farmhouse table varnish

Farmhouse hand painted dining table

These farmhouse style tables are quite common now but if you’re thinking about doing this yourself have a little read on how I turned an old run down table into a functional stylish dinning table.

Your going to need a load of sand paper of different grits to get the table into a reasonable condition before treating the wood.  I used both my orbital sander and mouse sander to speed this process up.  The orbital sander was ideal for the top and the mouse was great for getting into the grooves and corners of the legs.

Starting with a heavy grit (80 grit) I took off all the existing varnish and paint and smoothed some of those nasty dents and scratches.  If you have any deep dents try following this guide which will help lift the damaged wood out into its original shape.  Using just an iron, paper towels and water you can easily repair any dented wood.

Follow up sanding with some finer grit, up to about 240 grit, with a 150 grit in between. This will get the wood nice and smooth ready for painting, varnishing or waxing.

Sanding tip: Always sand with the grain of the wood.  Sanding cross grain tears the wood fibres so sanding scratches show up much more.

Now to the painting.  It may help to remove the table top from the legs for this part.  Starting with the legs you’ll need to select a suitable colour that fits with the decor of your living room.  We used a Rust-olem furniture paint which is really easy to use and only requires one coat.  View their range here.  We used the teal satin furniture paint.  View it here.  It’s also worth searching their website for inspirational ideas for any other restoration projects you are considering.  You can find a range of their products in B&Q and Homesbase.

To finish the top I applied 3 coats of clear varnish but beforehand I ensured all the sand and dust was removed using a damp cloth.  For the varnish I used a clear polyurethane oil based varnish from Ronseal.  This can be found in B&Q and Homebase.  After applying each coat I lightly sanded with a high grit (240 grit) sand paper.  Do not sand the final coat.  When applying the coat make sure you use a lint free cloth or a brush and again, follow the grain of the wood.

So that’s it really.  Nice and simple fashionable looking table for under £100.  Pow!

Farmhouse style wood table diy


  1. Thanks for the tips Ben. I’m about to start a chest of drawers so these helpful hints will come in handy!

    • Thanks Elf, interested to see how you get on and you may get different results with different wood types.

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