Restyle4Life

Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

Kitchen Makeover Part 1:1920s Table Base +1940s Table Top

I first wrote about our recent DIY Kitchen Makeover and now it’s time to show you how we put it all together. This is the first in a multi-part series (no particular order to the posts in this series but it will all come together, you’ll see).

This part’s a little confusing. We had a 1920s table and chairs in our dining room but we found a 1940s set where the chairs were in much better condition (I’ll do a post on how we transformed the ’40s dining room at a later date). By the way, the cost of the 40s set=$50. That’s table + 6 chairs! The cost of the 20s set=$100 for table + 6 chairs. Bear with me on the following pictures…The first 3 pictures are all from the same Jacobean style dining set, manufactured by Hanover Cabinet Makers in Pennsylvania. Originally, this would have all been a dark walnut colour.

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Table Base from the 1920s-Walnut/Sweet Gum

1920s table top

1920s Table Top-Walnut Veneer

1920s chair

1920s Chair-Walnut Veneer/Sweet Gum

As you can see above, the chairs were in some rough shape. What you can’t see is how wobbly the base of the table is. More on that later.

Below are pieces from the 1940s set. The manufacturer escapes me at the moment. I’d have to crawl under the table to have a look.

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Table Base from the 1940s-Walnut

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1940s Walnut Chair

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1940s Walnut Table Top-This poor table was in REALLY rough shape. I don’t think it had seen a tablecloth, a placemat or a coaster in years!

We ended up donating the 1920s chairs because so much of the veer was damaged. We refinished the 1940s chairs and now they reside in the dining room.

What we did with the rest is swap out the 2 tops (or bases, depending on how you look at it). Taking the 1920s base and putting the 1940s top on it. Taking the 1940s base and putting the 1920s top on that. Confusing right? And you’re probably thinking why would they do that? Simple reason being that the 20s tabletop extends much further and we need a big table in the dining room. The other table was going in our kitchen. So far, we have 2 table tops, 2 bases, and a set of dining chairs (for the dining room) but nothing to sit on in the kitchen. Our previous table was counter height and Miss Restyle has already placed dibs on those for when she moves out. Cue, these tufted chairs we picked up from the Habitat Restore.

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Tufted Dining Chair COVERED in oily stains-yuck! How did I fix this mess? With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

So now you’re probably thinking who the heck puts such an old table into a modern looking kitchen? Well, we do, because we like the look of mixing old with new. There’s nothing wrong with that. Not everything has to look like it came from the same place. This is how you can let your creativity really shine so that you end up with a room that nobody else has and somehow, it all comes together.

Here’s what we did:

That rickety 20s table base really needed some work. Mr. Restyle had to remove all the reinforcing wood pieces from the underside as well as the legs and reinforce and reglue everything. He had a little help from our youngest son, Jacob.

That table top was completely sanded to raw wood. Something to note about tables of this age-the tops are most likely veneer. This is not a bad thing. It’s just the way they were constructed at the time. When sanding veneer, just apply a light hand so that you don’t create any gouges. You can see here how badly it was damaged when I started.

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Using an orbital sander and gradually moving from 180 to 220 grit paper, I got to work.

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Wow! What a difference! The bottom part of the picture is the sanded part. The top is just starting to get some work done on it.

I have to say this about the sanding process-it gave off a weird smell. I don’t know if it was the stain they used back then or years and years of grime and filth or possibly cigarette smoke but it was awful!

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Left: sanded, Right: unsanded

It was really looking gorgeous the more I worked on it and I seriously wanted to leave it the colour it was naturally but I knew that it wouldn’t work for the feel of the room. I love sanding as much as I love ironing clothes. Yes, I’m THAT weird!

You will know that you are finished sanding when it feels buttery smooth against your hand. Time for stain! I used General Finishes Gel Stain in Antique Walnut. I love working with this stain. It is simply amazing. I am so pleased with the result.

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I stained the table base as well. I only lightly sanded it first. This is why I love this stain. You do NOT need to strip the piece down to bare wood if you are staining a darker colour. If you would like more information on this stain and the process, I will do a tutorial as our kitchen cabinets were also done with General Finishes (Java Gel Stain). I also plan on doing the bathroom cabinets the same way and could write a tutorial on that.

After staining, I applied the General Finishes High Performance Top Coat Satin.

 

For the chairs, I tried everything to get those stains out and I mean everything from homemade concoctions to heavy duty stain removers to steam cleaning. All combined, these methods only slightly improved the situation. I finally gave up and used chalk paint in Paris Grey. For more information on how to use chalk paint, you can visit one of the very first posts I did on chalk paint called Not So Pretty in Pink or do a search (posts are under the Furniture Makeovers category).

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I love how the chairs turned out. Supple-leather smooth!

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Close up of the tufting.

The last step was to paint the chair legs in Old Ochre chalk paint. They were originally a dark brown that just didn’t work with anything in the room. Mr. Restyle is not too fond of the painted legs. I quite like them as they go with the island.

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Here is the set in the room.

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Thanks for sticking around. I know that was a LONG post. More to come…

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DIY Kitchen Makeover

This post has been a long time in the making. There are so many elements to write about that I am splitting them up in a multi-part series to cover everything we’ve done in our kitchen over the last several months because there are so many different things we did in here and each of them deserves their own post so I can tell you all about how we did it.

Here’s a look at the before.

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Our house was built in 1990. We purchased it in ’97. We sold our previous house in one day due to a bidding war and didn’t have much time to find another. Our daughter was 3 years old and we  were expecting our first son. We moved in when he was 2 weeks old.  Call us crazy. This house was our dream home at the time. It was big, or at least it seemed that way then. Well, 18 years later and we hadn’t done anything to this room expect for some re-staining of the cabinets years ago to this reddish hue. It was an ugly yellowy-oak colour to begin with.

Notice there’s no backsplash and that drives me crazy! The countertop is that cheap builder’s laminate. The tiles, while not really in style anymore are not all that bad. They’re white with grey streaks and grey is in now so hey, who cares? Would I like to replace the floor? Sure, but realistically, we are getting to be empty nesters. Two of our three children are away at school. The plan is to downsize in a few years so I don’t want to pour too much in here before we list it but I do want to bring it up to date.

Here’s the after.

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What we did:

  1. Restained the cabinets using Java Gel Stain from General Finishes and added new hardware. There were 30 of them!!! I did this part.
  2. Replaced the countertop with butcher block.
  3. Replace the double sink with one big apron sink. LOVE! I wasn’t sure how I would get used to having only 1 sink but I love it even better than the double. I don’t miss the old one at all.
  4. Replaced the faucet and water filtration system.
  5. Replaced the kitchen island with the refinished early 1900s sideboard. I wrote about this piece here.
  6. Added a new glass tile backsplash.
  7. Installed 16 new potlights.
  8. Replaced the chandelier and ceiling fan with a new chandelier and the lovely pendants.
  9. Refinished a 1940s tabletop and added that to a 1920s dining table base.
  10. Chalk painted some tufted dining chairs.
  11. Added new drapery to the sliding door.
  12. Painted over that ugly yellow paint.
  13. Replaced all the electrical outlets.

AND…we did it all ourselves! How much do we love DIY? We are very lucky, Mr. Restyle and I. We work extremely well together. We are like a powerhouse when we get moving. Lucky for me he took these pictures on his phone without my knowledge. My hands were usually covered in stain or paint during this makeover and of course, I didn’t take any pictures. The separate posts will have better quality pics, I promise.

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Some more pictures.

View of the pantry before. Yes, I still have white appliances and all those crazy magnets all over the fridge!

pantry before

Pantry after.

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The refinished walnut table and chairs made over with chalk paint.

table after

stove after

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Early 1900s Sideboard Turned Kitchen Island

Happy National Thrift Store Day! Heading out later to see if there’s anything good left. For now, here’s this.

If you read my last post, you may have gotten the hint that we are in the middle of a complete kitchen transformation, DIY-style. One of the things we knew we wanted was to replace our oak island with something old. Found this quarter-sawn tiger oak sideboard from the early 1900s.

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Man, was it in pretty rough shape. You can see a lot of the tiger oak veneer is peeling and there’s a big chunk taken out of the top.

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But look at those claw feet! Gorgeous!

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Here’s a picture of our kitchen taken a few years ago but this is pretty much what it’s been looking like.

kitchen before

You can see the island here and the oak cabinets. As for the yellow paint, I did this a few years ago. Not sure what possessed me as I am not a fan of yellow. Suffice it to say, I was reading about feng shui and got caught up in the whole (what I deem as ridiculous now-sorry if I offend) notion that colour affects what happens in your life and in your home. I am so anti-new age anything now. If you’re wondering what happened to the old island, we posted an ad and had several responses to this free giveaway. It went to a good new home!

We had a plan to find something old and paint it but when we saw this piece and Mr. Restyle sanded it and removed the veneer that absolutely had to be removed, we both felt bad about the idea of painting it. So what did we do? We stained it. And then we both hated it. Back to our original idea. I’ve done this before where I’ve had doubts. Don’t do this. Go with your gut!

We painted it with ASCP in Old Ochre but stained the top with General Finishes Java Gel Stain. Mr. Restyle used a router saw to fix the top piece where a good chunk was missing. So clever! You can barely tell now. Sealed the whole thing with the satin top coat also from General Finishes.

New knobs were added still in keeping with the original look.

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I love our new island and I am sure it will serve us well for years to come. Here’s another look at the before and after.

island

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