Spray Painting Furniture Gold: Dining Table Makeover

Today we have a fun dining table makeover for you! Thanks to a client, we’re spray painting furniture gold!

I’m always amazed at the ideas my clients have, and this one just rocked my socks! Get more painting techniques for furniture here!

Dining table before paint

Her inspiration came from an antique gold candle in her home. Then we recreated the look for her on this old french dining table.

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It started out as a white farmhouse-style table; a white bottom and stained wood top. I didn’t grab a before photo, but you can see a little bit of what it used to be in the photo below.

scroll down to see the after photos

Supplies Used For Spray Painting Furniture Gold

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Check out our 10 best painting furniture supplies here!

Remove Stain from Wood

To start out, the top of the kitchen table needed to be stripped of the stain, so we could give it a fresh coat of stain. You basically have two options:

  1. Strip the stain off with a chemical stripper.
  2. Sand the stain off with a power sander.

This tabletop was made with a veneer, so I really didn’t want to sand the whole thing down with my power sander, and risk ruining the table.

If you sand too far on a thin wood veneer on a piece of furniture, and then you try to stain it, the stain doesn’t take evenly to the wood under the veneer.

So I went with the chemical stripper. Check out the best tools for removing paint or stain from wood here.

What to Do When You Sanded Veneer Too Deep

You can try using different colors of gel stain to paint on a stained finish over the sanded area. But, more than likely, you will just have to paint over all of it with paint instead of stain.

So if you really want a stained look, it’s probably not worth it to use a power sander and risk blowing through the veneer.

Update: Another idea is to use this technique in my wood stain repair post to blend in the area that you sanded too far with the stain of your choice.

How to Strip a Table Top

The best stripper in my opinion is Citristrip.

top of table with citristrip brushed on half

Just brush on the stripper, let it sit until it looks all gooey and bubbly. (Yes- those are official terms on the bottle…okay maybe not, but it will make sense when you see it.)

Then scrape it all off, wipe it down with mineral spirits and 0000 steel wool and let it dry out.

I have a full tutorial on how to remove wood stain, and another tutorial on how to strip a kitchen table here. Both use the same technique!

These are jam-packed tutorials that can help you with how to strip a tabletop!

Sand Veneer Table Top

Once the wood was all dry, I grabbed the orbital sander with 220 grit sander discs and lightly sanded away.

Yeah, I know that I just said that I didn’t want to use my power sander on this veneer tabletop. But hear me out.

Once the stain was mostly gone, I needed to just remove the little bit of stain left, and smooth out the wood grain. I used 220 grit instead of coarse sandpaper to keep the power sander from taking off too much.

Then I made sure to not press down on the sander, and I made sure to move slowly, but keep moving, so I didn’t sand down one spot too much. Check out the best sanders for furniture here.

Just be gentle or sand it by hand. But if you want to skip the hassle of sanding, here’s our list of the best spray paint for furniture without sanding you can use instead.

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Spray Paint the Table Gold

Once all of the old stain was off of the table top, I turned my focus to the apron (the white painted part of the table top) and legs of the table.

I lightly sanded the old white finish with 220 grit sandpaper (by hand) and wiped it down with a tack cloth. Check out the best sandpaper for furniture here!

Then I taped off the edge of the table top, all the way around, with painters tape.

And then I laid a few broken-down cardboard boxes on the top of the table to keep the paint from getting on the freshly stripped top.

Learn how to protect all surfaces and areas where you’re spraying in our post on how to prevent overspray when painting furniture. And if you happen to have overspray, here’s how to get spray paint off wood to help you fix it.

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(You could also just paint the base before you strip the top, but then you may run into the stripper dripping onto your fresh coat of paint.)

I painted the apron and legs of the table in Rustoleum’s Bright Coat Metallic Gold. Check out more gold painted furniture ideas and metallic painted furniture ideas here if you’d like to try gold paint again!

This paint has stuck so well to all of the pieces I have ever used it on. It is amazing! Check out the best spray paint for wood furniture here.

Also, learn more from my comparison between Krylon vs Rustoleum spray paints here.

If you’re working with raw wood though, I would recommend a primer under the gold paint to help the gold spray paint or any gold paint have better coverage.

Choose from the best primers for painting furniture here. See how we primed and spray-painted a dresser right here in our post on spray painting furniture!

The apron and legs took two full coats, and then one extra touch up coat in a few places. It dried super fast in between coats, but I let it dry for at least 4 hours before I started the antiquing glaze.

Here’s how to use spray paint to learn more about how to effectively use spray paint on your DIY projects!

Apply Gel Stain Over Gold Paint

And then I antiqued the gold paint with more of the Java gel stain. Yep, you can put gel stain over paint!

closeup of antiqued gold painted french dining table with stained top

Since this metallic gold spray paint is glossy, it didn’t soak in very much. Instead of just kind of sat on the surface. I wiped it on like a glaze though.

Update: Looking back, I kind of cringe at the gel stain glaze on this table. I’ve gotten better at glazing over the years, so I shared a tutorial on how to glaze over chalk paint here.

It definitely takes some practice, but glazing furniture is so pretty.

With latex gloves and old t-shirt scraps as my rags, I wiped the gel stain on, let it start to dry for a few seconds, then wiped it off with a clean rag.

We wanted to get it dark, but still show the beautiful gold underneath. When wiping on and off I tried to keep the gel stain in uniform long strokes.

I also left more stain in the cracks of the details than on the raised and flat places. I let the gel stain dry for a few days so the top coat wouldn’t ruin all of my hard work.

Gel Stain the Table Top

While the stain dried, I stained the table top with two coats of the same stuff, Java gel stain. With at least 8 hours of dry time between each coat.

This stain is thicker than normal stain, but I used the same technique as I would with regular wood stain.

in progress photo of the java gel stained top

I wiped the stain on with the grain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wiped the stain off (with a clean rag) going with the grain. I love the richness of Java gel stain!

Check out how to restain wood furniture to learn how to restain furniture without stripping or sanding off the old finish

in progress photo of the top stained with java gel stain

Topcoat Gel Stain

After both coats of gel stain were completely dry, I finished off the stained table top with 3 coats of Minwax’s wipe on polyurethane in satin finish.

It comes in a spray can that is so much easier to apply. But they both work great. The Minwax wipe on polyurethane adds an extra richness to stained wood.

But since it is oil based, never use it on white or light paint since it will add a yellow tone to the paint. (Waterbased doesn’t turn yellow like oil based does.)

Since we were working with gold paint, it was fine to use the oil based polyurethane. Learn more about the best polyurethane for furniture here.

closeup of the dark java gel stained table top
full shot of antiqued gold dining table with dark wood stained top

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

side angle of the antique gold painted dining table

This table was such a fun project! I love how creative my client is. I would have never thought of this finish, but now that I have done it, I sure can’t get enough of it!

Check out another look we’ve made in this painting a dining table black makeover for more inspiration. Wondering “is chalk paint durable for kitchen table?” check out this post to learn more.

If you want to know how to price flipped furniture, head on over to my post to learn more.

Check out more French painted furniture ideas here. Where do you find your inspiration? I would love to hear from you! Have a wonderful week!

scroll up if you missed the after photos

Spray Painting Furniture Gold: Dining Table Makeover

full shot of antiqued gold dining table with dark wood stained top

This dining table makeover is the perfect conversation starter for your home. We’re spray painting furniture gold!


  1. Remove the stain from the wood top. Just brush on the stripper, let it sit until it looks all gooey and bubbly. Then scrape it all off, wipe it down with mineral spirits and 0000 steel wool and let it dry out.
  2. Once the wood was all dry, lightly sand it away with the orbital sander and 220 grit sander discs. Just be gentle or sand it by hand. Lightly sand the rest of the table with 220 grit sandpaper (by hand) and wipe it down with a tack cloth.
  3. Spray paint the table gold, letting it dry for at least 4 hours.
  4. Antique the gold paint with Java gel stain. Wipe the gel stain on, let it start to dry for a few seconds, then wipe it off with a clean rag. Let the gel stain dry for a few days. For gel staining the top, stain it with 2 coats with at least 8 hours of dry time between each coat.
  5. After the gel stain is completely dry, finish off by applying 3 coats of wipe on polyurethane.

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  1. Cecile Medford says:

    This table is GORGEOUS, I love it !

  2. Where do I get my inspiration? From you!!

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