Thursday, August 4, 2011

Done and {DREAMY}

Ok people, are you ready for picture-mania!!?? I sure hope so :)
Our newly refinished dining set is DONE and I am thrilled with how it turned out!!!! This was a really big project! HUGE! It took hours and hours of hard work and a lot of patience, but it is finally finished. Woo hoo!!!! I'll start off with the after shot and then show you how we got there.

You ready!!????????
Do you LOVE it!!?? I freakin' LOVE it so so so much!!!!

Here's some back story for you:
The house that I currently live in is what my entire extended family calls "the family house." My grandparents moved here from Los Angeles in 1982. They lived here until they passed away (first my sweet Nana, and then my Tata - that's what we called them). After my Nana passed away in 1997, my mom moved in with my Tata to help take care of him. After he passed away in 2007, my mom continued to live here on her own. At that time, Josh, Noah, and I lived in an 1,100 square foot condo about 15 minutes away. Once Hayden came into the picture 2 years later, our 2 bedroom one bath condo just wasn't cutting it anymore. So, we decided to switch places with my mom. She moved into the condo, and we took over the mortgage of "the family house." Even though my mom doesn't live here anymore, this house is still where the family gathers for all major holidays. It's still considered "the family house" and always will be. The main reason why I'm telling you all of this is because the dining table we used to have didn't expand at all. It sat a maximum of 6 people and that was that. So, at Christmas and Thanksgiving, we ended up setting up multiple tables in multiple rooms and it just wasn't ideal. I have been looking on Craig's List and at Thrift shops for the perfect set that can expand to fit our family gatherings and I finally found one on Craig's List. Here is the before shot:
(not the best "before" shot, but I forgot to take one before we got started. You get the gist, right?). It has 6 chairs (2 with arms) and 3 leaves so it can be a HUGE table :)
Here is a shot of the cushions. They weren't very comfy, so I added a layer of foam over the existing fabric before I recovered them (I cut the foam with our electronic knife that is usually only used on Turkey Day).

I learned a couple of things about myself while working on this project.
1. I am LAZY
2. I am not very good at hand painting furniture
3. I am a short-cutter
4. I am impatient (Geez, I'm starting to sound like a really awesome person, huh!?)
Anyway, after learning all of these super great things, my husband decided that he had no choice but to get involved in this project. A dining table is a highly used piece of furniture and since this new (used) set is the very last one I am ever going to be allowed to buy....ever, he wanted it to be done right (& I don't blame him one bit). Here are some pictures of the process:

Our plan was to paint the table legs, apron, and all 6 chairs in a color called "Vermont Cream" by Behr. Then we were going to stain the table top a dark walnut color. We originally planned to use my sister's power paint sprayer to spray the base and legs of the table, and all 6 chairs. Josh started spraying but for some reason it just didn't look right. It sprayed on super thick and drippy and was definitely NOT the right way to go.

So we ended up having to sand off the clumps and paint it by hand (you can see the thick drips at the top of the squares).

We bit the bullet and bought the infamous Purdy brushes and got right to work (and as you can see below, a lot of the painting was done after hours). I helped him paint all the chairs by hand (luckily we had already successfully sprayed the caned portion of the chairs otherwise I don't know what we would have done).

Then it was time to sand and stain the table top & leaves

It was really hard to sand the edges of the table....REALLY hard to get in all those grooves. Josh ended up wrapping sandpaper around a block of wood and we used the edge to grind into all of the grooves. It was not fun. Not at all.

After the table top was sanded down, the staining process began. The grain of this table top went all different directions, so it was a bit hard to "go with the grain."
We used Minwax stain in Dark Walnut. It took about 3 coats to get our desired color. We knew this was going to need to be super durable so when it came time to either wax or use polyurethane, we opted for poly. I just knew that if I ended up with water rings on this table, It would be hard not to kill the person who did it (totally kidding). My father in law mentioned that if we thinned down the poly by adding water (we used water based poly), it would spread on more evenly and not leave brush strokes. We used a foam brush to apply it and it went on really well!! I think we ended up doing about 5 coats of poly on the table and although it is a bit shinier than I had anticipated, I really like the sheen and know for sure that it will stand the test of time. Ok, enough talking, let's get to the pictures :)

The 2 end chair cushions got covered in this Anthropologie-ish floral fabric. You can also see the light distressing on the chairs. I was a bit nervous to go too "shabby"  with it since this set will be in my life f-o-r-e-v-e-r! Ha ha!

We will mostly use this set with one leaf in it. Unfortunately the wood grain on the leaves doesn't really go the same way as the rest of the table top, but since it is all the same color stain, I think it looks ok.
The other 4 chairs got the neutral chain link rope beige fabric. A little mismatched & cool looking if I do say so myself :)
The rim of the table was actually wood, while the actual table top was veneer. You can see how the stain soaked in much darker on the raw wood. I really like the contrast it gives.
If you click to zoom on the below pic, you can see a bit more of the light distressing (done with 120 grit sandpaper).

Here's the big picture for you :)
Ooooooooh, Ahhhhhhh!
Now, if only I knew how to cook! Ha ha! Want to come over for some Mac N Cheese??? Mmmm.
I am SO happy with how our new dining set turned out! I am also happy to announce that even my husband agrees that it was well worth all of the effort. You like???!! Hope so!!
Happy happy Friday everyone!


  1. it is so beautiful! a lot of work, and totally worth the effort!
    and i don't cook much either but i sure do love to have a pretty kitchen and a pretty dining room! mac n cheese works for me!

  2. Well all your hard work paid off because it is stunning! Wow!! Love the fabric!

  3. This is a wonderful project, looks like all the work you put in on it paid off. I'm from the school of fast with instant gratification when it comes to DYI projects just like you described yourself but by taking your time on this big project you have a beautiful finish on your furniture. Looks great, thanks for sharing.

  4. AHHHHHHH....(that's angels singing in case you were confused) It turned out so beautiful! I love everything about it. Definitely worth the wait and elbow grease!!

  5. I honestly can't even begin to tell you how freaking impressed I am. And I love the whole story behind the family home! Now that your table is big enough, I seriously hope to be able to visit one day and sit there for dinner!

    Take care,

  6. Yay!!! it really is seriously seriously awesome!!! The forever table looks awesome in your forever home! It looks perfect in there! now we just have to convince mom to make her red tamale sauce for Christmas elsewhere! LOL xo

  7. wow, what a stunning dinning room set! it turned out gorgeous; i hope you enjoy it FOREVER!

  8. Gorgeous! It came out so pretty. I love that you left the top wood.

  9. Ali, that came out so beautifully! All of your hard work, and your hubby's, really paid off. It's a work of art! You shold be very proud of yourself. I love the story of your home being your "family house". A special place to live and bring up your kids! Have a great weekend.

  10. The table looks ah-ma-zing! Seriously, you guys did an awesome job and I think you will love it forever! a couple of decades, you won't remember how much blood, sweat and tears you poured into that table ;)

  11. Ali, you and Josh did a beautiful job on the table, and it has the perfect amount of "shabby," ha, ha! Yay for big tables!

  12. Wow, it looks completely fabulous! Great job! I love the look of the wood top and the rest white. I really want to do some piece like that. And I adore the fabric you chose and that you did 2 different kinds. It's just all around amazing!

  13. I LOVE IT! I can't wait to eat some macaroni and cheese at your house! Or maybe just a sliced tomato - are they ripe yet?
    How about now?
    Okay, how about right now?
    Seriously - LOVE THE TABLE!

  14. very pretty set - love a good redo!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  15. That table is gorgeous! I love the fabric and finish you chose for the chairs too. It is beyond charming!

  16. Love the story about your house and the funny way you write! Your table and chairs turned out amazing! The story of this table will be passed down through generations!

  17. Wow! This is a beautiful dining set! Fantastic job!

  18. It's gorgeous! Soon all that hard work will fade from memory, and you'll be ready to tackle...a bedroom set!

  19. I totally love it! You've done such an amazing job :) I clicked on your link at the POPP linky party because I have also recently completed a dining setting (just not the upholstery yet) and I love your choice of fabrics for the chairs, so feeling very inspired right now. Thankyou for sharing!
    Cas x

  20. This turned out absolutely gorgeous...all ready for big get togethers at the "family house." I love how you used mismatched fabric on the chairs too. I will have a linky party up later this evening and would love to have you join us.

  21. This is such a great set - I'm doing something similar to some chairs that I had found while thrifting. You did a great job! Found you Suzy's blog.

  22. Just lovely! Definitely worth all your hard work. I'm sure you will make many memories around your gorgeous dining set. Your dining set will be in the PoPP Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up.

  23. Amazing! I love everything about it!!

  24. I am working on a similar Thomasville Gallery dining set that I got free from Craigslist. I am using the dark walnut stain on the top too with a similar Bher paint. The table was pretty easy, but the chairs...another story altogether! Did you sand and prime your chairs. I lightly sanded mine, but I'm not sure that it's enough.

    Yours looks terrific! It is almost motivation to get off the computer and go paint some more!

  25. Absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I LOVE LOVE! and it looks amazing in your dining room! The wait was worth it! lol!

  26. Ali, I think you're my twin :)we both use the phrase "super duper." I thought I was the only one; if you get a chance plase read my post for August 12th and 14th. Anyhow....your transformation is simply gorgeous. I'm your newest follower. So glad to have found you.

  27. Great job. Love the fabric you used.

    We have a link-up party going on - Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you'd link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.

  28. LOVE it! Thanks for all the info you gave too. I just bought a VERY similar set off Craigslist to re-do, but am a little disappointed that the top is veneer. I wanted to stain it darker. Now that I see you did, I am encouraged. :) Did you just sand the veneer off? Or did it sand ok? I am a little scared to mess with it. Any help you can offer would be much appreciated. It is sitting in my garage awaiting my courage.

  29. I love your table! I've been wanting to do something similar with my dining table for a while now and this might be the inspiration I needed!

    Visiting from Primitive and Proper...

    Rhonda @ home.made.

  30. visiting from Pinterest!...I have this same set (it was my husband's grandmothers, that his mother grew up with)...I have been wanting to paint/stain but wasnt sure about the leaves being different... You did what I have been wanting to do but was too scared to mess up!
    Thanks for the inspiration! xoxo

  31. I have this exact set!! It was a hand me down and I've been dreading refinishing it. Some of the caning needs replacing as well. Funny, that this is exactly how I wanted to do mine. Thanks for the pictures so I know what I'm up against!

  32. I referred to your blog post here as I finished a table and chairs that were given to me by a friend. I wanted to share it with you.
    Although I am no DIY blogger, I wanted you to see how great it turned out. Thanks so much for giving such a great tutorial, I was sure to send people your way if they had any "how to" questions. Yours is beautiful!
    Again, thanks!


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