DIY Table and Chairs

I have been in need of a table and chairs for the dining room for over a year. We (my boyfriend and I) were trying to buy the most important pieces of furniture first. My list included a couch, refrigerator, washer and dryer; while my boyfriend’s list was a flat screen 3D television. So once we completed both of our lists we decided to start looking for a dining room set. Everywhere we looked we found a lot of sets that were average. Nothing we really loved and they weren’t made of real wood, it was mostly particle board. Plus, they were so expensive!

After many failed attempts to find a set, a friend of mine told me to come look at a table she had. She rents out an apartment and the last guy to live there left the table for them to get rid of. The table did need some TLC but it wasn’t ready for the junkyard! So I decided to take on the task of refinishing and reupholstering the set! One table, four chairs, how much work could it be? All of these blogs did it in 4 easy steps, sand, prime, paint and seal. Well maybe it’s my inexperience but it took me a lot longer than I thought!

Here are the before:

IMG_3033 IMG_3031 IMG_3034 IMG_3032So as you can see it was a really nice table and chairs! All it needed was for someone to breathe some new light into it! Sorry I don’t have step by step pictures but I will do my best to explain how I did it all!

So here we go! I walked into Lowe’s not know a single thing about power tools or primer! So I ask the first guy I see and apparently he didn’t either. But he did find me someone who did! He walked me through everything and helped me get all the necessary supplies I would need for my project. I felt like we were in a commercial!

First I sanded the entire table with a Skil Power Sander and with Gator 1/4 sheets medium grade. I picked the 1/4 sheets because I didn’t want to cut the larger sheets, but for a cheaper price you can just get a larger sheet of sand paper and cut if yourself. Since I did not want to take the table down to the bare wood, I just sanded enough to get the sealant off.  I was planning on painting the table, not staining it. There is a huge difference. The stain goes into the wood and soaks in, hence why you need that raw wood. The paint is a lot easier because it lays on top! So I took all of the finish off. I tried using the palm sander for the most part but there were times that I had to hand sand the nooks and crannies of the table. I focused mostly on the top of the table because that was were the majority of the damage was. If you have the same issue, run your hand over the table top to see if it is even, you will be able to tell! You’ll feel the dips in the table. Keep sanding until it is all even. Once I sanded the ENTIRE table, I took the cushions off the chairs and sanded them down as well. I went over the set again with a fine sand paper to finish everything off and give it an even look.

The next step is to prime the table. Don’t skimp on the primer. I used Zinsser and loved it. The point of the primer is protect and smooth the wood surface and also help the paint bond better! The only thing about primer is that is dries quickly and it is very thick. Now don’t think it dries instantaneously, but it is a different consistency from paint. I used Purdy Brushes for the primer, paint and the finisher. I had a 2.0 angled brush for the corners and smaller areas, like the slats in the chairs and I used a 3.0 brush the table top and legs. Make sure you cover every inch of the table and chairs because you want that consistent look.

Once the primer dried I started to paint. I don’t know too much about DIY so I don’t want to recommend a paint type. I honestly just walked into Lowe’s and picked out several colors I liked. I did not look at the brand, which I’m is making some people cringe! I painted several coats to make sure I had the coverage I wanted. So after painting each one of those little slats and making sure each corner was covered, I was ready to add the finish!

I never worked with any of this before so I was so nervous! I do all this work and what if I mess up now?? So first off if you are using any type of Polyurethane work in a very well ventilated area! It is extremely potent and tacky while drying. So if you work in your home lay tarps down and open your windows and doors! I used Minwax. It goes on easily but it is watery so drips and runs can happen if you aren’t careful. Another thing about Polyurethane has an amber tint to it so if you are painting with white it will give it a semi yellow tint.

Lastly I reupholstered the chairs. WARNING! I did need help with this portion of the project. I did not take off the original fabric because I was unsure if I would be able to get it back on properly. So cleaned the seat covers and put down white muslin. The original fabric was a corduroy material so it was textured, the muslin helped smooth out everything. Then I added on my material. I decided to go with two chairs on pattern, two chairs another. I originally wanted all four to be different but they didn’t have four in that color pallet. I then screwed the cushion back on, ( I used a power drill to do this portion) and my seats were complete!

So here is the finished product! If you have any questions just shoot me an email at !

IMG_3783 IMG_3785

IMG_3782Tag your instagram DIY to #TOGdiy and show us all of your “made with love” projects!

Until next time,xoxo


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