To Do: Cure Table Woes

I have table woes. One of the only pieces of furniture in this whole entire house that was purchased new, has failed me.

Am I shocked? Not really.

Am I resentful? Absolutely.

Our dining room table was bought on sale at Pottery Barn, and I think I know why the clearance price was so good. The finish has the life span of a fly. It’s called Sandrift Gray and it started chipping only 6 months after we got it. Now, this is what we see all over…little nicks and chips.


I contacted Pottery Barn right away when the first nicks appeared to see if they sold a touch up kit or something that would match the finish…NO. So now I throw a canvas dropcloth over it if I have guests coming because it’s at the point now where it’s just looking…shabby.


I love the lines…I wanted a Parson’s table, and still do, plus it has a leaf, so that we can seat 10-12 for special occasions.  I want to fix the table finish, but how?  The “finish” is textured, as you might be able to tell in the photos. Because of that, an opaque paint color might highlight the chips in the texture. If I did some kind of overglaze, would that be enough to hide it? I don’t know that I have it in me to sand off the finish completely and start over…but it’s a last ditch option. I tried a silver paint pen on one spot that I promptly wiped off…sigh.

This will be a big project either way and I’m open to suggestions on how to hide these blemishes…I don’t want to have to live with tablecloths forever.

13 thoughts on “To Do: Cure Table Woes

  1. when skies are grey says:

    I think artists acrylic paint would work great. Mix up a little batch and keep it in an airtight jar for the future nicks. When you are mixing you will need black, white, and possibly a touch of yellow red or even blue to get the right grey. Also remember it will dry darker than what you are seeing wet.
    You have a nice blog here, been reading for a while, good luck 🙂

    • ModFruGal says:

      Thank you! Getting that base color just right would be a lot simpler than overhauling the whole table for sure! Thanks for piping up!

  2. Lesley says:

    I love the shape of the table. Why not use the touch-up markers (or just regular permanent markers from the craft store)? And, then have a sheet of tempered glass cut for the top to protect it? That way it wouldn’t change the look of the table. And not have to throw the baby out of the bath water.

    BTW, I had a table from CB2 (knock-off tulip style) that chipped the first day (okay, after a toddler banged his cup into it). Totally bummed me out.

  3. nkp says:

    What if you gold-leafed or silver-leafed only the top and then got a piece of glass or acrylic/lucite cut to size to go over it (I know Home Depot and Ace Hardware sell acrylic sheets and will cut them for you)? Another thought now that I’ve typed that, if you can find smoked or colored acrylic, then maybe you may be able to avoid step one…just have it cut to size and, voila!

    • ModFruGal says:

      Nelya, you know me too well…that bit of glam in your face sounds right up my alley…another great idea!

  4. priscilla says:

    I would contact them again andask that they replace your table or pay to refinish it. the finis should certainly last longer than 6 months, even it it is a sale item

  5. modernhaus says:

    Grrr…this kind of thing makes me so mad! It seems like no matter the brand/cost of new furniture, it just doesn’t last. My $4500 Pottery Barn sectional looks awful, and I meant it to be an “investment piece”.

    That said, the simplest answer is always the best…I would avoid a total repaint! Do the chips need to be filled? Maybe fill them with a tiny bit of bondo, sand lightly, and mix up a little batch of paint to match the base color. If the finish is striated, get a little paint brush and dry brush the repaired spots with the darker color to blend them in with the rest of the table. I like smoked or mirrored(!!) glass as a long term solution.

    I’m with Priscilla in that Pottery Barn should address the defect. If they won’t, try disputing the charge with your credit card company?

    • ModFruGal says:

      If I had addressed it with them when the first dings appeared so soon and I was asking for the touch up kit…maybe they’d have done something, but it’s been 3 years now…we bought it not long after moving in so…I feel like it’s a bit late. I think replicating the striated finish in those spots has been the part that seems the hardest, color mixing doesn’t scare me, but maybe once the color is on, the texture issue will disappear? Thank to everyone for all the great ideas…I love crowd sourcing a problem…it’s easy to get too close to it and lose your mind!

  6. erin@designcrisis says:

    Are the chips really that bad? They look so tiny…

    That said, I think the advice you’ve been given is great so I won’t add to it except to say I despise new furniture for this very reason. It’s always crappily made (unless it’s very very very expensive).

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