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!

gold spray painted kitchen table with fresh gold spray paint and taped off top

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

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.

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Supplies Used:

Spray Painting Furniture Gold: Dining Table Makeover

closeup of antique gold painted french dining table

Step 1: 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 a 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.

top of table with citristrip brushed on half

How to Strip a Table Top

The best stripper in my opinion is CitriStrip.

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 strip stain from wood furniture, and another tutorial on how to remove paint from wood furniture. Both use the same technique!

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

Sanding a Veneer Table Top

Once the wood was all dry, I grabbed the orbital sander with 220 grit 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 Best Sander for Furniture here.

Just be gentle or sand it by hand.

Step 2: 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.

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.

Check out How to Prevent Overspray When Painting Furniture to learn more.

(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.)

dining table after being spray painted with gold spray paint - in backyard, on 5 gallon buckets

I painted the apron and legs of the table in Rustoleum’s Bright Coat Metallic Gold.

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 Paint 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.

See how we primed and spray-painted a dresser right here!

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.

Step 3: Gel Stain Over 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.

Step 4: 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 progess 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 more.

in progess photo of the top stained with java gel stain

Step 5: 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.)

But 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.

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

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!

Where do you find your inspiration? I would love to hear from you!

Have a wonderful week!

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. Here's how to spray paint furniture gold.


  1. Remove stain from wood.
  2. Cover the top of the table and tape off the edge with painters tape.
  3. Spray paint the table gold.
  4. Apply gel stain over the paint.
  5. Gel stain the tabletop.
  6. Once everything's dry, seal it with polyurethane.

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    One Comment

    1. Cecile Medford says:

      This table is GORGEOUS, I love it !

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