Table And Chairs Revamped!

Refurbishing furniture is one of those hobbies that I wish I did more often. I have only tried it a couple of times, but I just love how a worthless piece of furniture can suddenly be transformed into a beautiful masterpiece that demands your full attention when you walk into the room. I also like to think that I am giving life back into a piece that is precariously toying with death. Furniture death, that is. This post is quickly getting morbid.

Dining table and chairs revamp

Here is a piece that I did a while back. It's a dining room set - table and chairs. I purchased the whole package for $20 on Craigslist. (Craigslist is just like thrift stores and garage sales - you have to sift through a whole lot of junk before you stumble upon real treasure.) This table is a real beauty. I am a sucker for antique-style furniture. And when I saw the curves and the detailing on the legs, I knew I had to have it. Not to mention the adorable tiny drawer! It has so much character! Even though we already had a perfectly good dining room set, I knew I had to get this table and fix it up.

Table and chairs refurbishing

$20 is pretty amazing for all of that, but boy was it in rough shape. The pictures don't do it justice. It was depressing. Crayon scribbles everywhere. Large, deep gashes randomly throughout the surface. Even chunks missing here and there. It had definitely been through battle and nearing the end of its life. And that's when I enter. Stage right. Sander in hand.

Furniture sanded before refurbishing

Warning: Please check for lead paint before you attempt to do this step. Inhaling dusty paint chips is bad enough without adding poisonous lead. Also, wear a face mask and goggles. Place a drop cloth under your piece before continuing.

This is after I sanded the first layer off. I just tried to sand it down so that the chipped layer of paint was fairly even and smooth. This definitely took some time because I was dumb and too lazy to buy an electric sander, so I did the entire thing by hand. What a poor decision.

Refurbishing furniture-table top

This is the surface up close after the initial sanding. You can see one of the major gashes really well here. There were very deep cuts and chunks missing throughout the surface. So I had to sand the whole table top down pretty deep in order to have a smooth, even surface. This is exactly where the electric sander would have come in handy.

After it was sanded down, I took a damp cloth and wiped all of the paint dust off of the surfaces. You can also use a tack cloth to clean. You want to make sure the surface is clean so that the paint adheres well. You also want to wait for the furniture to be completely dry before applying paint. 

Dining table and chairs revamped2

Then start painting! I applied 4 or 5 coats, letting it completely dry in between each application. This may take a few days to complete. I also painted the chairs black, applying 4 to 5 coats. (I love the contemporary look of dining chairs not matching the dining table exactly.) Make sure you don't become overzealous and glop on too much paint at one time. You will have major drip-age and the end result will look messy. Apply multiple thin coats.

Dining chair refurbished

Finally, apply a couple coats of polyurethane or any other protective sealant. Please be warned that if you are painting your furniture white you need specific types of polyurethane or another sealant made for white paint. I made the mistake of putting regular polyurethane on the table, and within a day the whole thing was tinted yellow! It was so frustrating. I had to sand the whole thing down again (and those detailed, spiral legs are NOT easy to sand) and repaint. If you are using white paint, please learn from my mistake!

Dining table and chairs refurbished

Again, the end result. The original plan was to reupholster the chairs with a chic, modern fabric that ties in the white and black. But we'll see if that actually happens any time soon. I am very happy with my $20 dining room set. It has character and charm. And I can say that I gave it new life. Now it has a happy home and many more years of use.

What do you think? 
Have you ever given new life to an old piece of furniture?


  1. Oh my gosh - SO gorgeous!!! I love the black & cream together and your styling with the soft pink flowers is sp pretty. Amazing job!

  2. What an amazing deal! And it came out so lovely!

  3. Wow! That's a gorgeous makeover, and I also LOVE the detail on the legs. Beautiful!

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  4. LOVELOVELOVE!!!!! And as much as I love that dining set......please dont smack me.......the print you have over the table is awesome too....did you create that as well?

  5. Beautiful transformation. I love finding great deals on Craiglist..and you can't beat that price! Great job!


  6. i found you on fingerprints on the fridge party. and i have to say:

    thank you. thank you. thank you. i coated a piece down in poly a few years ago and it turned yellow as well. i figured i had done something wrong or gotten a bad batch. i just painted our table base and chairs and distressed them. i wanted to use poly on them but was afraid of the same results. i didn't know that they made some specifically for white paint. will definitely look for that. once i post the final, will give you a linky-loo for that tip ;) am a new follower. stop by and say hi if you ever get the time.

  7. I am flabbergasted and impressed. It's beautiful, you did a great job and soooo persistant (especially with sanding by hand, all that painting and then having to do the table all over again because it turned yellow - wow!). And I cannot believe you sanded it by hand. *dropped jaw**

  8. I refinished a dresser that had been my husbands when he was a boy and was also his dad's when he was a boy as well. We were getting ready to have a little girl and needed a dresser for her. I sanded it down (it took 3 steps: course, medium and fine) and then painted it white with a primer/paint combo. It was SO much work but well worth it. I LOVED the end result. Thanks for the idea to look for furniture on CL and give it a new life. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how your table and chairs turned out!!!

  9. I recently refurbished a dining table (not the chairs), and boy was it a lot of work! I am impressed with how beautifully yours looks! Way to go!

  10. i just wanted to let you know that i just finished my post on my table and chair redo. i put a link to you in this post since you mentioned the poly made for white paint! thanks again! andie

  11. Love the tables and chairs!!

    Where did you get the picture above the table. I love it!

  12. Love it!! You did a wonderful job! I've learned the same sad lesson about Polyurethane and white paint! Now I just use the Polycrylic for light colored furniture.

  13. For those of your wondering where the picture above the table is from... it's a TGBC project that I did a while back. You can make one of your own!

    You can find the tutorial here:

  14. Wonderful! Those are the same chairs that I have right now and I'm so sick of the chips and yucky look.

  15. WOW!! Great chairs i have also shared chairs for you and i am very happy when you review me and my post.
    Thanks for post..

    Aeron Chair

  16. excellent points altogether, you just received brand new|a new} reader. What may you recommend in regards to your publish that you just made some days ago? Any sure?
    Bogs Women's Classic High Tuscany Rain Boot

  17. What color paint did you use for the table and chairs?

  18. Beautiful! Did u end up reupolstering the chairs?

  19. What color paint and brands did you use?

  20. Fabulous..the way you have decor-ed your room too amazing.. well your project sounds will be helpful to those who are interested in doing projects in this field..

    Home Furniture


We cherish your questions, comments, and love. If you're not a fan, why not find something you do love and leave some love there?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...