TRB - DIY Project - Dining Table Upcycle

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

We love having dinner parties, and luckily we were given a dining table and 6 chairs when we moved into our country pad. We were very grateful for because although it wasn’t to our taste or style, the cost of a brand new set is astronomical. I’m not kidding!

I so wish I’d of taken before photos, but I didn’t. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Anyhoo, it was orange pine, with a shiny varnish, and brown tartan seat covers. Hopefully you can imagine the retro-ness of it, and I can assure you that it was not retro in a good way. It was in good condition though, despite being up in the previous owners loft for about 12 years. It was actually a wedding present of theirs. All the more reason to work on it and make it lovely again!

Here’s what we did. I don’t claim to be an expert in furniture restoration but this process worked for us.

+ The Mr was reluctant to let me use his electric sander (me + power tools = disaster), so wisely took charge of the sanding process. This took a couple of days, the table itself was relatively simple (he tells me), it being a flat surface and all, but the chairs with their cylindrical backs took ages and resulted in tantrums and swears from the shed.

+ We then primed the ‘raw’ sanded wood with wood primer, in white.

+ Once that had dried, we painted one chair in wood paint ‘Magnolia’. We gasped with horror at the orange-y disgustingness that was this colour, made an emergency trip to Homebase, bought ‘Antique Cream’ instead, and resumed painting. The table top itself looked gorgeous after sanding so we decided to leave that as it was, and just painted the legs and chairs. It needed a couple of coats for good, even coverage.

+ Once that had dried, we applied a couple of coats of MATTE varnish. I hate shiny, and so does he, so it worked quite well. We bees waxed the table top and then gave that a coat of matte varnish too for extra protection.

+ We recovered the chair seats with a fairly neutral polkadot material.

Aaaaanddd......Voila! Here’s the finished product


All in all, it took about 3 weeks from start to finish (bearing in mind we both work full time so were restricted to weekend work), and I bloody love the finished product. We get a lot of compliments on it, and all it cost us was about £40 in total for the paint and material.

If you’re thinking of throwing an old, decrepit piece of furniture away because its past its best, think again. Could it be restored it to its former beauty, or changed to suit your current decor? I would highly recommend doing a project like this. Yes, it takes time and effort, but the end results mean you have a unique piece in your home, which you can feel really proud of! And you’ll have saved money. Money for all important shoes.

I’m eyeing up my dressing table next for a spot of upcycling, and will definitely take before/during/after photos and share them with you!

Rachel x


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