Before & After {Kitchen Table Makeover}: Oak to White

There’s something about a white kitchen that I love. When we built our house in 2002, we didn’t have the budget to put white woodwork throughout our house. Slowly, over time, we’ve been transforming our home — from oak to white. To say we had a lot of oak in our house would be an understatement: oak cabinets, oak trim, oak floors, and oak furniture.

kitchen table beforeThis oak table was one of the first pieces of furniture my husband and I bought as newlyweds in September 1996. We had just purchased our first home: a ranch-style house in a quiet neighborhood full of other 1960s ramblers {that’s the preferred term here in north country}. Happily in love, we didn’t care that we had little to no furniture to fill the space. After a month of using our new card table and chairs we received as a shower gift, we knew we needed to find a “real” table. I remember we spent $1,200 on it {I have no idea why I remember that, since I never remember numbers}; what we loved about this table was its flexibility. While it’s perfect for a seating of four, there are two leaves that are stored underneath the table, so when we want to entertain, we could extend the table for six or eight people. Of course, we bought six oak chairs to go with it, as well.

Fast forward 17 years {to the spring of 2014}. I still loved the table for its versatility, but wasn’t in love with the oak finish anymore. The main level of our house is an open concept, so we don’t have a dedicated dining room, by choice. That means we need a table that can work when we’re entertaining as well as when it’s just our family of four. Every now and then, I’d peek at new tables and squawk at the price; it seemed silly to me to buy a new table when this one worked perfectly for our needs. However, that orange oak needed to go!

The first solution I tried was to replace all the chairs. Pier 1 imports has a great selection of affordable chairs, and that’s where I found the Mason dining chair. While that improved the look somewhat, I decided I really needed to paint the table.

You’ll find out I’m not such a DIY person when it comes to paint. I don’t know why, actually. Maybe it’s because I’m a slow painter, I hate the mess and I’m too much of a perfectionist? I just can’t seem to get past those barriers to perfect the art. So when I came across a person who was willing to paint the project for me, well, I jumped at it. See the oak kitchen table makeover. What a difference, right?


All of the white wood in my house is white, bright and not distressed. So, while I originally wanted a non-distressed table, Melissa talked me into distressing the edges. Being a piece of furniture that gets a lot of wear and tear, I agreed, and am so glad I did.

distressed table

The table is easy to wipe clean and looks great with the rest of our kitchen. And I love the contrast with the dark brown chairs, the brown granite of our countertops, and the white wood.

kitchen table white

So what’s your style? Are you a fan of painted furniture, or do you prefer to keep it au naturel? Is there a piece of furniture in your home that you could easily transform with a couple coats of paint? I’d love for you to share your before and afters with me. Send them to me at

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Happy decorating!

Julee sig 2014_pink_xoxo-1_edited-1

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