How to Transform a Table with Fusion Mineral Paint

Furniture makeovers are all over social media! Have you hopped on the band wagon? If you follow me on Instagram and Snapchat, you've seen the photos I've recently shared of my front door and coffee table makeovers.

Sometimes, we're unhappy with furniture and all it really needs is a new outfit for us to love it again. Like this coffee table...

before and after photos of a round coffee table

This coffee table has such a history. It originally belonged to my great-great grandmother, and at that time was a large dining table with two removable leaves. She raised my grandfather, and he would tell stories about how she ironed clothing on the table. She used a cast iron "sad" iron, and would place a metal canning ring on the table so the iron wouldn't be directly on the wood. Of course, being metal, the ring became very hot, and burned a ring on the surface (you can see it in the left lower corner of the photo below).

After her death, the table went to my grandfather. He refinished it several times, but never took off the ring burn (thank goodness!) since it reminded him of his grandmother. By the time he passed the table to my mother, it had been cut down to make a coffee table and the leaves were long lost.

round wood coffee table
how the table looked when I got it from my mother

My mother gave me the table back in the early 1990's, and I kept it in storage for several years. Not because I didn't want to use it, but because of it's size. When we moved to Kentucky in 1997, our living room was large enough to accommodate the table. Gus stripped the table and applied an espresso-colored gel stain (the kind you leave on). It was better than it had been, but I still wasn't happy with it. And Gus wasn't happy with me since he had spent so much time on it.

base and legs of a coffee table stained in espresso
table with "leave-on" espresso stain

Fast forward to early 2019 - when I discovered Fusion Mineral Paint (FMP) and knew that's what I wanted to use on the table. Gus finally agreed to dividing the work - he would sand the table and I would paint and stain it.

I read everything I could find on Fusion Mineral Paint and joined the Paint It Beautiful Facebook group. Once I was sure I knew what needed to be done, we took a trip to our local Fusion retailer, Dresser Up Vintage Boutique in Newport. We purchased:

  • Fusion Mineral Paint in Casement
  • Fusion Mineral Paint (Homestead House) Stain and Finishing Oil in Cappuccino and Natural
  • Fusion™ TSP
  • Cling-On O Series brush (045)
  • Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Hemp Oil Wood Finish

round coffee table with dark stain partially sanded off
removing the espresso stain

Gus took the legs off the table and cleaned all the pieces with Fusion TSP (which is actually an organic TSP alternative that doesn't have to be rinsed off). He used the electric sander (180 grit) to take the stain off, then sanded by hand with 220 grit. For the part of the table that was to be painted, he also sanded with 320 grit. (FYI: Don't sand anything to be stained with a grit higher than 220 or you will "close" the grain and stain won't penetrate or penetrate evenly.)

legs of a table painted with white primer
legs with BIN Zinsser primer

tabletop turned upside down with primer and painter's tape
pedestal and apron with primer

Once it was sanded, he cleaned off the dust and primed everything but the top (since it was going to be stained) with Zinsser oil-based BIN primer. We opted for the oil-based primer since we weren't certain of the type of wood (I was always told it was maple) and we didn't want to risk any tannin bleed-through after all the work Gus put into prepping it. I had also read that the Casement FMP paint didn't have a lot of pigment, creating the need for multiple coats for coverage, so the use of the white primer cut down on the number of coats I needed to apply.

The important things to remember with FMP are:

  • don't use too much paint
  • brush in one direction
  • don't go back over the paint once you've applied it
  • use an excellent-quality brush (like Cling-On or Staalmeister)

If you prep well and follow these guidelines, you will have very few (if any) brush strokes!

legs of table with two coats of white paint
legs with two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint in Casement

Even with priming, it took four coats to get the coverage I wanted - which I understand is common for Casement. I did not sand between coats because I wasn't aware of the process at the time, but I did wet sand with hemp oil and 800 grit sandpaper after the last coat of paint. It gave the table legs such a smooth finish!

I have to apologize for the photos that show the Cappuccino stain. None of them really show the true color. I tried photographing in different light, adjusting the color in Photoshop, and it still always looked too yellow or red. The true color is really more of a neutral brown.

tabletop with cappuccino stain
 applying Natural stain to table top (over the Cappuccino stain)

tabletop stained with cappuccino stain
after one coat Cappuccino stain and two coats Natural stain

For the table top, I used an inexpensive chip brush to apply the Cappuccino stain and soft, clean t-shirt rags to wipe it off. I applied to one half of the table at a time, and started wiping it off as soon as I finished the section. You can leave the stain on for up to 10 minutes, but I didn't want it to get too dark, so I wiped it off quickly. I was happy with the color, so I applied two more coats of stain, but I used the Natural shade so it didn't change the color.

round coffee table with a white cat laying on it in front of a fireplace
Patrique really likes the "new" table

before and after of a round wood coffee table
my great-great-grandmother's table, before and after

round wood coffee table painted white on the bottom and cappuccino-stained top
We love the table now!

We were so pleased with the results that we decided to re-do the buffet portion of Gus' great-aunt's china cabinet in the same colors - and use it as a TV/entertainment cabinet! I'm still working on the drawers for that, but I'll do a post once it's finished!

What's your favorite furniture makeover? Have you used Fusion Mineral Paint?

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