Stain or Paint?

I need your advice. I know a lot of you that follow my little slice of the internet are some hard working mama and DIY bloggers yourself so I’m hoping you can help me crack this nut: Should I refinish this adorable toddler table or paint it?

DIY Toddler Table and Chair

I recently found this gem tucked away in the back of my mom’s attic. It’s real wood, the table is in decent condition – the chair is in excellent. But most importantly, it was my mama’s y’all. A little table that she use to sit at and read and color is now being used by my little guy. So that’s why I’m so torn.

As you can see it definitely needs some sanding work… but nothing an orbital sander and fine grit sandpaper couldn’t handle. And although honey colored stain has a time and a place, this aint it. So if I stained, I would take it up to a much darker finish.

DIY Toddler Table

My biggest fear in painting it, is that Dylan will color or smear the massive amount of dirt that little boys seem to produce all over it and would constantly just look…. well… funky. I’ve explored a few chalkboard paint options but clearly white or a soft blue are out.

DIY Toddler Table and Chair

So whatcha think? Should I take the time to sand and refinish this bad boy or paint it? Dylan can’t wait to know what you think! Smile 




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  1. Stain it! A dark stain would be a nice way to update it. It’s my understanding that it’s easy to paint over stain than it is to remove paint and stain the newly stripped wood. Plus, it’s a classic in decent shape… let the wood show!

    I tried to add your blog to my Feedly reader several times with no success. User error? I ended up subscribing via email, but the links within the emailed posts don’t work. Ugh. Maybe other people are having this issue?

    I had a baby boy right around the same time as you, so I can relate so much to your posts!

    1. Hey Keeley! Thanks so much for your advice – I think I’m leaning towards staining for that very reason!

      Bummer that you’re having trouble with my email links, I’ll definitely check that out. On Feedly, are you adding a space after “My”… so that it reads “My Sweetnest” in the search? Hope you can find it!

      That’s so awesome you have a little one that is the same age as D. He just hit 17 months and it’s my favorite age so far – but I’ve been saying that about them all :)

  2. I recently refinished the desk/cabinet that my Mothers sewing machine… I have very few things that we hers and it is so very precious to me! The best advice I got on this question that I asked everyone about was…. If your Mother was here she would want you to make it yours and she would be updating if to fit her now as well… So do what you like and it will still be that precious piece of your Mother with you added to it!

  3. Maybe you could do a combination? I personally love a stained top with a painted bottom. So that could work with keeping it clean since the top would be the most likely to get dirty. You could do the chair in stain with the dipped legs look so it would all match. Good luck – excited to see how it turns out!

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