Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dining Table and Chairs Re-do

Last week we had a great break in the weather, mild and sunny, no rain. So it was probably my last chance to do something I have been wanting to do for a few years: refinish my dining room table and chairs. It's solid oak, not fancy, but perfectly serviceable, no reason for me to spend money I don't need to spend on something new.  I had already recovered the seats and backs once before but both the table and chairs were showing their age and looking pretty dingy. So it was time to get busy.


First, off with the old. 

Can you say carpal tunnel syndrome?  Mine doesn't bother me UNTIL I start doing something like this, twisting, turning, pulling, pushing. My left hand is still sore a week and a half later!

My big-guy neighbor helped me get the table outside. This little patio is the only place I have to work on a project like this. 

Stripped, sanded and cleaned ....

Next step: staining ...

This is where it gets sloppy!

 Fortunately, I got more stain on the furniture than on myself.
Back inside, recovering the chair seats and backs. The heavy duty stapler really does a heavy duty number on my hands. I covered right over the original seat. It was in good shape so I saw no reason to remove it. Notice how I'm still afraid to remove the label that says "do not remove under penalty of law." LOL!
 The chair backs were another story.  I had to remove them completely in order to stain the wood. But getting everything put back together wasn't too tough.
 I did have one problem, trying to staple the fabric from underneath. So I took the easy way out brought the fabric up and over, stapled it, and added decorative upholstery tacks.
 As usual, I bought way too much fabric, so I made these placemat/runners. But I thought it looked just a little too matchy-matchy ...
So I pulled out another piece of fabric and made a narrow runner for the table. I wanted to bring out some blue in the floral fabric so I watered down some craft paint and touched up the leaves a little. It turned out quite nice if I say so myself!

 Here's the final product. This wasn't a very expensive set when I first bought it, and some of the wood pieces were clearly not top of the line. So the stain soaked darker in some places than others, giving it a bit of a vintage look.  I apologize that these photos aren't the best. Even though I have floor to ceiling windows across my dining/living rooms, it's a northern exposure with an overhang on the outside so I get only diffused light inside.  Nice for living, not so nice for picture-taking.
 All in all, I'm pleased and happy that the job is done.  (So's my back and my hand!)
Have you done any refinishing projects lately? Send me some pix and I'll post them. 


  1. Quel travail !! mais belle réussite.

  2. Beautiful and you made the perfect decision on the runner not being too matchy matchy! Hope your back and hands are feeling better :)

  3. Thanks to you both! I enjoyed this project in spite of the pain ...

  4. I love the new look! I know it was a LOT of work! way to go.
    thanks for linking up to my party


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