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As I think I have mentioned at least once before - I despise my coffee table.  It came with the living room package of my very first major furniture purchase.  It is pine, it is oaky looking and it is scratched all to pieces.  It is way too country for my personal taste in furniture and I really want to change it up.

But - I am scared to death to darken it up.  Originally I thought that I would stain it - but want to get it REALLY dark.  Like as dark as our entertainment center - which is REALLY dark.  See pic below (and yes these were taken while my house was messy and that is a cat bed that is hanging out of the bottom side of that my oldest adores so I don't move it).

Its a big change and I am not sure exactly how I get it there.  But here are some pictures of what I want to go for with the new finish.

So I need some help from my DIY diva friends to help me figure out how to do this. Have you ever gone dark?  How did you do it?  Paint or stain?  What tips and techniques did you use?  Feel free to link me up projects you have done!  I need help with this one!

And because I need some inspiration - I am linking this up to Melissa's Inspired By Party @ The Inspired Room!  Join the fun!! 

18 frugal friends said ...

Natasha said... @ May 13, 2010 at 10:22 PM

I wish I could help but I just wouldn't know where to start! Your inspiration pictures are fabulous though, so I am sure a clever blogger will know exactly what to do!

Best wishes,

Shanarun said... @ May 14, 2010 at 12:31 AM

I have finally figured out how I am going to "go dark" after purusing "Before and Afters." I will tell you about 2 of my favorites. Not sure how to link though.... you may have to doctor up my comment!

Traci, who was so very helpful with my questions has her blog at:
http://beneathmyheart.blogspot.com/2009/05/hutch-re-do.html. This should take you directly to that project. If not, go to her Search-My-Blog box, and insert "A Hutch Re-do", (blog post of May 24, 2009.) You can go to her FAQ to get more info about the products she used.

And, Andy, also extremely helpful, posted numerous re-do's on her blog -and several are brown to dark.
http://poppiesatplay.blogspot.com/2010/04/before-and-afters.html. The post is called: "Before and Afters" (April 20, 2010.) The brown to dark/black are shown in pictures 1&2, 23&24, and 25&26. Both Traci and Andy gave me advice about the finishes used.

Is this enough to get you started? :) Maybe you can teach me how to insert a link next time! Have a great time with your research.

Judy said... @ May 14, 2010 at 5:58 AM

I darkened my bathroom cabinets and they turned out very nice. Don't remember the whole process, but I am sure you can find lots of info online. I used a stain that worked like a paint, so I was not down to raw wood. I cleaned the cabinets and applied as directed. Your table should be a fairly easy project.

laney said... @ May 14, 2010 at 6:27 AM

...simply paint it black...fill the top with a stack of large books and a great looking tray with objects you love...underneath stack more large books or large baskets...

Rene @ cottage and vine said... @ May 14, 2010 at 7:45 AM

Dark walnut stain when applied in layers has a way of darkening without completely covering the wood grain. You would have to strip your table first though...which is never fun but sometimes necessary. I will be interested to see what you come up with.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said... @ May 14, 2010 at 7:53 AM

Jess, when the country look was big in the early '90's I bought several pine pieces. Before we moved to this house I wanted an updated look so I primed the pieces and painted them black. I added a nailhead trim to one of the pieces. It gave it a much more updated look. Those pieces are in my basement now. I can send you a picture if you'd like. Let me know if you'd like to see.

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said... @ May 14, 2010 at 9:19 AM

I haven't done as much staining as painting. If it were me, I'd probably paint it, just to save time.

But I'd love to see how a dark stain would work - how many coats, etc.

Whatever you decide, I look forward to seeing the process!

Melissa Miller said... @ May 14, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Jess I think it will lok warm and gorgeous! I can't wait to see it.

Blessings, ~Melissa :)

Bonnie said... @ May 14, 2010 at 11:00 AM

With pine, it is hard to get it stained as dark as you want and there will be a lot of wood grain showing. So it depends on what you want. I recommend paint but there are two ways to do it. I did a paint wash on my armoire. Here is the link to my post:

I wanted some of the wood grain to show but not too much. This worked for me. If you don't want the wood grain, find paint to match the color of your entertainment center! Good luck and can't wait to see how it turns out!!

Melissa said... @ May 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM

I'm very interested in this, I'm looking for an older style table that I would like to make black and am debating how I would do it. I'm thinking gel stain, it's thicker than regular stain and almost goes on like paint. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

Shanarun said... @ May 18, 2010 at 5:41 PM

One more thing if you didn't see it yet... hop over to Centsational Girl and view her Oak Staircase Reveal: http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2009/07/the-staircase-reveal-part-one/. She greatly details the process of light to dark -with stain, not paint. The dark color may be close to what you are looking for.
O.K.-that's it! (I quess I paid attention to this post because I am gathereing ideas too.) :)

Anonymous said... @ June 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Just inherited one quite like yours. We were considering adding a cushion on top and placing it at the foot of a bed in a guest room. Just a thought.


pamela said... @ October 27, 2010 at 2:22 PM

I have the opposite problem. We have a chunky almost black coffee table which I hope to make light and lovely. Maybe like a limed effect. Or cream paint. Don't know where to start, sand, strip, undercoat? Love the pictures though! Lovely blog - looking forward to trawling through your archives looking for inspiring ideas!

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