Distressed Table and Chairs

Our new house has a breakfast nook area that was in need of a table and chairs.  I had seen some distressing projects online and thought “That is the perfect look for my family.  Everything we own eventually looks distressed, whether it’s intentional or not….”

So it took a couple months, but I eventually found a table and chairs at a thrift store that I thought would work.  It only had 3 chairs, but at the price of $30 for the entire set, I decided to buy it.  My plan is to find a bench for one side of the table so we can seat 5.

As seen in thrift store.  The employees were thrilled to have to find a new home for all those lamps.
Please note sarcasm.

We borrowed a power sander from a friend, and Jonathan helped me sand off the slick finish. 

Next I painted everything off-white.  I knew I wanted to buy Valspar paint + primer, and was lucky enough to find a can for $2.50.  (Look at Lowes or Home Depot by the paint mixing counter; they almost always have a large selection of paint that’s already been mixed that they couldn’t sell for whatever reason, and you can get it for significant savings!)  

So I used the high quality Valspar paint+primer first, then when it dried I used several coats of an inexpensive semi-gloss in the antique blue color I wanted:

Now the fun part: Distressing!  After the white paint, I applied vaseline anywhere I planned to give the table and chairs a “distressed” look. I applied the vaseline to the edges, where natural distressing would occur, then painted everything blue. When I was ready to use the sander to distress, the blue paint came off easily anywhere I had applied Vaseline, revealing the white paint.  Yay!  The distressing part was super fun and I love how it turned out!  I like a project that doesn’t require precision or perfection.

After the distressing, I protected the table top with a few coats of Minwax as seen in the picture above.  I used a small roller to apply, and let each coat dry for a full day.  I also recovered the chair cushions in a sturdy khaki fabric.  Unsurprisingly my kids have already “distressed” (stained) the chair seats.  Easy enough to replace, and next time I’ll try some scotch guard to protect the fabric a bit from grimy hands.
And here it in in use!  The minwax has really protected the table top. It’s held up rather amazingly to homework time, arts and crafts, and nearly daily use at breakfast time by the kids.  Still on the lookout for a bench for one side!
I was a bit hesitant to use the blue color, wondering if I should just go with white or black instead.  I’m so glad I took a chance and used a color I love!  
Now I’m on the lookout for more furniture to distress!

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