A red cherry table turned driftwood gray using a reactive stain finish! Reactive stains cause a chemical reaction in wood, making it look weathered and aged.
The curvy legs were in great shape, but we stripped and refinished the whole table to reveal what was beneath. We scored this very RED spalted (ambrosia) cherry table for $50 and refinished it in a Restoration Hardware-style weathered finish.
Changing cherry wood into anything but red is tricky, so I tested out several different stains to get exactly the color we wanted for this heirloom piece. But seeing that our family has grown tired of the metal chairs in our dinette, the decision has been made.
I found this gorgeous, vintage French cabriole leg dining table on Facebook Marketplace for only $50. But as usual, I knew there would be a lot of work involved getting the unique patterns in the wood to show through.
I wired-brushed the crevices then cleaned the entire table using mineral spirits to remove any residue. Since we knew we wanted to re-stain the table, we had to remove every bit of the existing stain. We chose the top test, weathered wood accelerator with a layer of medium walnut danish oil. Once the reactive stain was dry, applying a medium walnut danish oil made the wood grain really POP!
Once the danish oil was dry, I used a foam brush and applied 4-5 layers of water based top coat. We stopped and started this table makeover so many times, but it’s so worth it to have our own heirloom piece that we created together.