French Country Table and Chairs

French Country table and chairs in blue and yellow

Today's project is about combining mismatched furniture to become a set. I bought the pair of chairs first and then found the table on another shopping trip at a different thrift store. But before I begin I decided to try something new and jazz up the lead photo a bit. Did it catch your eye or do you think it's too distracting?


HINT: This is actually two projects rolled into one, and the post is a bit long. If you're pressed for time then the captions under the photos tell the story. There's a supply list at the end of the post in case you're interested in creating a similar look.

THE CHAIRS: BEFORE

The chairs are set of pressed back chairs. The design on the back is pressed into the wood, hence the name.
Before: Pressed back chairs
Before: Pressed back chairs

They were in good shape except for the finish which was scratched, worn away in spots, and had goop of unknown origin. I decided to strip the seats, but passed on stripping the rest of the chairs. I've stripped some spindles before and learned my lesson (don't do it).

Damaged finish on chair seat.
Damaged finish on chair seat.

Removing either paint or varnish is always a bit of a messy job. I applied CitriStrip and let it set for a bit and then scrubbed it with #0000 steel wool. After that was cleaned up I used my mouse sander to sand away any stray varnish still remaining and also smoothed out scratches. I applied two coats of danish oil and allowed it to soak into the wood before wiping it away.

Stripping varnish and refinishing chair seat.
Stripping varnish and refinishing chair seat.

THE TABLE: BEFORE

The table is made of solid oak and very sturdy. I love the round shape resting on a pedestal. It works especially well for a breakfast room. It also came with two leaves.

Before: Round pedestal table.
Before: Round pedestal table.

As I mentioned it's solid oak except for the top has a manufactured laminate glued to the top. I would have loved to remove the laminate, but this was factory sealed and wasn't budging. The surface was very shiny and most paints won't stick without a primer coat, but I knew Chalk Paint would do the trick.

Oak table with shiny laminate top.
Oak table with shiny laminate top.

Because the surface was so smooth and shiny it required a little bit of sanding to rough it up a bit and give the paint something to "grab" onto.

Lightly sanding the surface in preparation for Chalk Paint.
Lightly sanding the surface in preparation for Chalk Paint.

I chose a French Country blue and yellow color scheme for the table. Mainly because I love, love, love the colors. But secondly because that's what colors I had available. It was a win-win.

Arles (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint)
Arles (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint)

I applied a very thin first coat. I used my vintage effects brush and wasn't concerned about leaving brush strokes. In fact I tried to get as many brush strokes as possible to build up some texture to the top. I applied a total of about 3 to 4 coats of paint to the top. After the paint was dry, I lightly sanded against the grain of my brushstrokes. This smoothed out the paint to a smooth surface while still leaving a bit of texture.

Applying the first coat of Arles.
Applying the first coat of Arles.

I sealed the paint with soft clear wax and then applied a dark glaze. I wiped back the glaze and then repeated the process until I achieved the look I wanted.

Applying dark glaze over Arles.
Applying dark glaze over Arles.

Next I painted the table base and chairs in Aubusson blue, sealed with clear wax, and finished it with dark wax.

Aubusson blue (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).
Aubusson blue (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).

AFTER

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the table and chairs were not originally a set. However the spindles of the chairs coordinate with the turned base of the pedestal. The paint color groups the items together for a set.

French country table and chair set in Aubusson blue and Arles.
French country table and chair set in Aubusson blue and Arles.

The natural wood on the chair seats provides a nice contrast against the blue paint.

Pair of pressed back chairs painted in Aubusson blue.
Pair of pressed back chairs painted in Aubusson blue.

I lightly sanded the carvings to give it a bit more visual definition.

Detailed design on pressed back chairs.
Detailed design on pressed back chairs.

The table base was distressed and the dark wax gives it a lovely patina.

Pedestal table base painted in Aubusson, distressed, and aged with dark wax.
Pedestal table base painted in Aubusson, distressed, and aged with dark wax.

The glaze provides additional contrast on the yellow of the table top.

Dark glaze over Arles adds additional depth and contrast.
Dark glaze over Arles adds additional depth and contrast.

The glaze worked nicely over the smooth surface because of the subtle texture built up with the brush strokes in multiple layers.

Subtle texture created with brush strokes helps the glazing technique.
Subtle texture created with brush strokes helps the glazing technique.

I also painted the two leaves to match the table top.
The set also includes two leaves for the table.
The set also includes two leaves for the table.
I have a similar set in my breakfast room, but it's black with a cherry type of finish on the top. But it needs to be refinished as someone in the household accidentally spilled paint stripper on the table. I'm thinking a similar cheerful color scheme would work wonderfully!

I'll include the supply list below. If you don't already follow along, why not enter your email in the "subscribe button" at the top of the page? You'll receive an email from Feedburner to verify your subscription and that's all there is to it! Or head on over and follow me on Facebook! I recently joined Instagram (yes I'm the last person to the party) but haven't done a thing with it yet, but I'll let you know once I get started.

SUPPLY LIST

Below are the supplies I used for this project. Some links are affiliate links which  means I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. It doesn't cost you extra, but it helps support the time and effort of maintaining the blog. Thank you for your support and understanding!



EDITED: A reader asked to see a better photo of the refinished table top, so I'm adding a photo to give more of an overview.

Overview photo of table top.
Overview photo of table top.




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