Dining Table Makeover, Take One

Alrighty folks, the post you’ve been anxiously awaiting (in my mind you’ve been on the edge of your seats) is finally here! I finished my dining set!!  Okay so I realize that some of you have never even heard of said dining set, so allow me to catch you up to speed.

You see, I bought this dining set at a local thrift store a couple of weeks ago:


Ain’t she a beauty? SUPER fabulouuuus!  Love love loved it and had to have it, called hubby and convinced him why I we had to have it.  Hello, it was ONLY $85!!

Brought it home a couple of days later (fabulous cell pic):

A little full!

You might be saying, “But didn’t you just redo a set of dining room chairs??” Yes I did.  I still love them, however they are not very sturdy at. all.  I still have them for extra seating because they are pretty. I was able to sell my glass-top table for $75 on Craig’s List. (Which made this set really $10!)

My initial thought for this set was that I would stain the table top dark/espresso to help bring my very open concept dining/living/kitchen together since my living room has two dark pieces. One of them is my desk:


May I have your attention: My desk is no longer black…see the makeover HERE.

I also recovered that DESK CHAIR. See how I did that HERE.

Then I was going to paint the base of the table and the chairs Annie Sloan’s Old White to match my hutch.

Then, because I wasn’t really feeling the stain idea after I brought it home, I dreamed up the most fabulous paint treatment in my head. That’s it…new plan. You know how you just get a feeling when something feels right? Does that happen to you?

Well I shared my plan with my mom and my MIL who unanimously agreed I should stain the table. They have gorgeous, elegant homes and great taste, so I did it. I stained the table.

Plus, I could already see in my head, people lined up for miles to tell me how I ruined it by painting it. (And me exclaiming, “But it was only $85, people!”)

Here she is after her espresso stained make-over:

Dining room table makeover with Minwax Polyshades in Espresso

I shared how I removed the original stain without sanding in this post.

I am including a few affiliate links so you can see the products I used. Read my full disclosure here.

To stain, I applied two coats of Minwax Polyshades in Espresso, using a stain-friendly brush.  I applied it probably a lot thicker than I should have and so it went on very opaque. I lost all the beautiful wood grain. (At first I was very disappointed by that since I worked really hard to take it back down to the beautiful bare wood, but after two years, it does still look really pretty.) This is a stain and poly in one, so there is no need for a sealer. I would also recommend using a wood conditioner first so the stain is absorbed evenly.

If you want to see the beautiful wood grain showing through, I would recommend applying a separate stain and poly.

Espresso stain

I love the chairs and I sat in all six to make sure they were sturdy and yep, tight as a drum! If you come across a set of chairs that are the slightest bit wobbly, pass on them.


See how clean that chair cushion is? You can tell how beautifully  maintained this set was.

There were a  LOT of nooks and crannies to paint (twice), sand, wax, and buff with six chairs, but oh so worth it!

Painting Dining Room Chairs with Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint


Painting Dining Room Chairs with Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint

To find fabric for the seats, I searched high and low and ended up ordering some online. It was really awful. Guess what I ended up using?

Draperies from HomeGoods are perfect for covering dining room chairs!

Drapery Panels! I found these at Homegoods for $29.99! Perfect!

Draperies from HomeGoods are perfect for covering dining room chairs!


Dining Chair Piping..so easy to do!

I love how the piping gives such a finished, tailored feel to the chairs. Do you know how easy it is to do? You don’t even have to sew if you don’t want to. I’ll do a quickie tutorial in a future post if anyone is interested.

Update: Presto! You can see it HERE now! I’m magic like that.

Dining Chair Piping..so easy to do!

I can’t get enough of the curved detail on the back of these chairs:


Allright, enough gushing about the chairs…

Maybe just one more picture…




Dining room table makeover with Minwax Polyshades in Espresso


There is only one small, teeny, tiny, itty bitty problem. I don’t love it. There I said it.  I do love the set and I can’t get enough of the chairs ooh la la delicious!

It is still pretty, it’s just that I was so excited to start my new plan, but chose to play it safe. I am going to live with it…for a while.


For now this table still allows our family to gather together for dinner. It still provides a landing spot for junk mail and groceries. And it still gives Brennan a place to stack nearly every toy in the immediate vicinity.

But don’t be surprised if you see it again sooner than you think. There’s a reason this post is titled, “Dining Room Table Makeover, Take One”!

Update: Although I wasn’t very excited about the results at first, I must confess that I totally love it now! I think it was tough going from a glass-top table to a really dark table, but I really do love it now, and has held up beautifully! 🙂

Dining Room Evolution from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

This photo is from a recent post of my Dining Room Evolution. It has come a long long way! See more photos and where it all started HERE.

And if you missed the super easy chair piping tutorial,  you can view it HERE.

And how about and update of an update?? We moved in August of 2017, and this set went through yet another update:

That was how it looked at Christmas, but as you can see the body of the table and the chairs got a new coat of fresh white paint, and the chairs got some new fabric! See more in my “Christmas in the Dining Room” post HERE. 🙂



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  1. I feel the same way about my kitchen table- I actually love the table and not crazy about the chairs. I need to realize it’s ok to change it up. Even though my husband will probably give me “the look” when I tell him I want different chairs, I know I will be much happier when I find what I love. Happy Wife, Happy Life! 🙂

    • Oh that’s so true! If mama ain’t happy …lol! I’m definitely going to paint mine eventually. It’s really just too dark for that small space. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  2. I really love your table! In fact, I’m thinking of doing the same thing with a table I inherited from my mom (just a little apprehensive to paint, then not like it and then I can’t go back!) Did you sand the top and then stain? I think it looks wonderful but you’re right…..a little sanding and she’s got a new life!~~Angela

    • Hi Angela,
      I used Minwax Antique Furniture Restorer(found at Home Depot near the stains) and very fine 0000 steel wool. It removes the finish without sanding although it took a bit of elbow grease. That way I didn’t lose any of the table from sanding. The bare wood was gorgeous. Now the stain is so dark you can’t see the wood grain, plus I used a poly and stain in one which I do not reccomend. Overall, it looks amazing compared to before…just a bit too dark for that small space. I think wood is gorgeous, but paint can really give new life to a piece. Good luck with whatever you decide! 🙂

      • Hi!!! I am trying to stain a table, I wanted to be dark like yours. I am using expresso polyshades, do you think it would work or should I just paint it with black latex? please help so fart the talble is jus a bit dark not dark at all.. so sad

        • Are you using a cloth or a brush? If you are using a cloth, you will need to apply several coats to achieve the darkness you want. I used a brush so it went on a bit thicker. I think you will be happier if you persevere with the stain verses painting it black. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

        • Also even using a brush, you may need to apply a couple of coats. Let them dry in between each coat.

  3. ..I have almost this exact set… and it was my intention when it was procured to actually paint it ..very similar to yours. that was last year.. Its half done..* laughing * and while I , like you..dont ‘ love it’..it works for now. I just has a lot of other projects , along with the dining set, that the finishing it was put on a ‘ hold pattern’.. I will get it finished asap..its time. * she smiles*

  4. Wow! It is so gorgeous!!!!

  5. Dining set make-overs can be so challenging – I have “an attempt” that is now in the storage area. But you have such a good eye for the possibilities – and this is gorgeous! I do love the chairs A LOT – and while the photographs are lovely, yes, the table top may be a bit too dark. But before you go and invest all the time it takes to sand it and paint it, play around with some lighter and colorful accessories and see if you like it better. You may want it darker for the winter and choose to lighten it up next spring. 🙂 Beautiful work, as always!

    • Yes, Chris I agree about it being a bit dark. I have plan B, but I need a break from this table just for a little while ha ha! Thanks for the encouraging words, they are so appreciated!! 🙂

  6. Christy…those chairs looks just amazing! I can’t get over the change and how genius of you to use drapery panels for the seats. Love it! Pinning and can’t wait for the next part! Have a happy Saturday and a great weekend!

    • Thanks so much for your sweet comments, as always! You have a great weekend too! 🙂

      • I love the dining set makeover. I was thinking too, there is something missing — maybe a black and white print fabric on the chairs to tie in the rest of your room. Just a thought, but wonderful job.

        • That’s funny, the fabric I originally ordered online was a black damask print, but it was too busy. That’s why I ended up with more of a neutral. Thanks for weighing in, though! I so appreciate your advice! Come back to see take two…it’s going to be fantastic! 🙂

  7. I wold love a tutorial on the piping you did on the chairs. I have changed the fabric on several chairs but never been brave enough to attempt that lovely finishing touch. Hope you find the time to do this, and thanks in advance.

  8. You did an amazing job, and certainly a great find for $85! We have an oak dining room set that is about 15 years old. It’s still a good sturdy set, but good use a sprucing up. I would love to paint it white and distress it, but my husband is having none of it! Doesn’t want the oak covered, so I’m thinking of just re-staining it. Maybe if I let him leave the top oak, he’d let me paint the rest?

    Oh, and yes, I would love to see your tutorial on piping. I’m also too afraid to attempt it!

    • Thanks, Laurie! I think he might go for it if you leave some wood or maybe he would let you restain the whole piece darker to freshen it up? And the piping is stupid easy, wait and see! Sometimes when you see how something is done, you can’t believe how simple it is! 🙂

  9. So well done! It’s beautiful!

  10. Christy, your “new” dining set is beautiful! Those chairs are amazing and the table is very pretty too, the stained top looks really good but I know how is it, when we’re not completely happy about something! Take your time, enjoy that look for awhile and then go for what you really want!

  11. i love the table and chairs…i had the same thought in my head for my new set…i traded an $800 set for one that was $110 at my local thrift store…its similar in design to yours but smaller in size…right now my dining room has been empty for almost 3 months because i can’t get the time to do my own things…hopefully soon though…

    • Girl, you need to take some time for you! Easier said than done right? A dining set is a LOT of work! Thank goodness for this blog of mine which pushed me to get it done. Otherwise I probably would have dragged it out forever! Thanks for visiting, Ashley! 🙂

  12. Gorgeous dining table. You did a great job. Love how it looks now! Pinning it.


  13. Simply outstanding – had to show my husband how glorious this is. I too would love a tutorial on piping. I’ve sewn for years and think I have an easy peasy one, but I’d love to see yours. Thanks!

  14. Thing One: LOVE the table! Top and all. But I understand YOU have to love it so do whatever the heck makes you happy. Thing Two: You are totally not showing up in my Bloglovin feed! You were for awhile, but not now. I still get you by e-mail so at least there’s that. Thing Three: Piping tutorial? Yes please! As long as it doesn’t involve tobacco… 😛


    • Good thing I have you to keep me posted when things aren’t working right! I need to check out bloglovin and see what’s going on. I’m still bummed that you can’t respond to my comments! Working on the piping tutorial today! 🙂

  15. Well, I LOVE it! I wish I could convince my husband to let me make-over our dining room set! I would want it similar to yours! Until then I have to make due with table runners – LOL!


    • Thanks, Julia! I appreciate your sweet comment!! I had to get rid of my husband’s glass table to bring this one in. (I played the safety card…”What if it breaks with our three year old running around!”) lol!

  16. Love the look of your dining set. Honestly I would love to see a tut on no-sew piping! Sometimes I really dislike sewing. Can’t wait to see take two.
    Have a great day.

  17. $85.00 NO WAY!! You did an awesome job! I love it….great idea for the fabric for the chairs. Stopping by from cozy little house today. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Beautiful set, but I don’t think it is the dark table I think it is the rug! Try it without the rug or with a lighter colored one, it will make a huge difference. Good luck.

  19. Absolutely gorgeous. What a wonderful makeover. Thanks for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  20. Hi Christy! I’m visiting from The Scoop today! Thanks for sharing that the poly/stain in one isn’t a product you would recommend. I figured you wouldn’t have the “control” on the amount of stain and it seems that’s why you don’t like this project so much! I’m looking forward to “take two” and the piping tutorial! Thank you ! June

    • Yes, June, that is the case…you don’t have as much control with the two in one product. I’m looking forward to take two also lol! The piping tutorial just went up yesterday. Thanks for the visit! 🙂

  21. I can’t help but giggle when you said if it weren’t for the blog everything would be unfinished!! That is SO my motto, and hence my blog’s name! Everything in my house is half finished!!

    I LOVE this dining room! I’m sure with time you will come to love it fully as you had planned to from the start! Amazing job!

    Kate @ Uniquely Undone

    • Oh, that statement is SO true!! Anything “blogable” (new word lol) gets done, but don’t ask about all of the home repair projects!! Thanks so much for the kind words! 🙂

  22. WOW, what a great find! I LOVE those chairs. The table is nice too, but I think the top is too dark. I would sand it down a bit to lighten it a bit and allow some wood to show thru. It would still have some of the stain left, only distressed. Then put a clear wax on it.

  23. Wowzers this looks amazing. I love the contrast of the stained to and painted bottom. Really looks so beautiful! Come link up to Centerpiece Wednesday and share your post http://thestylesisters.blogspot.com/2013/08/centerpiece-wednesday-88.html

  24. It is very pretty! But really? Piping is easy? Ok, you’re going to have to show me for me to believe it! I do like the way you did the table but I get the playing it safe and not following your instincts. So, go for it! It will still be fabulous only you will be happier when you look at it. 🙂

    • See? I told you piping is easy! I slip-covered a set of Parson’s chairs about eight months ago and still haven’t put together a tutorial because it is NOT easy! I’d rather share how simple some sewing projects are! Thanks for the thumb’s up on painting the table and I’m so glad you are following along!! XO 🙂

  25. YES, please do a tutorial on the seat cushions. The set is fabulous… I’m about to do the same thing to my craigslist purchase. I will wait to re-do the cushions until after I see your tutorial. I purchased drop cloth for the cushions but am now thinking of looking for some curtain panels. EXCELLENT….

  26. I love this set and the way you redid it. That was a steal of a bargain. Don’t curtain panels make great upholstery fabric? Good to see someone else with the same idea.

  27. It did turn out very nice. I am sure it be bring great enjoyment! Dianntha

  28. This makeover is absolutely AMAZING!! I love how it turned out!!
    Again, so glad you posted all of your links at “Best Of The Weekend”. Pinning!

  29. I think it’s gorgeous, but I don’t think you’re crazy at all for wanting to keep going until you find something you LOVE. 🙂 And I wanted to let you know that you were featured at Give Me the Goods Monday. I look forward to seeing what you link up tomorrow!

    Rachel @ Maison de Pax

    • You are so awesome! I am living with my table for now because it really is pretty, just a bit dark for the small space (to me). I’ve got something fun to link up tomorrow! See you there…and thank you!! XO

  30. What a great find! You did such an amazing job on the makeover!! You will be one of the features for the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog. Hope to see your prettiness again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    • I just replied to your party, but I’ll say it here too…thanks SO much for including me with all those pretty features! I’m doing a little happy dance 🙂

  31. Great update!

  32. Here are you thinking the table top is too dark and I was going to suggest that you do the top of the hutch dark to match — although you’d have to strip the paint off cuz you can’t stain over paint. I like the idea of one of the posters above – remove the dark area rug and see how it looks. I do think you need something in your dining room to tie-in to the darker wood pieces in your living room since the areas are open to each other. Honestly, I love your table, I think it is absolutely stunning and beautiful with the dark top contrasted with the white base and the white chairs. But of course it’s your home and you have to surround yourself with decor that makes you happiest, not what’s on trend or what anyone else likes! I actually have been thinking about painting the base of my round table a creamy white color, maybe doing the chairs too and lightening up on the upholstery. Your redo is a good inspiration.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jan! I appreciate your input! The table may be growing on me a tiny bit. I used to have a glass table here before this one, so this one feels like a big black hole to me in comparison. I’m going to live with it for a little while. Paint is a great way to give a piece of furniture a new life, I’d go for it if you want to try something new with your set 🙂

  33. Honestly I love it. $85 is a steal and you could probably sell it for 10x more. I will be featuring this tonight at my Sizzle into Summer party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I’ve Been Featured button. Thanks.

    • Thanks SO much, Judy!! I couldn’t pass this up for $85! It had been sitting there for over a month, that’s why it was reduced. I couldn’t believe it!I also sold my old glass table for $75 on CL which paid for the materials to revive it. I really appreciate the feature! 🙂

  34. Featuring your beautiful table at tonights {Homemade By You} party! I hope you will join in on the fun again!

  35. I highlighted your awesome dining room table makeover tonight for centerpiece Wednesday!

  36. Maggie Fieger says

    I have close to the same set, and it was my parents and they would probably roll over in their graves if I paint it but I still can’t decide. I really like what you did with it. Coincidentally, I am working on the chairs and using curtain panels from World Market! Also coincidentally, our office is also in the living room because it was a waste of space and now it’s regularly used. It is also open to the dining room across the entry hall!

    • So funny…all the similarities! We had an office before we had our last child, and I do miss it, but I also like being close to everyone instead of holed up in the office by myself. As far as making a decision about the dining set, maybe they would just be happy you still have it and treasure it…even if its painted. 🙂

  37. What a beautiful set and I so think your painting it was a fabulous idea. It is so very nice and I must admit I am a little jelly. It is beautiful. Hugs, Beverly

  38. Wow – gorgeous! I am painting some old chairs with white chalk paint right now to freshen up our dining room. I love the way your chairs and table base look with the espresso top. Fabulous lines!!

  39. Your chairs looks amazing. I want to have chairs like these in my dining room.

  40. I have a similar set and also want to paint the table and the chairs white. I’m still considering to paint the top a lighter brown or maybe a poppy turquoise, but we’ll see. Your post will help me get it done, thanks!

  41. Just bought a beautiful table and 6 chairs from the local Salvation Army and thinking about giving it a makeover. I have been reading a lot about Chalk & Milk paint – what would you recommend using for my table (it will go on our cover patio)? It will be fairly protected from the elements but it will be outside.

    Thanks for any tips/suggestions you may regarding this project.
    Nana Rinny

    • Hi Nana,
      The chalk paint should do perfectly fine outdoors as long as you don’t use wax to seal it. I don’t think the wax would hold up too well under extreme temperatures. I would seal it with a polyacrylic (it’s water based). Good luck on your project, I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂

  42. I love your table! I love dark wood. I think it’s perfect! And the detailing on those chairs is magnificent. I’m gushing now. I’m so glad you shared this at Throwback Thursday.

  43. christy, it’s awesome. and my favorite image is of your son with the ‘before’ in transport. hilarious!

    hope you’ll have a moment to stop by and see what i have been creating: http://hellolovelyinc.blogspot.com/2013/11/new-art-giveaway.html

    smiles to you.

    hello lovely

  44. Christy, I really think you should make a trip to NC and I will give you free room and board and you can re-do my icky oak dining set for me. Seeing you set wants me swoon.

    Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.


  45. I LOVE what you did with it Christy! I’ve had an antique set in my garage for over a year and have not bothered to start working on it yet… I’m feeling motivated now though! Stopping by from Throwback Thursday. 🙂

  46. Christy this is my featured pick at this week’s Throwback Thursday- Congrats!

  47. I did the exact same table makeover ( and chairs ) loved yours then – love it now – and LOVE that photo in the car LMHO
    Came by from Glitter Glue and Paint

  48. sharon Irons says

    Visited Thowback Thursday and saw your transformed dining set. It is beautiful. I so agree with you about taking the time to add welting to the fabric seat covers. It creates a finished quality that looks professional, instead of a quick do at home job.

  49. I missed this when you posted it but am circling back around after reading about it on one of your other posts! And OH MY GOSH. You lucked out!!! I just picked up 6 more chairs for my dining set and painted and upholstered them. But they are still not what I really want! lol (my poor hubby) That set is amazing. I never see anything like that over here on this side of the water…for that kind of price! 😉
    It’s beautiful, love what you did with it too.


    • Thanks, Nancy! This set had been sitting there for over a month, that’s why I got it so cheap! Can you believe that? Redoing chairs is SO much work…I’ll be keeping this set for a while 🙂

  50. I love your dining room set – you’ve inspired me to not look past an older set but to see it’s potential!!

    • Thanks, Vanessa! I wasn’t in the market for a set when I saw this one, but I couldn’t pass it up. I had to sweet talk my hubby before I made the purchase since I would need his help picking it up. He thought I was crazy! XO

  51. hi there! I love your dining set you did an excellent job!! just i have a question. How many panels did you use to replace the seat chairs? thanks!

  52. Jennifer Blake says

    Thank you for sharing this. I have my grandparents’ dining table from when they got married over 70 years. It’s seen a lot of love and of course abuse from my children. My husband wants to get rid of it and get something else. I’m not ready to part with it. Now that I’ve seen this, I have a plan. The top of the table is in excellent shape. I think I will leave it as is. I just need to refinish the base and chairs. Wish me luck!

  53. This is what I want to do someday soon. We are moving into a new home in a couple of months and our new dining room is huge. I told hubby we can find an old DR table and chairs on craigslist or somewhere, and I would love to re-do it just like yours. What exactly did you use for the espresso brown stain? This post is a keeper and I will need to use it for reference. Thank you!!

    • I’m so glad you like it, Bev! I love the idea of refurbishing an older set, including all the money you’ll save. I used Minwax Polyshades in expresso, BUT I would highly recommend using a separate stain and polyurethane. The two-in-one product creates and opaque finish that obscures the beautiful wood grain. Using separate products will give you a more beautiful finish. How exciting to being moving into a new home, good luck! 🙂

  54. The dark brown and white on this dining table look gorgeous together. Good job

  55. Clever Blonde - Donna G says

    Well. I just. Love. It. A yr ago I would have been first in line to say no to paint but wow it looks great. Is a lighter coloured table top Take Two? Just found your blog. New Follower

    • Thanks, Donna! I had a pattern I originally wanted to paint on the top, which is lighter. However my mom and MIL both agreed I should stain it, so I did but I am actually really happy with it now. I may reconsider my original plan later on. I love new followers. So excited you found me! 🙂

  56. Looks beautiful! Can I ask – how did you go about painting the base? Did you sand? Also, what color paint did you use? I actually just got a table and I would love to do mine similar to yours 🙂

    • Thanks, Rose! I used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Old White for the base and the chairs. There is no prior sanding required with chalk paint. 🙂

  57. Everything looks gorgeous!

  58. melissa W says

    love the JOY sign in the background if your dining room. I would love to know his I can get one just like it!

  59. This is literally EXACTLY what I’ve been wanting to do with my old hand-me-down dining set for the last year or so…it’s just hard to find the space for a project like this in an apartment with no garage and a laughably small yard! How long would you say this took you for just the table? And you used chalk paint on the base and then restorer/stain on the top? SO ADORABLE.

    • Hi Sarah… so glad you like my dining set! I was able to remove the old stain and restain the same day. I did use a stain and poly in one though. It was a time saver, but not exactly the look I wanted since none of the woodgrain shows through. I would use a stain and a separate poly for the top, which might add a day for dry time. Painting the table legs took another day. So this is totally doable in just a few days. The chairs were much more time-consuming because of all the detail. I did use chalk paint for the base and stain for the top. Hope this helps! XO

  60. I bought a new set and was thinking of doing the exact thing you’ve done except the stain. The color on the top of my table is what I had in mind already luckily. I am curious tho what your other plan was?

    • Okay it’s our secret…I wanted to do a tone on tone harlequin pattern on the top. Maybe ivory and tan? I loved the vision, but I’m happy with the decision I made. If I ever want to lighten it up, maybe I’ll reconsider. 🙂

  61. I want to redo my table set like this but don’t think I can get the top sanded to stain it. Do you have any suggests to paint the top brown?

  62. Hi! your dining set it unbeleivable! Wow! I wish mine will look like yours. Can you tell me how may litres of chalk paint you need for a complete set? Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks, Mary-Ann! I purchase Annie Sloan paint by the quart, not sure how that translates into litres. I used one quart plus about 1/8 of another. One was just barely not enough. 🙂

      • Love the transformation, including the dark top-just the inspiration I was looking for to rejuvenate my 80’s dining room set. Did you use the chalk paint for the china cabinet as well? Also, did you use just one color of chalk paint? How many coats did it take?

        • Hi Louanne and Thank you! I did use the same paint for the china cabinet. It’s Annie Sloan’s Old White chalk paint. I used two coats for the chairs and three coats for the cabinet. A couple of knots in the pine of the cabinet have started to show through, but other than that the whole set is holding up fantastically! Good luck on your set. 🙂

  63. I LOVE the look of your table. I got one that’s a similar shape for $20 about a year ago. However, mine has a vanneer top and it’s got a little warping to it where the leaf would go. I have toyed with the idea of trying to fix it then paint it but for the price I paid, I could re-sell it for the same price and get something more solid and stain it like you did. I’m liking that second option!

    • Thanks, Ashley! That’s the great thing about getting a good deal on something…you don’t lose a lot if it doesn’t work out, right? Good luck in your search!

  64. thank you for this tutorial! i love how your dining set turned out! I’m in the process of refinishing my dining set! We bought are dining table 2 years ago with the intent to do something similar but then I talked myself out of it. Then I saw your post and regained confidence. 🙂 One question. I found these drapes that I think are super cute and wanted to copy your idea of using drapes to upholster. I was just wondering how many panels you used to do all your chairs. Was is just 2?

  65. kristen Foster says

    Hi, I am thinking about doing something similar. So did you paint the bottom white first and then stained the top last? I’m trying to figure out the best way.

  66. Hi, beautiful work. I’m tackling an oak table and chairs, going to leave seats re stained, i took a couple hours priming base of table and one chair, (advice of paint store) Now as I go forward, should I mask tape the base of spindles as I paint spindles, otherwise it will take forever? I would include a picture if I could, thank you for your time

    • Thank you, Diane! Taping the spindles off would probably be a good idea. If you want to try a couple without taping to see how it goes, just keep a wet washrag nearby to wipe up any paint that ends up where it isn’t suppose to. Good luck!

  67. Hi,

    I found the material I absolutely love that will go well with my Villa Della Luna dinnerware and serving set. However, the material is very thin. What do you recommend? Can I add something to the back of the material?

    Thank you

  68. Hi,

    I found the material for my dining chairs I absolutely love that will go well with my Villa Della Luna dinnerware and serving set. However, the material is very thin. What do you recommend? Can I add something to the back of the material?

    Thank you

    • Hi Bobbi! If you are trying to cover an existing pattern on your chairs, I would recommend maybe covering with a solid muslin fabric first to help cover. As far as it being too thin to hold up, it depends on how much wear your dining chairs will get. You don’t really need a heavy duty fabric if they are only used occasionally.

  69. Liz Oliver says

    I absolutely love your table and chairs makeover. I would like to know if you did anything special to get the table top extra shiny.

    • Thank you! I think I answered on Instagram, but the Polyshades stain by Minwax that I used includes a top coat. I didn’t do anything in addition to that. 🙂

  70. Hello! I think the set looks lovely! I’m totally going to try this on our set. If you don’t reccomend the poly shades what should I try? I’m not familiar with staining but I’m not afraid to try! Do they have ebony stain then do I do a clear satin poly on top? Do you reccomend just a very dark brown stain? What would you do different what products exactly?

    • Thanks, Crissy! I liked that the Polyshades was a two in one product, but I could not see the actual wood grain underneath because it was so dark, but I also put it on super thick. That was also one of my first staining experiences. I have had better success since using a separate stain and poly. I don’t believe Minwax sells the Espresso color in the regular stains, but they have one called Jacobean that I believe is similar. I also love Dark Walnut which I used recently on this table makeover: https://www.confessionsofaserialdiyer.com/oval-library-table-makeover/ After my table was prepped/sanded, I applied a wood conditioner (helps the wood to take the stain more evenly), then applied the stain with a cloth going with the grain of the wood. (Add more coats to darken.) Then after it was completely dry, I used Wipe-On Poly in Satin, also applied with a clean cloth. I share all of that including links to the products in that post. Hope this helps! Good luck on your set! 🙂

  71. Looks great! How many quarts did you need of the chalk paint?

  72. I am refinishing a dinning set and going for a look similar to this, just a slightly lighter color for the table top. I was wondering, did you put any of the stain on your chairs before painting them white? I love how you distressed them and how there is the little dark contrast in the grooves!

  73. Tracy Pfeiffer says

    Beautiful! Did you sand and paint the legs and the chairs? Or can you just paint over the previous stain/glaze?

  74. Great idea! The back covers look perfect on your chairs and with your room.

  75. I love the end result. I think the silver accent pieces modernize the set. The rug also makes it pop. Thumbs up

  76. Hi there! I absolutely love the table! I am thinking of doing the same to mine very soon. Just want to make sure I have the correct steps…
    1. sand with steel wool and the minwax furniture refinisher
    2. use minwax pre-stain wood conditioner
    3. use minwax finish wood-expresso

    Would I need to use a sealer? If so, what would you recommend?
    Thanks, Emily

    • Hi Emily! I used Minwax Polyshades which has a polyurethane mixed in. The only issue I have is that you can’t see the wood grain through the finish. The polyshades kind of sits on top instead of being absorbed by the wood. That is from the built-in sealer. If that’s okay with you, go for it. It has held up really well. Here is another option in this post which uses a separate stain and sealer: https://www.confessionsofaserialdiyer.com/oval-library-table-makeover/ Good luck!

  77. Hi’ I know you post this a few years ago but I’m going to do this with baby blue instead of white, and the top espresso from minwax polyshades, but I have a huge question: did you use satin espresso or gloss espresso?
    I’m already purchased the satin espresso but I want to make sure I have the right one
    You do a lovely work and you inspire so many people.


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