Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dining Room Table and Chairs Makeover

Do you guys remember when I asked for advice about my dining room chairs way back in August? Well, I finally got around to the makeover and I am thrilled with the results!

Dining Table After
Here’s a quick summary of the back story of the table and chairs: We bought them last May off Craigslist for $80. The table was the perfect size for our new dining room and the chairs were solid and in good shape, but they badly needed updating.

chair before
The chair cushions were especially bad. Not only was the fabric ugly and totally not my style, it was also dirty and it had lots of stains.

Back in August I asked you to weigh in on a fabric, which I really appreciated, but I ended up waiting to pick one until I had completed my textiles class. I ordered several fabric samples and  this fabric from OnlineFabricStore.net was the winner. It only cost $7.90 a yard and I ordered 3 yards just to make sure I would have plenty in case I messed up (for the record I only messed up once Smile ). I think 2 yards would have been sufficient.

Premier Prints Carnival Village Blue Natural Fabric
My husband Ben did most of the refinishing on the table and I painted the chairs. He wanted to stain the top of the table a dark walnut color and paint the legs white, which initially I was a little unsure about, but now that it's done I absolutely love it!

I’m no expert at painting so I won’t give you a tutorial (there are plenty of other resources for that), but I did use one tip from Pinterest. I poured some paint into a plastic cup and then slipped a rubber band over the top to help wipe off the extra paint from the brush. It worked really well!

Here are a couple action shots of the sanding and painting process:

IMG_0863.JPG (2)

IMG_0871.JPG (2)
The last step in the project was recovering the cushions. With the first cushion we took out every one of the 50+ staples which took a really long time. On the rest of them we sped things up by literally just ripping off the fabric and then taking out any staples that were sticking out. I used one of the old covers as a template for the new fabric. I used a pencil to draw an outline about 3 inches wider than the existing fabric. Then Ben used the staple gun to staple the fabric to the bottom of the cushion. We had the hardest time with the corners and they’re not perfect but they still look pretty good.

Chair after
To end the post I’m leaving you with a few before and after photos:

Chair before and after
Table before and after
What do you think? Do you like the two-tone look of the table? Do you like the fabric I decided on for the cushions? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you to everyone who’s viewed and pinned this post! Here are some answers to a few of your frequently asked questions:

-The paint we used is Clark+Kensington paint and primer in one, in Ultra White (available at Ace Hardware stores)
-The stain we used is Minwax Gel Stain in Hickory
-We did not use a sealant on the table or chairs, but I would recommend doing so. In the time since I originally posted this project, the chairs and table legs have gotten pretty scuffed up.

If you have any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments!


  1. Really love this look! I've been searching for dining chairs but haven't found any yet. I really don't want to buy brand new when I know that there has to be some nice used ones out there. I'm sure it'll be worth the wait once I find them.
    I'm in love with your colour scheme. I have the chic red/gold from a decade ago and I'm itching to change it. So much to do, so little time lol.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much Tamara! I totally agree with you about searching for dining chairs. It can take a while but I think it's completely worth it to get a quality chair for less than you would pay for a crappy chair from a big box store, plus you get the chance to personalize it with your favorite paint and/or fabric! Good luck with the search, I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for :-)

  2. Gorgeous makeover! love it.
    What brand of white paint did you use? Im currently repainting a dresser with BM Cloud White and not super impressed w the coverage results. Your white looks great!
    xo Wendy

  3. Looks fantastic. What did you do to the table top? Paint or stain?

  4. Wow, that is beautiful. What sealer did you use on the table top?

    1. We didn't use a sealer on any of it because we were on a time crunch, but it's held up really well so far without one.

  5. Did you sand the entire table or just stain and paint?

  6. I finally found the perfect table and chair set to replicate this look! I would love tips on sanding and staining. Because my attempt number 1 did not look like your table top! What color and brand of stain did you use? Is it only one coat of stain? (not sure if you can even put multiple coats) clearly my first time staining! What color white paint! Any and all tips would be appreciated! LOVE LOVE this look :)

  7. What colors do you use on the table

  8. Super nice...I also bought a table and chairs similar to yours from craigslist...it's round though...I've been wanting to stain and paint it's vet just like that...i first saw that look on the show king of queens...I'll be working on my table in the next couple of weeks...how it comes out just as nice...

  9. Did you use a matte finish paint or a gloss finish?

  10. Hi: I need help deciding what to do about my table. I have one similar to yours with a dark wood top and the bottom is dark green. The chairs are dark green and we have just redone the cushions. All of the wood in our house and surrounding rooms are dark brown walnut so I can't go with white. Did you sand down that table in order to paint it as it looks shiny like mine. I would love to send you photos of mine if you'd care to help me decide. My email is judynieman@aol.com not the address above.

  11. Hello: Your table set looks great. On the chairs, what type of foam do you recommend using? I'm redoing 2 wood chairs, took the cane off the seats and would like to cushion them for the dining room. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

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  13. Just the exact look I am hoping to do for my dining table. Please elaborate The process for the table top. I would really appreciate it.

  14. There are many things to consider when you want to buy dining furniture. First, we need know how much space we have available and the capacity it should have. Next we look at style and comfort before we have a closer look at quality and price for our dining furniture. What you did here is a great idea.

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  15. It looks fantastic, I like the contrasted two colors.

  16. Love this!!! I have the EXACT same table and was looking for something relevant to changing it up and I am pretty sure this is it :)

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  19. Just curious about a time saver—chalk paint. Did you consider that or was there a specific reason you chose to sand , then paint the chairs? Asking because I bought chalk paint to do both chairs and base of table. I plan to stain the top. I love the seating design on your chairs and thinking of stenciling since mine are not upholstered.

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