Update An Oak Dining Table, Monks Bench And More

Updating oak dining table: In this article I explain how to update an Oak Table dining table, Monks bench and more to give it a new lease of life.

 The clients for this project have had the furniture since the mid 80s. Back then it cost £365 for the oak dining table and £170 for the corner shelves.

Update an Oak tableMonks Bench

So you could say they were precious to the clients and very nicely care worn – or as we like to say, ripe for refurbishment. So there was a decision to be made about whether they should be updated with a painted finish or keep the natural look

The brief

Jean & Malcolm had a new kitchen recently installed from a company in Germany – a lovely warm cream colour with a lovely work top to compliment the units.

The existing oak furniture was much too good to replace. Jean had wanted the whole dining suite painting, but as they’d had it built specially for them, Malcolm wasn’t keen to paint it all. They sent a picture of the new worktop to see if I could match it.

Holmans, our paint suppliers, are so good at colour matching, and with such a lot of stain colour charts to hand, I didn’t see a problem coming up with a solution.

Slight technical hitch 1

So with a price agreed and a date booked, the furniture was supposed to be delivered to me, but unfortunately their car broke down on the way.

I made the 90 mile trip and picked it up for them. On seeing the furniture for the first time, it struck me that it would look good if the table legs were painted and the rest left wood.

I was also given a radiator shelf to paint, so we loaded the van and headed back to the workshop.

Slight technical hitch 2

I had piece of the worktop and a kitchen door to match the paint colours to.

Looking at the oak sample, it was proving difficult to match a stain. I found one in the Sikkens range but their product was not tough enough for furniture, not durable enough, so I asked Holman’s to match the wood stain colour in Kiva water-borne lacquer, which they did.

I prepared the furniture, courtesy of Mirka and Abranet abrasives.

To my horror, the stain came out green and it was awful. Not Holman’s fault I must add, just the way the natural oak and the colour “worked together”.

Plan B stain colour match

The stain was allowed to dry, then we sanded it all off with my Mirka again. Then I applied a coat of clear Kiva followed by a white wash consisting of emulsion scumble glaze and water using a 3″brush.

Once the wash was on evenly I wiped the brush clean and dragged the bristles through the glaze to produce a series of brush lines.

This creates a limed washed effect, which, with 20/20 hindsight, is what I should have done first time, really.

So I allowed the wash to dry, then gave it 2 coats of Sayerlack lacquer from Sherwin Williams. (The reason you give it a coat of lacquer first is to stop tannins affecting the wash coat.)

With the tabletop and the monks bench done the same way, all I needed to do was the shelves. For these I used Otex followed by Empire oil eggshell, tried & tested on oak for a flawless finish.

Monks Bench

Back up to Keswick

When all the furniture was completed, I saved Malcolm two trips and took it back. When they saw the end result, it was clear they were pleased with how it had turned out and worked so well with the kitchen. They will get plenty of use out of these lovely custom pieces for years to come.

And this is how to update an Oak dining table, Monks bench and more.

Here is a photo of the furniture at home.

updating oak dining table

What the customer said.

I would like to thank them both in trusting me with such lovely furniture and wish them both well. And their kind note topped it off for me, and this is their review

Hi Jason

Jason came to our rescue in more ways than one. With cloud cover to the ground and lashing rain we were stuck on top of Dunmail Raise with the clutch gone on our Honda CRV. We had promised Jason we would deliver the furniture to fit in with his schedule.

He was so supportive and said collecting the furniture was no problem. So he did a 180mile round trip. Second rescue – His pictures do not do his work justice. As my staff have said previously it is difficult to achieve my “impeccably high standards” Jason surpassed them, the finish on the table is as smooth as glass and his finishing technique has enhanced the grain. All this work was done by a very pleasant man whose pride in his work is so obvious. Thank You Jason I would recommend you with absolute confidence.

Specialist Kitchen and Furniture painters. JS Decor are the first port of call for hand painting kitchens and furniture in Lancashire and Cheshire

Jason has been hand-painting kitchens since 1993, trading as JS Decor; and I also write a monthly tips for the Lancashire Magazine.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and if you want to get in touch you can through my email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get a Quote for Your Kitchen Project. Click Here.