Beautiful Bold Red

Do you ever just want to throw caution to the wind and just do the unconventional. I had this oak press back dinette set for some time and originally thought I would just play it safe and use a neutral colour. I was asked on more than one occasion what I was going to do and when I would mention neutral the response would be oh you have to go colourful that is what people buy from you for, or something along that line. I of course  would be using my favourite paint FAT Paint and bounced between Wasabi and Red Barchetta. Guess which won out? Time will tell, ok well maybe the title gave it away.

Red Oak Table and Chairs original finish


The set was in very good condition other than the table top. The polyurethane or varnish had worn almost completely off in areas. I definitely knew I wanted to stain the table top a darker colour so out came the can of stripper. I like how quickly and efficiently Super Remover  works. Once all the varnish was gone I started sanding with 80 grit paper and worked up to 220 grit until I had a smooth and even coloured top and leaf.

Before painting or staining I needed to remove all dirt, dust, and oily residue so a tack cloth was used on the table top. The rest of the dinette was scrubbed with a vinegar and water solution and then rinsed and dried.

chair in progress 1


When painting chairs or anything with spindle type pieces I like to use a small brush so I opt for a one inch natural bristle brush. I applied two coats of FAT Paint Red Barchetta to the four chairs along with the skirt and pedestal of the table. Once the paint was thoroughly dry I applied two coats of Satin Varathane  with the same size and type of brush. The next day I did a very light wet sanding with 600 grit wet/dry sand paper. This step (two coats of varathane) is very important for the technique I used to antique the set.

Now is the time to get the stain out. I chose a chocolate stain and applied two coats.When applying stain I wipe off any excess stain before the stain starts to get tacky and wait the manufactures recommended time between coats otherwise I could pull off the previous coat.

stained table top 1



Now that the table top and leaf are stained time to get to antiquing the red. As I said earlier it is important to have two coats of varathane over the red. This step is to avoid the stain from staining the paint and allows the stain to move. I use well fitted rubber gloves and several soft rags. I start by dipping a rag into the stain and letting some drip back into the can. Now I rubbed the stain over the entire chair ensuring I got the stain into all the little crevices. Once I made sure I didn’t miss anywhere I used a clean soft cloth and wiped the stain off leaving some in the crevices. Due to the wet sanding the stain will slightly adhere to the varathane allowing it to darkening the look of the paint colour slightly.

before and after glazing


Once I had done this procedure to all the red surfaces I applied two more coats of varathane, The table and leaf top I applied four coats of varathne using a large foam brush. I also wet sanded with 600 grit sand paper after the second coat to remove any burrs and give a super smooth finish.

Red Oak Table and Chairs


The table top is darker in person and no matter how many pictures I take or the lighting in the studio it keeps coming out lighter in the photograph so i guess you will just need to come in and see it for yourself.


Comments: 4

  1. [BLOCKED BY STBV] URL July 10, 2017 at 7:57 pm Reply

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  2. Laurel January 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm Reply

    i love it.

    If only I had the courage I would use a teal.

    Thanks for sharing.


  3. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors January 11, 2015 at 11:35 am Reply

    The table and chairs look great! I’m getting ready to do something similar to my oak dining set. What brand of stain did you use for the top of the table – the chocolate stain?

    • admin January 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm Reply

      I use Varathane brand it is available in Canada through Home Depot

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