OUR FARMHOUSE PROJECT: THE DINING ROOM REMODEL

While Ryan and I can count on one hand how many times just the two of us have shared a meal at the dining room table, some of our best memories at the farmhouse involve this space being full. We LOVE hosting, and look for any reason to gather our favorite people for a party. And, that usually revolves around the table because what's a good party without great food? My favorite thing about the layout of the farmhouse is that our living and dining area is one big, open room. (I will link to the living room at the end, so you can get a better idea of the layout.) So, when we have a few people over, we keep it set up for six as it is photographed below. However, when the guest list exceeds the table, there is enough room to turn it towards the living room, expand it, and add chairs! I love that we can all gather in one place!

So, let's get to the real reason you're here..those before and after photos! This area flowed with the living room, so the wall repair, painting and flooring all went hand-in-hand.

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Just replacing small things made a huge difference. The cabinet pulls were an easy change. And, the light fixture really pulled things together. As a more recent sentimental touch, my grandma brought me a ladder to display a few of our quilts. The top two were made by Ryan's grandmothers and the bottom was made by my great-grandmother. So, yeah there's a whole lot of grandma in that corner. lol 

The most time consuming part was the cabinets. We considered ripping them out. That would have given us more space for the table, and I always pictured an old hutch in that spot. However, I just couldn't bring myself to remove all of the extra storage, and the shelving has become a nook that I love to decorate with the changing seasons. So, the refinishing of them became a trial run for the kitchen cabinets! I scrubbed with a degreaser and scotch brite, rinsed, sanded with a fine grit sandpaper, and used a tack cloth to remove all of the dust. They were then painted with the Clark+Kensington paint and primer in the color silent white (same shade we used on the ceiling). I also want to point out that we used a satin finish on the ceiling and wall paint so there wasn't a glare highlighting the imperfections in the plaster. However, the cabinets were covered with the same product in a semi-gloss finish. That bit of gloss makes them easier to scrub clean. They turned out beautifully, but I decided that the paint was too soft to hold up to the use of the kitchen cabinets, so for those, I ended up priming in a separate step, and switching to a harder cabinet enamel.

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Our first home definitely didn't have enough room for a dining room table (hardly had room for a kitchen table of four!). So, when we moved into the farmhouse, we were in the market for one. Naturally, I was looking for something large and durable to refinish because when have I ever bought a new piece of furniture? lol Blue House Bargains in Red Bud, IL found this one for us! It has two leaves that fold INTO the table, so we don't even have to store them. It came with all six matching chairs, but was big enough to fit ten very comfortably. Plus it was worn, ugly and cheap, so it was PERFECT.

The table was a blonde finished wood before, and I already had the transformation in mind before we even bought the table. I'm obsessed with the stained top--painted bottom look, and still have plans to finish our kitchen hightop in the same way.

The table top and chair seats were sanded down to the bare wood. This had to be done thoroughly so the stain could soak in properly. I used Minwax stain in provincial (my fav) and the Minwax water-based polycrylic as the top finish. While this first part was SO tedious and time consuming, I then painted the legs and chair backs with the Amy Howard at Home chalk paint line, and it was the easiest product that I have ever worked with. It requires little prep, was smooth going on and is self leveling. Plus, the dry time was so fast that I could do all of the painting in one day. I bought the paint from my local Ace (shoutout to Red Bud Ace Hardware for their help, patience and friendliness!!), and they mixed the chalk paint in the Clark+Kensington colors of my choice. The main color is smokey taupe, and is literally my favorite paint color. It is the perfect balance of tan and grey with sage-like undertones. I get asked about it all. the. time. So, smokey taupe from the Clark+Kensington line, go mix ya some.  After that main color was dry, I lightly dry-brushed small areas with a second color, midnight stroll from the Clark+Kensington line, to give it some rustic character. The chalk paint was sealed with the clear wax from the Amy Howard line and then buffed with a dry cloth to set it in. I have used this paint for many things since and will continue to do so. Highly recommend! Here are the before and afters!

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For more remodel details, click over to the living room! You can also check out the kitchen for an in-depth look at the refinished cabinets!