My Dining Room Table & Chairs–Painted White

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White painted dining room table and chairs at 11 Magnolia Lane
UPDATE:  Read about the book feature for this project {here}.

You all are stuck with me {Christy} for a few days, since Terry just had her baby boy on Saturday {CONGRATULATIONS!}, and Amy moved this weekend and is removing wallpaper borders, painting and unpacking {maybe we should all say a quick prayer for her?!}.  I just sent my beloved aunt and uncle on their way, after a very fun visit, and wanted to show you my dining room table and chairs in a little more detail than what I posted on Facebook.

After my dining room updates {here} and {here}, things were almost done, but I have been seriously tempted to paint my table and chairs for about a year now.  My double pedestal table is crooked, thanks to the last movers we had (I think they were crushed on the truck), and there are deep gouges and scratches on the table surface.  Since it was a lovely piece, I didn’t want to get rid of it and start again, but I know that paint and distressing is much more forgiving of our transient lifestyle.

Here’s the “before” of the table:

Grey and chevron dining room at 11 Magnolia Lane
You can read about my DIY painted curtains {here}.

I Scotchguarded the chairs way back when, but years of children and pets took their toll.  Here’s a closeup of one of the chair cushions so you can see just how bad they were:

Dining room chair cushions "before"
At first I was going to sew slipcovers for them, but after sewing a slipcover for our dog’s crate (see that post here), I realized that my sewing skills are pretty bad and the resulting slipcovers would likely look crappy.  So I decide to figure out how to reupholster them–the seats would be easy, but I’d never done anything like the backs before.  At an impasse, I decided to start with the table, so I could enjoy quick results.

I used two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White, and even though the directions say you don’t have to sand, I did lightly sand the tabletop only, because it was so glossy.  Here was the table with two coats of paint (no wax, yet):

Dining room table--two coats of chalk paint and no wax

The Pure White looked so bright and clean that I nearly stopped here.


Dining room table with white chalk paint

But then I remembered that the movers will distress my table and chairs this summer no matter what, and I figured I should continue with the dark wax and sanding.

I’ve never waxed furniture before, so this took some figuring out.  I used Annie Sloan’s clear wax, then a little tiny bit of dark wax, then sanded, then put clear wax on again.  The reason you put the clear wax on first is that it lets you play with the dark wax a bit; instead of soaking right into the paint, you can add some, lighten it up, and get it the way you like it.  After it dried, I sanded a bit, and even added a little more white paint in a few areas that I thought were too dark.  And yes, I painted the two leaves at the same time.  Here’s how the table looked when I was done:

White chalk paint with dark wax and distressing

White chalk paint on dining room table with dark wax
I love the shape of my chairs, and was excited to see how they turned out.  One hint when recovering chairs is to keep the cushions with the correct chairs; they are not interchangeable because the nails on the bottom will want to match up with their original cushions.  The back panels on my chairs were held in place by four screws, just like the seat cushions, although they were covered on the back with wooden caps (you can see those in the top picture).  I had to pop them out with a flathead screwdriver to get to the screws.

Once all the cushions were removed, I gave the chairs the same paint and wax treatment that the table had received.

Dining room chairs before and after

The medallions on the side looked great with the dark wax bringing out the details.

Side view of painted chair
I then washed, dried and ironed a 4′ x 15′ canvas painter’s dropcloth (I buy them here) to use as my upholstery fabric.  My staple gun got a HUGE workout–my hand is still sore–as I covered the stained cushions with the canvas.  The seat cushions are simple, and I’ve recovered cushions like that dozens of times in the past, but the back cushions were trickier.  The fabric had to be cut exactly right, with no extra to hang over and show.  Instead of sewing cording and using that, I bought gimp trim at Hobby Lobby (it took exactly two rolls for all six chairs) and glue gunned it into place.  Here’s a close up of the gimp:

Trim chair upholstery with gimp
I used a neutral color, but if I had used a different fabric it would be fun to use a bright, contrasting color.  Maybe I’ll do that the next time I recover them.  And yes, I have Scotchguarded them thoroughly, because I’d like to avoid recovering them again for another few years!

Here’s the front of the chairs, finished:

Dining room chairs, finished

I had a little gray chevron fabric left after covering the piano bench, and sewed a tiny lumbar pillow for one of the two armchairs.  The insert is just a down one I found at Goodwill for $2.

Gray chevron lumbar pillow

If you follow on Facebook, then you saw pictures of this process along the way.  One of the reasons I used the neutral canvas fabric was because I had a plan for these chairs–they were going to get a monogram using Citrasolv to transfer the ink to the fabric!  Read how that works {here}.   I printed out a couple of “B’s” on my computer, using the Monogram font, and taped them on the front and back.  Dozens of you voted, and while it was pretty much even in the end, I decided to put it on the back.

Here was the front:

Monogram on front of chair
And the back:

Monogram on back of chair
I love how it turned out when I transferred the ink (and put the nail hole caps in place):

Monogram on back of dining room chair

The room seems like it’s done now:

Dining room at 11 Magnolia Lane
I found a huge, barnwood tray at C’est Moi (that’s our local store that sells AS chalk paint), and love how it looks on the table:

Barnwood tray at 11 Magnolia Lane
And while I’m tempted to paint the buffet as well, it’s not damaged, and I’m just not sure.  What do you guys think?

Dining room at 11 Magnolia Lane
Painted dining room chairs at 11 Magnolia Lane
Here are a few of the items I used for this project:

Paint color on wall:  Sherwin Williams Fawn Brindle (mixed half strength)

Paint color on curtains:  Sherwin Williams Fawn Brindle (mixed full strength)
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As always, thanks for stopping by!



  1. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. I sure couldn’t see the finished product – but I am glad you could! This is gorgeous & you did a super job.

  2. Wow…they turned out gorgeous…just love the stenciled monogram!!

  3. The table and chairs are beautiful! I wouldn’t paint the buffet…I think the contrast of the white table/chairs and the dark wood buffet is perfect. Otherwise, things would be too “matchy” (is that a word?)

    • It might not be a word, but I know exactly what you mean! I think I agree with you, and I don’t really feel like painting it, anyway.

  4. Nice job! I have the same dining room set and have considered reupholstering the chairs. Thanks for the tutorial. I would leave the buffet as is. I like the contrast and with the table and chairs being so large, the other objects give a nice contrast…. Unless you are going for a monochromatic look; then, many objects would need to change.

  5. I stumbled up on your blog in search of Dining room table ideas and lets just say you totally help me out in a hugh way, Thanks for sharing your dining room!

  6. Kathy Robinson says

    It’s beautiful Christy. Is the procedure for the table and chairs called “stressed”? We have a lot of dark furniture and although I love it, I am so drawn to the lighter side.
    Can’t wait to see it!

    • It’s “distressed,” Kathy. In this case, I used a combination of dark wax and sandpaper. It really changes a room when the furniture doesn’t suck all the light out of it!

  7. Looks amazing! LOVE, love, love the monogram! Pinning! Would love it if you would link this up to Give Me The Goods Monday: 1 Party, 4 Blogs!
    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

  8. I love the table!!! We have one almost identical that we inherited from my husband’s grandmother and I’m dying to paint it now! Just out of curiousity how much of the AS paint did you go through? I’ve never worked with it but am going to be ordering some very soon!

    • Thanks, Amy. I used about a quart and a half for the table and all six chairs, which I think is pretty darned good, considering that everything needed two coats. If you’re going to paint just the table, one quart should be fine. Good luck and have fun!

  9. Hi,

    I’m new ASCP fan. I just purchased my first piece of furniture to upcycle and I’m so excited! Your dining set turned out beautifully and now I can’t wait to do mine! Did you sand before painting? I know it says you don’t have to, but I wonder if it’d be better to do so or even invest the time and effort…


    • Amy, I did lightly sand the table top (it was heavily lacquered), but none of the rest of it. It’s come nicely through our move–which is why my reply to you was delayed, by the way–and looks great. Happy painting!

  10. Marsha Sa says


    I stumbled upon your site looking for a way to hang my silver platter after many failed attempts and being awoken in the middle of the night of the platter hitting the kitchen tile. I found your blog to be very helpful and I am now hooked on all the beautiful projects and rooms that you three ladies have created. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Marsha 🙂
    Langley, B.C.

    • Marsha–
      I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night by the same sound! I’m glad you found us, and we’re thrilled that you’re enjoying our site. Come back often!

  11. Love it -how has the chalk paint berm hold up. I would like to paint my table but afraid it will no hold up

  12. We have the same dining room furniture. It is in great, like-new condition. When purchasing I knew the color of the chair upholstery was going to be problem with the grandchildren. Having done this in the past I saw no problem. Not so, realizing I had never done the piping before, love the idea of the gimp. Thanks! Also, crazy about your monogram. Keep up the great work. Signed, one appreciative Granny!

    • I even Scotchguarded my chairs and they still got messed up by my kids! Now you know that when the time comes (and the grandkids are older) you can recover them! 🙂

  13. Absolutely beautiful job! I’m impressed by your vision and creativity. (I like the buffet in the original mahogany color too; the dark furnishings bring attention to all your hard work.

  14. Just beautiful.. Really changes the atmosphere of the room..

  15. Christy, your table and chairs look absolutely beautiful! I have wanted to paint my dining room table and chairs for awhile but keep putting it off thinking it will be a disaster. Was it difficult to get a smooth finish on the table top?

    • Kirsten–I put two coats of paint on the table top, then waxed. I didn’t even sand, although you could. I like seeing the brush strokes and since it’s painted, it doesn’t have to be as perfect as a stained and lacquered top. Given that we’re a pretty casual family–especially when it comes to entertaining–I think it’s perfect for us!

  16. Love such projects and have done some in the past (made the old Army surplus server and nightstand look great, lol!) looking forward to following y’all!

  17. Wow, what a great transformation for this dining table and chairs. They look wonderful.

  18. I adore monogramming & this turned out so incredible! It appears that you transferred your ink initial after the material was already on the chair. Is that the case? Do you have any insight / tips now that it’s complete as if you would recommend doing it before or after the material is on the chair? I’m about to paint & recover an antique reclining rocker.

    • Tammie– I would definitely do it the same way again–transferring the ink after the fabric is on the chair. It was much easier to be sure it was centered that way. Good luck with your rocker!

  19. Carrie Overman says

    So glad to have found your blog! I’m getting ready to paint my dining table white. Can you tell me how the wax has held up for you? Can you set a glass on the table or do you use coasters? Thanks!

    • Hey, Carrie–
      It’s actually held up really well. We do not use coasters (and I always would have before when it wasn’t painted!). We might have added a few scuffs or marks (we entertain a lot!), but I love the fact that the distressed finish means that those just blend in. It’s really exactly the right kind of table for a busy family with kids–so glad I took the plunge!

      • Sheila matthews says

        I’m planning to Chalk paint a table from craigslist and have never done anything like this. I am also concerned about the table top and food/drink spilling as I have little ones. I’m unclear as to what wax actually does? Does that replace the need for coats of poly?

  20. Your table looks great! I have my table and chairs painted in old white and want to use some dark wax. Did you apply it with a brush or a rag?

  21. Hi Christy –
    First time here and I’m headed to mark your FB page in a minute. Love the changes that you’ve made here – absolutely stunning. Was wondering the color of your wall paint…. thanks so much

    • Hi, Janice–
      We’re so glad that you’re here and that you’re enjoying the blog! The color on my dining room is walls is Sherwin-Williams’ Fawn Brindle; however, I had them tint it at half strength so it would be lighter. In that same house (we’ve moved since) that great room is full strength Fawn Bridle, and they are open to one another, so it provided a nice transition with a little bit of difference between the two rooms.

  22. I just love how your table and chairs turned out! I especially like the side by side chair picture…such an amazing transformation!

  23. Great job! Can you tell me the brand of this dining set please?

  24. Did you get the curtains from Target? Love them!

  25. hi! I’m about to chalk paint and wax our dining room table. just wondering if now, 2 years out, you’re still happy with the wear on the table, particularly the legs? this will be our primary dining space and will see a lot of use, with kids’ feet and chair legs banging into it. your opinion would be appreciated! 🙂

    • Yes, I’m definitely happy with the way that it’s held up. Keep in mind, though, that I don’t mind the distressed look, and there are some marks on the table surface (more so than the legs). In our next house, this will be our primary dining space since there isn’t an eat-in kitchen, so I’ll know more about how it holds up under daily use by the fall.

  26. I love it!! I would paint the buffet a distressed black and replace the fabric on the front with the canvas cloth

  27. Heidi Colton says

    Fabulous job! I need to do something like that to mine! Can’t decide on color though.

  28. Contemporary Dining Room Sets says

    What a beautiful transformation. It is so elegant, I love it!

  29. how did the table hold up with active use???

    • Hey, Trish–it’s been five years, and it all still looks great! We also sit there much more often than we did before I redid the set.

  30. I have the exact same table and chairs! However, I do not have the hutch. I literally just sat down after giving up on steam cleaning the dirty chairs to google ideas of upholstering and transforming this set and came across my exact table! Do you think it would still look good if I stained the table top a dark walnut color and did the rest of it white?

    • Yes, I think it would look amazing! Mine is still going strong and the chairs look great even though we use them way more often now that I’ve redone the set. If you wind up doing yours, please send me a picture!

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