwax Polycrylic and applied with a foam brush.
We love how this space turned out. It cost us a whopping $20 as we already had most of the materials and tools on hand! And with the money that we saved, we added a rug and a new fixture and STILL saved a ton of money! I’ve linked everything (except the clorox) below! Let me know what you think!
-Mitzi (and Josh)