Dining Table and Chairs - Check!

Hi Cottage Friends,

Thanks for joining me today. 

There's no end to the many decor projects I have on my list in this, our latest home. When we left Oregon for Texas we sold everything except some clothing, Dennis's artwork and supplies, and personal things individual to each of us. It was a great decluttering project, however now comes the challenge of creating a comfortable, welcoming cottage on a budget. (So many ideas. . .so little money.) 

As I mentioned in my last post, we brought a few things from the apartment we had rented the past year, including these two Duxbury dining arm chairs we discovered in a resale shop. Great lines and very comfortable. They had just been painted white before we bought them.

We used them with a table that we didn't really like all that much, so when we began preparations to move we gave the table away, figuring we'd find another table to replace it. One that we'd like much better. 

And so the hunt was on for a 48" round table, which I felt would work perfectly in our small dining area. Of course it had to be cottage style, and reasonably priced (translation: "pretty cheap"). There are plenty of resale, vintage and antique stores around us, so I was pretty sure we'd find something in a short amount of time. Turns out my hunch was correct.

In the back of an antique/vintage/used furniture store we found a rather odd dining set. The four chairs were way too big for the table, and everything was painted a dull brownish, tannish color that did nothing for the set. The table held promise though, so we talked to the person on duty and asked him to find out if we could buy just the table. He called us later that day and said the woman who was selling the set said she'd sell us the table for $75. We said "okay" and the deal was done. We were able to take the table apart and fit it into our Subaru Forrester, which saved us a delivery charge. So far, so good.

After we got the table home I set to work on a makeover. 

Of course you know I was already into the project before I remembered to take a before photo. I did manage to get these two before I went too far.

See what I mean about the colors? These photos are not touched up. The top really did look exactly like that before I started sanding. 

I think the woman who did this was going for a contrast look with an attempt to antique the tannish top with the darker brownish paint used on the base to somehow tie it in. Or maybe not. I really have no idea what she was thinking.

I had sanded about a quarter of the table top with my palm sander before I discovered that the top is laminate with a wood trim. Huh? No!

Ugh. Double ugh. 

Everything was solid wood except for the top. My plan to stain the top dark walnut (and paint the base white) was now shattered. 

Note: This is the risk every DIY'er takes when making a bargain purchase, and it's a lesson learned. Always ask what's under the paint. "Is that laminate, or is it wood?" Because, honestly you can't always tell. In this case the underside of the top was wood and so I made an assumption (and you know what they say about the word "assume") it was all wood.

Fortunately, I'm not easily deterred. 

Enter Plan B. . .I'll just paint the whole table white. 

It took some effort to get the top smoothed out (cuz, no, I was not going to sand all those layers of paint to get down to the bare laminate), but eventually I finished the top, and sanded the base enough to smooth it out (because, really, the paint job was horrible). Also, fortunately, my preferred paint type is chalk paint and laminate receives chalk paint very well. 

So, yes, my bargain purchase turned out to be a real pain in the neck. But! It was worth it. Because look how it turned out.

Isn't it pretty? And, honestly, I'm glad I was forced to paint the top white instead of staining it. The all white looks so good with the gray walls.

Normally, I like to do a bit of distressing on my painted pieces, but this time I decided to forego it and let the table distress naturally with use. The chairs are already showing some wear around the edges of the arm and seat, and I like the way they look. 

So the dining room is coming along. It just needs some accessories. 

With Project #1 out of the way I was on to #2. Next time we meet I'll share my makeover of this piece. (Hint: baskets are involved.)

Joyful hugs,



  1. Your table makeover reminds me of my thrift store bottles, Nancy. The makeover didn't go quite as planned, but the results are fabulous. I love the table, the lines are great and I'm a huge fan of the all white look. And natural distressing? Perfect, that's the look we're all really after. Enjoy! Hugs!

  2. Turned out quite sweet! Looks perfect in that spot with those chairs. ❤️

  3. I love the table white and the chairs are so cute with it. What a perfect little set.

  4. That table is a perfect example of my DIY experiences. Sometimes I have to give myself permission to make a total mess of a project. It seems if I do this the solutions come to me easier. You found a perfect solution to this project. I do love the chairs too.

  5. That table turned out really nice and looks great with your chairs.

    Have a happy summer settling into your new home. ~ FlowerLady

  6. NANCY! What a great makeover! I love the challenge of taking a piece and changing it to my liking, and you achieved this! I wish you constant joy as you continue to prepare for your next home.

  7. That was quite a job Nancy but well worth it, looks fabulous now with those lovely Duxbury chairs. I see some serious dining in the coming weeks, wake up breakfasts to romantic dinners for two!

    Here's to healthy, tasty summertime recipes.
    Hugs - Mary

  8. This is so inspiring! I love to see what and how other transform the blah to the beautiful

  9. I love it! Love the all white and it looks so neat in your dining area.. love white contrasts against darker colors. You did a great job. Looking so forward to your next posts and projects! Marilyn

  10. You did a wonderful job!!! It looks perfect and cozy and warm and inviting <3!!!~tammy

    1. Thank you, Tammy. I'm happy with the results. xo

  11. Wow, great job. You took a pretty ugly table and made it perfect. Looking forward to seeing the next project.

  12. Hi Nancy, what a great job you did with your "new to you" table. It turned out lovely and it fits perfectly in that space. Nice window for natural light when sitting there, too . . . It won't be long before you have created a new and comfortable home. Thank you again for your prayers and blogging friendship. I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to meet in person . . . when I read your blog I always have memories of sitting in that little coffee shop in Enterprise gabbing away like we were old friends.
    God bless you both,
    Connie :)

  13. I don't know how sand and paint furniture but I sure know how to appreciate a job well done. You did a great job, love the table and chairs. It sounds like it was a lot of work but worth it. Glad to see you back Nancy!

    1. Thanks so much, Angela. Sanding and painting is not hard. I'm sure you could do it with no problem.

  14. Oh, I just LOVE the look of that table! And, the chairs look like they were made for it! You did an amazing job, my friend!!

  15. Your table and chairs are so nice! Even though the process had a been glitches - who would know? We had a very large table and chairs so we could seat our entire family. Then the family grew and I know have enough grandchildren that I could seat just them at the table! Our son and his wife have a lovely, new, large home nearby and since most of the family gatherings are there now we decided to downsize our table to allow more 'passing through' space in our dining room. We sold our table (but not the chairs). I found a table similar to yours at our local thrift store. I've passed the extra chairs along to others and need to paint the table. I'm still deciding whether or not to paint the chairs. You inspire me, dear friend. One of these days the table will look as nice as yours. That's the plan!

  16. Oh no, I would have been upset to discover the laminate, too! Nice save, it looks great!


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