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The Dining Room Table and Chairs

I finally got the table and chairs done! I'm wondering why I waited so long to tackle them...I think it's because I couldn't decide if I really wanted to paint them or what color to use. But I absolutely love how they turned out.
Photo bombed by Missy the cat

Here's what I started with:

The finish was tacky in some spots and worn off in others.

We got this table and two chairs as a wedding gift 33 years ago. We bought two more chairs to finish the set. They were unfinished wood and the table has 2 leaves. Bruce wanted it to be Dark Walnut and I wanted Pecan. He won. :o) Thus the set ended up with a dark walnut stain. One leaf never quite matched - it was always a little lighter than the rest of the table.

Then I refinished it about 15 or more years ago. I tried to lighten the color but it didn't work. Eventually, we bought a bigger table and this one went up in the attic. Our son used it one year but it came back when he moved back home - again it went into storage.

But the big table wasn't comfortable so I sold it and we brought this one back into the dining room. I cleaned it and threw a tablecloth over it to hide the now yucky finish.

I finally decided it was time to tackle it and I got Bruce to help me take it out to the garage. I sanded the top, stained it Espresso (Minwax), added a second coat of stain, then sealed it with three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane.

The base and chairs got painted with a DIY chalk paint using Behr's Studio Taupe in a flat finish. I used white unsanded grout (2 TBLS of grout, 2 TBLS water mixed well then 1 cup of paint mixed in). It covers nicely and dries fast. A light distressing then clear and dark wax. Love it!

I'm so happy with how it turned out! It went from blah to wow and I love it all over again!
Here's the side by side comparison:

But wait! Why do the ends of the table have no chairs? Ah. I decided after all these years, we needed host chairs. Come back tomorrow and see what I used and to see the table decked out in all her Fall finery.

Sharing at these parties:
Vintage Charm 1
The Dedicated House Make It Pretty Monday
The Dedicated House Before and After Wednesday


  1. Love it! I love 'two tones' and like dark wood with light, so I love this. Can't wait to see what you use for host chairs too.

    1. Thank you! It turned out just the way I pictured it. I hope you come back tomorrow to see the host chairs. I'm getting ready to recover the seats this afternoon!

  2. You did a great job on the refinish. I love the color and distressing. Can't wait to see the host chairs :)

  3. You did a wonderful job on the table and chairs, I'll be back to see all your fall decor and host chairs!


  4. Oh, I am so envious, Cecelia! My dining room table is over 45 years old and is sticky, scratched and overall yucky! I've been on the fence about doing something to it and seeing your results have really inspired me. I love how yours look - you did an awesome job!

  5. That looks just GREAT. The top really took a finish beautifully! It just glows. Love the chairs and table base, too. Great job. I'll be back to see it all gussied up! xo Diana

  6. I know that was a whole lotta hard work. It looks fantastic!! This is exactly what I was considering doing to our dining room table and chairs. GREAT BIG table and 6 chairs. I left it as is and so far I'm happy with it. Time will tell!

    1. Susan,
      The table was actually pretty easy...the chairs, not so much. It is a lot of work which is one reason it took me so long to get around to doing it. I finally just made myself do it and I couldn't be happier with the outcome!

  7. Love it Cecilia! That's what I want to do to my table as well. I love the dark stained top and the lighter base! One day I will tackle mine! Can't wait to see tomorrow's post! Have a blessed Wednesday.

    Hugs, Vicky

  8. Oh Cecilia - it turned out just gorgeous ! And the dark stained table top was the perfect decision -
    I went backwards so I've seen the host chairs as well - what a beautiful job ( LOVE the fabric )
    Bruce must be so thrilled?

  9. Not sure if you remember but I stained my wood table a while ago and like you, love how it turned out. Your finish came out stunning! So smooth and such a lovely color! Isn't it nice to give new life to something that you've had for so long but we're never quite happy with? Now I'm sure you are, as you should be. It looks great, and the fabric chairs will be the crowning jewel.

  10. This is a great make over for your set. And you really want to be able to use things that you love. I also have one that looks similar and have been starting at it for months now, you just might inspire me to go for it!

  11. Hi Cecilia! :)
    Oh my gosh, it looks amazing...I love the color you chose and I have always loved the espresso stain, I have used that before.
    But what I love the most is that it was a set you got for a wedding gift, that is what means the most to me!
    Great job, it's gorgeous!

    1. I love the espresso stain too. It is richer than the walnut stain that was on the table before. We have really gotten lots of use out of ithe table and it is special to us. I'm glad I was able to give it new life. Thanks!

  12. Cecilia, you did such a great job--love the new color! Thanks so much for sharing your recreated project at Vintage Charm! Hugs, Cecilia

  13. Cecilia, it's gorgeous! The color is perfect! Thanks for sharing. You are one of the features at The Round-Up from the Before & After Wednesday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. Hope to see you again tonight at the party! Have a lovely rest of the week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

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  16. When it comes to the dining table there a lots of things that you need to consider. The size, the color to match the interior and how many persons that you want it to host. Good thing I found your post, it gives me an idea of what I really want.

    dining table and chairs


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