Before & After French Provincial Dining Table

Some Tips on DIY Furniture Refinishing // Shibang DesignsThis is my latest piece of furniture that I’ve refinished. After doing the last dining room table I think that I was so happy with the results that I chose to forget how much sanding and time had been involved. I think that for people who see the potential in secondhand objects it can be hard to pass up a project. When I saw this French Provincial style dining table with queen anne legs and a pretty scalloped top I had to restore it!

This is a more process oriented post than normal because I documented all of the steps it took to get to the finished product. Hopefully all of this trial and error will help someone about to start a refinishing project or in the midst of one.

This is what I learned along the way…

Shibang Designs Table BeforeThis is the before and while the shape was beautiful, the scratches, worn edges and finish needed some work. What I didn’t expect was that this top would be very hard to sand down evenly and the staining process gave me more trouble that it ever has before.Shibang Designs Table Refinishing ProcessAfter using a stripper (which did nothing) and sanding there were uneven patches.

Shibang Designs Table Refinishing ProcessI tried the darkest stain I had to try to balance out the uneven colour with a red cherry stain I already had.

Shibang Designs Table Refinishing ProcessThen I applied a light grey stain but this colour wasn’t the look I was going for.
Shibang Designs Table Refinishing ProcessI ended up having to buy another stain, a dark grey¬†which is pictured above. I also used chalk paint in graphite as a base layer for the bottom.Shibang Designs Table Refinishing ProcessThis is it after a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in white. After all of the trouble with the stain not working how I wanted, the paint was so easy and enjoyable to do. I distressed the base with some sanding and then added a coat of light grey stain and sealed it with a matte varnish.IMG_8475Since this table was going up for sale after being completed I took some photos¬†for fun.Shibang Designs Refinished Table Shibang Designs Refinished TableFrench Provincial Table Before & After :: Shibang DesignsI keep saying that this is the last time I’ll refinish furniture that isn’t for our house but I think that if I come across the right piece I’ll do it again.

Shibang Designs on Apartment Therapy

Thanks Apartment Therapy for the feature!

This is another table that I refinished in a different style if you want to see more.

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New Oversize Tote

The first “Shibang” bag was a large denim tote that I made and embellished with my first hand dyed wool and loopy first hand spun yarn. It was purple with an orange centre and in an abstract way looked a bit like a flower. I was a Textile Arts student at Capilano University in my first year and I wanted a bag that could carry all of the wool, fabric and books I was bringing to class each day.

What I liked about this bag was how it added some interest to any outfit and was different from anything I’d ever seen before. I began making large tote bags in 2005 and continued for a couple of years until I focused on creating smaller items.

This season I am bringing back the oversize tote in new version — made on heavy wool with structure, leather handles, rivets & metal feet. This is the perfect canvas to showcase a large colourful abstract flower and it looks good with a blazer and jeans, a casual outfit or for travelling.

The style is inspired by classic shapes with an influence from vintage luggage.


One perk of being back in the Vancouver area is that I am close to all of the family furniture and special belongings that date back many decades. The suitcase and trunk pictured above have been in the family for a long time.

The trunk was used by my great aunt Flora when she travelled to Scotland to visit family and brought it full of food. The brown suitcase belonged to my great uncle in Australia and he gave it to my parents to use when they were returning to Canada after their honeymoon in Australia and didn’t have enough space to carry everything back.