How can I paint over cherry dining table?

flowermumAugust 4, 2005

We have a cherry dining room table-the one with the high-sheen, high-gloss surface. We have had this table for about six years now and we rarely use it because of this type of surface. I bought it because it was so beautiful, but soon realized we have to be very careful using it as to not scratch the surface. I know there are table pads but that defeated the entire reason for purchasing the table.

So, I would love to paint it an off-white color. I am in love with the Swedish painted furniture style

( Could someone tell me if it would be difficult to paint over a surface like this and what are the steps? The table is in perfect condition but after six years of just "looking" at the table, I believe we'll be happier with a table we actually can use.

Thanks so much!

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Why don't you just try using it for a while and see if you can live with a less than perfect surface. You will have to destroy that perfect sheen to paint it, so you won't be going backwards if you use it first.

Do you know the name of finish coat? Exactly what you do to paint will depend on the nature of the finish that is there.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 7:35AM
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I am not sure of the name of the finish. It's just one of those that you can see your reflection in, almost like a mirror. We've always used the table with a tablecloth. I just wanted a different look and thought I'd paint this table as opposed to making a new purchase:)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 11:34AM
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Why not sell that beautiful cherry table to someone who appreciates it, then go to big lots and get a painted table, because once you paint that cherry table it will look like a big lots special anyway.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 8:51PM
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LazyPup, your comment was semi-mean. I posted in hopes of receiving information and not a derogatory comment. I have painted chairs in the past and they have turned out beautifully, and in no way do they look like a "Big Lots special." They actually resemble the chairs one would find on the website. I felt because of the finish that perhaps something other than a fine sanding was required.

Sharon sd, I took your advice today. I relocated the table to the kitchen and placed a new tablecloth on it, and I really like it there. Thanks a lot:)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 12:17AM
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While I don't agree w/ LazyPup's tone, I share his/her sentiment - generally amongst those who appreciate fine furniture, it's considered A Bad Thing to paint cherry, unless it's, say, a low grade of lumber.

Lotta folks even think it verges on criminal to *stain* cherry, as it is so beautiful with a simple oil finish that allows the wood to develop its natural patina over time.

That said, I agree totally with you that furniture is designed to be *USED*, and there's nothing worse than buying a piece, then being afraid to use it for whatever reason. Kinda like those high-gloss wood floors some folks have that you're not allowed to walk on, or the couch your Gramma has that you can't get near, even at age 32. : )

I realize you have a solution in hand, but if you should ever decide to do something, I would actually look into perhaps refinishing the table with a lower-gloss finish, like a satin. But please, don't paint it. The painted Scandinavian furniture you like is more than likely constructed of birch solids & plywood and designed to be painted.

Anyway, just my $0.02.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 5:31AM
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Thank you Jason, you are very kind! I've given up the "bad" idea of painting the table. My husband's eyes started twitching anyway when I had an entire presentation to show him from nordicstyle of how beautiful I thought the table would turn out to be : )

Therefore, I will not be painting the table but will have a glass top made for it to protect and preserve the finish. I believe this will solve the concern I have of scratching it.

Thanks so much for the input.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 10:32PM
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Have you thoght about getting eather a plexi - glass top or tempered glass top for it? Our friends have this so they could "enjoy" their table.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 7:44PM
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Librarymom03, yes that is exactly what I am considering purchasing. I have researched online and I think I like the ogee edge and the double bevel edge cuts. I look forward to having the tempered glass top made in the near future.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 10:32PM
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I have the same sort of question.....however, my table was not solid wood. Over the years it received quite a few scratches and I cannot cover the scratches no matter what I do. I have toyed around with the idea of covering the top with copper which can be I did find a distressed copper finish paint. I only want to do the top.....any thoughts? Not sure if I would be getting myself into a bigger mess or not!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Hi Flower mum & ems,
I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here but.... You can paint a timber table. It sounds like yours is a French polish (7 coats of high lacquer over 3-4 coats of stain) Cherry Mahogany. You may find you have been addressed by the "more traditional" wood lovers and your husband being a man would think it sacriledge to sand timber. But.... consider before you purchase another expensive piece of glass!
There are many ladies and men steering away from the heavy oppressive
Victorian "Sullivan style look" and wanting a lighter, fresher, less odious
look. I believe in your heart you wanted a light cheery more home living
room, and the tables you looked at made your heart sing but the
traditionalists with their "afraid of change" attitudes of platitude put you off.

IF this is the case look thru dept stores. Get a catalogue from Nordic Style or similar stores and look at your dining room.
Ask yourself! You! What is it I sm really wanting. Is it lighter, breezier charm and relaxed living? If so, tell hubby. Then either sell it on eBay or trading post and shop around fir your look thru the bargains there or compare the price of sanding and re surfacing. I personally have just spent 10 hours on removing dark Wenge chocolate surface to bleach and grey wash, then wax my table. IT CAN BE DONE!
Those who think it will make your furniture tacky are afraid to venture out
And their homes may be cold and formal. Consider what I said. My hubby
Loves timber as do most men and he baulked at first but 2 years later
He loves home and the simple light charm it carries. Gloom and doom tables are for unchanging lives. My humble opinion. Oh and my table was solid oak, looks so wonderful and light. Makes my heart sing. Which is what home is about. Red stains require much elbow grease to get out, though.
Consider selling and re-furnishing in cheaper arenas like wealthy people who just re-decorate or who move overseas.... On eBay or the like.
Signed: interior designer

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:01PM
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