Learn how to protect an antique while you maintain all the charm! This guide shares how to preserve an original finish on a chippy farmhouse table used for a paint table, without changing it, using two easy-to-use products!
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Ever collect a piece of furniture for home decor you’ve stored forever because you weren’t sure where to place it?
Such was the case with this adorable antique farmhouse dining table. I got it for free from some moving neighbours that wanted it to go to a good home that would fully appreciate what it was. The solid wood table was apparently nearly 100 years old and still wearing all the original patina, loaded with rustic charm and warmth.
I fell in LOVE with it immediately, and felt it could be the perfect tabletop in my laundry room. The plan was to preserve the original patina, while just cleaning it up a little with some added durability. The no-fuss straight edges of this table design suited my casual lifestyle perfectly.
When I brought the rustic table home, and placed it in my laundry room. It was a perfect fit! But I didn’t love it there. It just wasn’t perfect as-is for the space. But I refused to change the table because it was super special the way it was.
So while I wondered where else to use it, it there it sat for years, accumulating household clutter until I couldn’t even see it anymore!
From one storage unit to another.
I finally decided to let it go because it deserved better. So I pulled it out of storage and into my photo studio where there was plenty of room to clean it up before releasing it. Like a final goodbye if you will. Sigh.
But as I started to restore it, I realized it could work as a paint studio table!
So I decided to see where things went. But the first and most important part was to restore the patina as is, in such a way that it was protected as well.
And I’m so glad I did. Not only did the outcome exceed my expectations, how I staged it made it a clear win to keep this guy around a little longer!
So much for purging, eh?
However the key to making the final outcome rock was the products used. They did not change the appearance, but rather, simply protected and enhanced the natural beauty of the lumber and patina already there.
So if you’ve ever wanted to simply preserve an original finish on an old piece of furniture without changing it, brace yourself. You’ll want to stock two products that I would never do without.
Then I’m going to show you how I use it now!
Preserving an antique farmhouse table for a paint studio
Supplies you’ll need:
Homestead House or Fusion’s Furniture Wax in Clear (10% off)
Preparing the table for protection
1. Clean your furniture piece.
I like to wipe furniture down with Fusion’s TSP alternative. It’s a safe cleaner that requires no rinsing.
You simply mix it with water, then wipe your piece down and allow to air dry.
2. Sand down any rough surfaces.
Because I didn’t wish to remove ANY patina from the body, legs or top of the farm table, I used a sanding sponge to gently smooth all the surfaces until it was ‘just smooth enough’.
Check out Fusion’s sanding sponges (10% off) HERE
3. Dust all the sanding off.
Dusting with a tack cloth would work perfect. I chose to use a feather duster which also got the job done.
Protecting the paint patina
4. Coat the painted surfaces with Fusion Mineral Paint’s Tough Coat in Matte.
Tough Coat goes on clear. It comes in two finishes, Matte and Gloss.
I chose to use Tough Coat – Matte finish so the painted wood patina would be protected, stop chipping, and would also protect the wood that is exposed.
How to use Tough Coat
a) Gently swirl the container around to lift up the settled matting agents that sit on the bottom. If you don’t stir Tough Coat, your project will appear glossy. Never shake Tough Coat, as that will introduce bubbles.
b) Pour some Tough Coat into a container. I used a lid.
c) Dip paint brush in product, then brush on.
I used a brush because the rough texture of the paint patina will not show brush strokes.
If you are using Tough Coat on a smooth surface such as kitchen cabinets, it’s suggested to use an application sponge to apply to achieve a brush stroke free finish.
d) Allow to dry.
Tough Coat dries fairly quickly, however for the most durable finish, allow to cure longer than ‘dry to the touch’.
Waxing the top of the farmhouse table
5. Apply Homestead House or Fusion’s Furniture Wax to the wood top.
I love specifically using this wax because:
- it does not darken wood finishes once dry
- offers some protection and durability
How to use Fusion’s Furniture Wax
a) Dip a clean rag into the wax container.
b) Use a rubbing motion with the wood grain to apply the wax into all the nooks and crannies of the wood.
The wood will appear darker when you first apply the wax to bare wood. (see above picture) But I find it dries very close if not exactly to the original finish again.
I suggest to test a spot on your project to ensure you will like the results.
c) Buff excess wax off the surface to ensure the wax on the wood will dry and harden.
How Furniture Wax looks dry
Here is what the waxed top looks like once dry. You can’t even tell there’s wax on it! But you can certainly feel it and the wax does enhance any painted areas that were also covered.
The furniture wax provides a lovely, smoother finish that would handle light duty. However I would recommend using Tough Coat or Stain and Finishing Oil if you were covering a heavily used piece, such as a kitchen table top.
The restored farmhouse table
And here is the new and improved rustic farmhouse table! Isn’t the simplicity of those clean lines so pretty? It certainly showcases a distinct farmhouse interior design style!
This farmhouse table is on the smaller size. I think it use to be a small dining room table as there are two pieces that swing out as if to support an extra leaf. And although it doesn’t have any drawers, it would also make a fabulous desk, or a laundry room helper. Or, cut down the legs like I did with THIS dresser to create a perfect coffee table in a living room!
It looks like the same rustic feel, exposing all the imperfections, but just better! The Tough Coat deepened the painted tone and exposed wood a little. While the wax on top of the natural wood looks pretty much the same as it did, but but now with added durability.
So now that this farmtable is all cleaned up, let’s load it up to become helpful…
Farmhouse table for a paint studio
… as a paint studio helper!
Did you hear me squeal? Isn’t this rustic table design gorgeous?!
And doesn’t it look like the perfect piece to house artsy paint supplies?
Hmmm… this would be lovely pulled in front of my photo studio window. Would it inspire some original paintings I wonder? With a seating capacity for one, the size is perfect for one person.
However the way I’m using this beautiful table is against a wall so it can store extra paint supplies when I’m creating a project. The old wooden framed window was already in my stash, which happened to marry the farm table deep teal colour perfectly!
An IKEA bar was attached along the top of an old wooden window, so S-hooks could hang painting supplies such as masking tape, paint can opener, etc.
The table top is perfect to house a few paint brushes that make it easy to grab and use.
Isn’t that patina on top of the top of this beautiful farmhouse table so cool?
And I breathe easy knowing the wood is protected with wax, and is holding the original patina intact.
Hmm… I could also vision creating a special paint tray for it so I could get a little sloppy without worrying. I like that idea a lot!
See how I have created many easy and unique DIY serving trays HERE
Other ways to use a small farmhouse table size
- farmhouse kitchen table
- kitchen island
- coffee table or side table
- entry table
- potting bench
- folding table in a laundry room
- paint supply table
- rustic dining table
- workshop helper
- add matching benches for patio dining
- grill table top
What’s your preferences?
And now that I have this classic farmhouse table in use? Makes me question why I waited so long… sheesh.
Have a piece that’s been sitting in your storage? I hereby challenge you to stop delaying, and clean it up. Who knows… you may treat yourself to a new special piece that didn’t cost you a dime more, and be using it before the end of the day…
Other related projects: