Our Viking Table

When selecting the pieces of furniture that would go in our family room - the dining room table was probably the most important.  I wanted to be able to have a table large enough that for Christmas dinner my whole family could be seated at one spot.  Hence our viking table, as my younger stepdaughter Emily likes to call it, was born.

As the table was made from new wood, we needed to find a way to give it some old world charm to fit in with the rest of the room.  So one afternoon, Emily and I together gave this table a good beating and here is the outcome.

I have to say that when you offer a child a chance to take various items and beat a piece of furniture - you don't need to ask twice to get help!  To distress the table we took the following items - high heel shoes, sock filled with nails, screwdriver, hammer, and chisel.  We tested each item out on the legs of the table first to see what looks we liked best and then we went to work.  We found the sock with nails to give the best look but I can't deny that the high heeled shoe was also a favorite.
high heeled shoe

sock of nails

Once we had the scuff marks and dents spread out across the table, we then went about the staining process.  I used 2 different types of stain on this piece for the top.  First I put on a coat of Minwax Early American.  I would paint it on and Emily would wipe it off as I went.  Instantly the groves and marks we made stood out and the look was just what I wanted.  After that dried for a couple of hours, I then put over a coat of Minwax gel stain in Mahogany.  On the legs we only used the gel stain.  As the gel stain is very tacky, we let it dry overnight.

Since I was going for a Farmhouse table look - I wanted to paint the legs and bottom white but I wanted that aged look so I used Milk paint in a powder form.  I mixed the powder per instructions it came with.  It can be very clumpy so you must mix it really well and you must use it right after mixing or it dries out.  Before applying the milk paint, I sanded the legs a bit here and there so that the paint would grab hold to certain areas better then others.  I used 2 coats of the milk paint. If I had wanted more of the dark stain to show through - one coat would have worked fine.  This part is really to your taste and the look you are going for.   I also found that it is better to apply the milk paint to the stain without too much time lapsing.  You also have to let the milk paint do its work as at first i didn't think it was crackling much but as it dried the more I was getting the look I hoped for.

To accent the table I made a long bench for one side and painted it in the same manner.  I promise to post the construction of the bench at another time!!

I found two great overstuffed chairs that I felt looked perfect as head chairs and the mix of wood and fabric was exactly what I wanted - even though my husband felt the head chairs should be like that of something from Game of Thrones!  I had two great old antique chairs from when I lived in Brooklyn and was lucky to find two more that were very similar at a tag sale in Westport over the summer.  I reupholstered the seats of the two chairs I had and as the tag sale chairs had ripped rattan seats, I made cushions for them.  I took a piece of plywood and cut it in the shape I needed.  I then added a bit of chair padding and topped it off with upholstery in a simple grey pattern.

The look is a bit rustic with a vintage, shabby chic appeal.  But most importantly, we have plenty of room at the table for the whole family and the kids can't complain about sitting at the children's table anymore!