Cut to about 3 days after I was done and I was totally regretting it. The black just showed EVERY single thing. I had to clean the tables at least once a day and even then they still looked grubby. I swear if you set anything on them, even a phone it would leave a mark.
I could have just put a satin poly on them to get rid of the glossiness but to be honest I was over the black table tops. Completely.
This weekend I decided that they needed to be changed. It worked out because my poor husband got sick and K and I were relegated to being outside as much as possible to avoid getting whatever grody bug he had :( No bueno.
So I started by stripping the paint off of the coffee table. I applied the stripper, waited about 30 minutes, scraped as much as I could, applied, waited and scraped again. Then I wiped with a wet rag and let it dry overnight. This required more time than I was willing to spend. I'm impatient. So the end tables just got sanded down, no stripping involved.
This is the table the morning after it was stripped. Still some white primer hanging around.
I then took 80 grit sandpaper and an orbital sander and sanded until I got to the bare wood. I rounded off the edges for a "rustic/worn" look. I then used 120 grit to finish sanding for a smooth finish.
Once that was done, I took a rag and removed all of the dust until I had a bare, clean surface.
I applied Minwax Pre Stain Wood Conditioner to make sure I had an even application of the stain. It absorbed in about 5 minutes. I wiped off any excess.
The next step was applying stain. I couldn't decide between 2, so I decided to use both. I wanted an aged, non golden or red finish that looked like it had always been there. I chose to start with Minwax Weathered Oak. I applied one coat of this, let it sit about 10 minutes, wiped off the excess and let it dry 2 hours. Weathered Oak gives a weathered, worn look to the wood. It tones down any warm tones and gives a grey appearance to any really light peices as you can see in the bottom right corner. It's a really neat effect but a bit too light on it's own for me personally.
I then applied one coat of Minwax Provincial, which is gorgeous but scary. It looked so dark! But I let that sit also about 10 minutes and then wiped off the excess. It was still pretty warm for me. But after it dried a bit, surpise, it was perfect! I let that dry another 2 hours, applied another coat, wiped and let it dry 3 more hours.
Then came the poly. I chose the Minwax Wipe On Poly in the Satin finish. I didn't want anything even remotely glossy and the wipe on gives a really neat effect. It's also very simple and goof free. This is the tables after one coat of poly. It was dusk so the porch light gives more of a golden look than what they really are.
I applied one coat, let it dry 2 hours and then applied another coat. I let them sit overnight and then brought them back in the house. We didn't use the tables for 24 hours but oh man, are they pretty. This is a really accurate picture of the end result color.
I just LOVE the end result with the rustic tops and black bottoms. The overall look almost everything else in our house and now I think our antique dresser needs this same finish! The bottoms of the tables are still Behr Black Suede.