Materials: BJÖRKUDDEN Dining table, STEFAN chair, orbital sander, table saw, wood stain, lint-free rag, white paint, paint brush, clear varnish, fine-grit sand paper
Description: A little bit of elbow grease and around $40 is all you need to turn an old birch table into a modern harvest table. Here’s how:
We used an orbital sander on the table top to get rid of the original varnish and stains that had accumulated over the years. This took a little while but was necessary since you need a good porous surface to take on the stain. Since we were going to paint the base we just scuffed the table legs and frame.
STAIN AND VARNISH:
I used the Birch Varathane wood stain for the table top. I applied the stain liberally with a brush and let sit for about 30 minutes until it became tacky before rubbing off the excess with a lint-free rag. Only two coats were needed to get the nice golden colour with red undertones that matched our floors. Very precise hand sanding in-between a few coats of water based Varathane made a crystal clear finish.
TAPERING THE TABLE LEGS:
A template was made of only a slight taper (approx. only 1/2″) and used to cut each of the table legs down. The legs taper on both inside sides of the legs.
We used white paint for the frame and legs of the table. It took two coats and dried pretty quick. We made the mistake of using a very flat paint that scratched very easily so we had to do a thin coat of clear Varathane over top. The paint worked really well for the chairs though since the flat paint stuck well to slick black finish of our Ikea chairs.