Dining Set Makeover

My customer was debating on whether she should buy a new dining set or have this one refinished. It is a beautiful set. Solid wood, great condition, gorgeous legs! But that old orangey oak was just so blah… I’m glad it eventually came my way.


Her choice was the classic off-white with stained top. No distress, no glaze, just that simple. And what a difference that made!

Here is how I did it.


  • Stripped and sanded down with my electric sander. 80, 150 then 320 grit.
  • Applied Minwax wood conditioner
  • Applied 3 coats of General Finishes Java Gel Stain (I waited about 8-12 hours between each coat)
  • Sealed with 3 coats of Minwax polyurethane, satin.
  • After it was dry, I covered it completely with plastic to protect it while I spray painted the rest of the table and chairs.

Legs and chairs:

Because the wood was in such good condition, I decided to ditch the sandpapers. Instead, I wiped all pieces to be painted with deglosser (I bought mine from Home Depot), then cleaned everything really well with TSP diluted in water. Yes, you have to remove the deglosser completely from the wood, before you paint.


  • Next, I primed everything with my old friend Rustoleum Primer spray, white.
  • Using my HomeRight Paint Sprayer, I applied three coats of Valspar Cabinet Paint in Graceful White. This paint is the bomb, and it is my go-to for large pieces, especially if they are going to have a lot of handling like kitchen tables and chairs.
  • Finally I sealed all with three coats of Minwax Polycrylic. I also used my paint sprayer for this step.

Note that you don’t really need to use a sealer if you painted your piece with Valspar Cabinet Paint. I just decided to do it for extra protection and durability. Again, a table set is something that will get a lot of traffic on a daily basis, so the sealer gives me peace of mind.

I love how this set turned out. Let me know what you think!









Thanks for reading and happy spring!




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It all started in the spring of 2013. I realized how tired I was to see my house entirely decorated with IKEA stuff. Nothing against IKEA, but after 12 years, I just needed some change. I wanted stylish, original furniture, but noticed that everything I liked from retail stores was way out of my budget. Thanks to Google, Youtube, and a couple of amazing blogs, I was able to discover and explore the world of furniture refinishing, and it was the beginning of my addiction. I now spend my days rescuing old, dull, unwanted pieces of furniture to give them a fresh look so they can be displayed, used and loved again for many more years to come. Thanks for stopping by.

13 thoughts on “Dining Set Makeover

  1. Love it! I have one and cannot sand so I am going to use deglosser. I have used it for other things over the years and have had no problem. Beautiful job.


  2. This is gorgeous! I have been putting off doing my little antique table and chairs, but this is how I will do it! I’m so glad I read your post! I wish you could see my little table I picked up in Bogota, Colombia almost 20 years ago! It is made from a 200+-year-old window…so I will leave the antique window top and redo the chairs and table legs! Yeah! Love your blog!

    Jan Cole


  3. It’s beautiful! I have a question, when you use the sprayer, do you dilute the paint? Also, where/how do you spray in order to avoid getting it everywhere? Can you apply glaze/antiquing on top of this paint? Thank you!


    1. It is so beautiful! You said “white” and I was expecting to see a boring table — it is anything but! Love the white and that top for contrast is lovely. Well done!


    2. Thanks Beatriz! I usually dilute the paint when I use latex or chalk paint, but I didn’t need to dilute this specific one (Valspar Cabinet paint) and it worked just fine.
      I have an improvised spray booth in my garage. You can see pictures of it and a full tutorial on spray painting I’ve done for this website: http://grillo-designs.com/homeright-paint-sprayer-guide/
      And yes, you can apply glaze or wax over this paint.
      Good luck!


    1. Thanks Ariane!
      Before you paint, you can either light sand your piece or, if the wood is in good condition, apply deglosser to it. Either process (sanding or deglossing) will remove the sealer from the previous finish and allow the new paint to bond. It’s also important that the piece is very clean, free of dust or grease.
      You can use deglosser on any type of wood but not in pieces that have been painted already.
      Good luck!


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