Painting a Dining Set?

I have a wooden dining room set with 4 chairs and cupboards but they look very worn out and old fashioned. I was thinking about repainting them but can't decide what color to choose. Can you help me out?



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May 27, 20100 found this helpful

You can paint it with a brownish-red paint or a color that is a little bit dark and then try to put a varnish on it so the color would really stand out or shines. If you really want your wooden dining room to look good and new, you better choose a new table-cloth, new things to put in it and just make sure that the cloth that you will use suits to the color of the chairs. One suggestion, remove the candles, it would make your dining table look really old-fashioned, why not a pot of pleasant, small, fragrant plant or a flower. That's the good thing!


Good luck! I hope my answer helped you!

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May 28, 20100 found this helpful

I would suggest that you paint all pieces of furniture an off-white color for the base color. The rim of the table and all of the chairs should be in a blue (except for the chair seats themselves). Stenciling would look lovely on all of it. Good luck and have fun.

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May 28, 20100 found this helpful

With the couch nearby, you could use a soft blue or green from the couch fabric. Either would look beautiful!

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May 28, 20100 found this helpful

I've seen a couple of neighbors spray paint their dining room furniture and book cases a matte black. I looked awesome. I'm going to try it on an old bedroom set.

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May 28, 20100 found this helpful

If you plan on keeping your sofa I would paint it white or off white. There are websites that show you how to make it look antiqued.


If you are going to change your sofa etc. to a darker color I would use black for the paint, it's awesome. Good luck:)

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May 28, 20100 found this helpful

Looks like you are a country/traditional style person.
How about two or three colors that compliment each other and distress it a bit.
Antique white with country blue, green and red to blend the sofa with the wood furniture.

So paint the seats of the chairs one color and the backs of the chairs one color and the legs one color, see what I'm imagining?

Or paint each chair a different color and paint the table a different color from that and then paint the hutch all different colors to match.

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May 28, 20100 found this helpful

Looking at the picture, I would just thoroughly clean the table and chairs and if the finish is still there just give it a good waxing. Buy a floor length round table cloth in one of the soft colors in your sofa because it is so close, and then another smaller round like you have in perhaps lace because of the style of your room. Replace your candles with some taller colored ones and you could also repaint the candle holder, or set it on a pretty plate for more warmth. Also the stark white wall needs either some color or something either side of the hutch to tie your room together.


If you still want to paint the furniture, the different colored chairs would be a wonderful fun touch. Or you could antique the set in the same off white shade as the background of your sofa. Another easy inexpensive thought is to just paint your wall a soft color, perhaps picking up the pale green in sofa. I have had great luck buying "oops" paint cheap, and if necessary it can be re-tinted. Have fun, you can do a lot with just coordinating what you have and thrift stores are a great source for finding stuff to "fill in the blanks".

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May 29, 20100 found this helpful

If it were my decision, I'd double check tall of the joints for tightness. If tight and not badly rubbed/scratched on the top of the table, I'd decide if I want paint/ streaks and all, or stain that can be a richer, slightly lighter and warmer for the top and for the chair back spindles.


Then I'd use the liquid Murphy Oil Soap/water for wood cabinetry and clean the whey out of the dark parts. Dry for two days. Sand them slightly but evenly, then wipe down with alcohol and muslin gauze to collect all dust particles.

I'd mask the lighter stained parts well with kraft paper and masking tape, and spray paint all remaining wood black satin finish, double coating with a light even sanding between coats.

If you are good at this, you could also sand/stain the tops of the turned "knobs" on each chair in the lighter color. I believe you will be pleased. If you are, and have not gotten in a hurry, when the last coat has dried for two full days, add a coat of satin finishing liquid polyurethane, IF the stain and paint is water based, otherwise you may "lift" some of the work you have done.


Read your labels well, ask for professional advice wherever you buy it all, if possible, and think it through carefully before beginning. Go to a paint store if you need extra advice about anything, but do not take the advice from WalMart store clerks or young Home Depot employees who may know too little.

I'd add two coats of Polyurethane to the top, if you make certain to follow directions for second coat.

Two runners crossing the table in two directions would be something fresh, to match simple chair pads? with an added centerpiece of medium silk flowers, in clear glass or brass pot.

You can do this if you do not get impatient or begin to just paint and hope for the best. It won't be what you're after, I'm sure, and you will only have to re-do it. Keep the spray paint lightly moving, evenly spraying, and let each coat dry very well.

Tip: when sanding, give the bottoms of all legs near the floor more attention, because of the dings, dirt, food that we miss sometimes, and because you'd not want the paint to fall off or not stain that area.

If you have any paint left over, turn the table/chairs over and give the bottoms a fresh single coat.

The china cabinet, I'd try to give the edges of the shelves and drawer fronts the lighter wood stain, remembering that finger oils and drawer pull areas are especially dirty, so scrub a bit longer there with the Murphy Oil Soap/water.

Shelves get not only dusty, but oily residue from whatever cooking oils land on them from the air, especially from the kitchen area. Use Purel Hand Sanitizer to remove the oils, then Murphy Oil Soap and water for the whole thing, including the insides of the drawers, which you will want to paint black as well, I'm sure?

Use only one coat on the sides of the drawers so they won't stick so easily. If they do, rub them with clear castile soap and it should lubricate them, unless they have hardware drawer glides on the sides or plenty of room to move

If you can afford it, once finished, that's the time to consider some fresh simple but classic hardware for the cabinet, unless what is there is adequate and attractive. If the old hardware is too cheap, and if you can afford it, replace it.

This sort of project is time consuming, but if the all the joints are strong and not loose, it will be worth it when you are through. Do this only if the whole set is all wood, not particle-board backed/ drawer-bottoms, and not laminated table top. If they are, I'd just do the least thing, give it a kiss and a promise, add new cloth, and focus on other things.

God bless and help you in all ways. "-"

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May 31, 20100 found this helpful

I like the shabby chic lookl Even if you paint it all white, My mother had the same style dining room set and I have often wished I had it in my kitchen now.

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June 1, 20100 found this helpful

Hello, I trained on reusing, revamping, restyling furniture on a shoestring so how about: Idea 1: rubbing down with medium and finishing with fine sandpaper, and then giving it a emulsion paint 'wash' effect to give it the appearance of liming or use a 'liming' paste. Its easier to use slightly watered down emulsion applied with a soft cloth and going in one direction.
Idea 2: still need to lightly rub down but you could paint in a rich cream and add some folksy stenciling, add cup hooks to the dresser shelves. Painting in cream enables you to change the colour easier at a later date as this is a good base colour.

But dont forget to use water based paints throughout as they are easier to handle, can play around with the colour/texture, less toxic and easier, quicker to use.

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March 2, 20140 found this helpful

I'd paint them black because I see a lot of black furniture in the stores. In fact, I just purchased a black bedroom suite. I think that would make them look up-to-date.

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May 27, 2010

I have a dining set from the 70s. It is dark. I wanted to brighten up my dining room and want to paint it. Do you do anything different when painting a table? For sanitary purposes? Is there something you put over the paint, like a top coat? I am on a tight budget! Thanks!

By Olivia from Pittsburgh, PA


Painting a Dining Set

Yes, it's best to use a water based Acrylic paint (or latex) then put 3 or more coats of clear water-based sealer over the top. (Don't use oil-based because it's much more toxic.) The sealer could be water-based Varathine, or any clear sealer from the craft store. (It's usually called "Medium" and it's available in gloss, satin or matte. I prefer satin myself.) Medium is just clear Acrylic paint without any pigment (coloring). Usually the least expensive place to buy clear sealers is at Liquidation Stores. Sometimes people will use white glue mixed with water (half and half) then brush this on as a sealer. But since your table will get lots of wear and tear you should use something that you know is durable!

* You could also save your money and someday have a piece of glass custom-cut to fit the top of your table!

As far as the chairs go, you may want to use a semi-gloss 100% Acrylic paint. 100% Acrylic paints can be purchased by the gallon at Home Depot (or any paint store). They're sold where the Latex paints are, but I prefer them because they tend to stick much better to every surface (including brick and cement)! 100% Acrylic Paint costs the same and can be tinted to every color that Latex paints can. They also come in every sheen and also in indoor or outdoor as well.

Be sure to REALLY super-clean your table and chairs before you start painting. Then after you've cleaned them take a rag with rubbing alcohol on it and wipe them all down again to remove any reside from the cleaner and any dust or oils from your hands (so the paint sticks).

I paint custom wall murals, tiles and furniture as my business and I can't emphasize enough that you need to start your painting with a SUPER clean surface!

You know the 70's look (of very dark wood) is back in style (though WHY, I'll never know!). Have you thought about just putting a light colored tablecloth over the table? Another idea is to buy a piece of fabric you really love then put a piece of clear plastic over it (you can buy the plastic at Walmart in many different thickness' for VERY cheap). They also sell that plastic tablecloth lace which looks real but washes wonderfully. A final idea would be to hand paint a piece of fabric then put this on the table then cover the artwork with clear plastic. It would look like a hand-painted table! (You can also use clear shower curtains from the dollar store for clear table cloths.)

My daughter has a VERY ugly and broken kitchen table. I bought a wonderful piece of dark green and white (picnic style) fabric at Walmart for a table cloth for her. It looks wonderful and you'd never know what was under that pretty table cloth. Ugly legs on your table? Buy a piece of fabric or a table cloth that will hang all the way to the floor (or paint only the legs).

If your table is made from real wood, I would suggest you don't actually paint it, but instead Color-Stain or "pickle" it. You do this by mixing about one quarter paint (like a very light color or off-white) with 3 quarters (or more) of water then wipe this into the wood grain with a soft cloth. This way you'll lighten the wood and still be able to see the wood grain. This also works with a dark color. Like Hunter Green, Burgundy or Indigo mixed with mostly water and wiped into the wood-grain then the excess wiped off.

I hope I've given you a lot of ideas. Have fun painting! (07/30/2009)

By Cyinda

Painting a Dining Set

I completely agree with the previous post and as someone who refinishes furniture professionally (in many different ways), I can only emphasize the importance of prepping your surface first. You have 30 years of wax, polish, varnish, stain and dirt on that table, without the right prep work your paint will just peel off.

First be sure that it is real wood and that it has a stain or varnish on it, NOT laminate. After you clean it, if you don't want to sand it (which I highly recommend anyway) use a "liquid sandpaper" you can find at any DIY or Paint store. This will make the surface able to take a new paint. Also you could look into using kitchen cabinet paint, it is very durable and doesn't usually need a top coat to seal it.

The best thing is to try it on one leg or one chair first, that way you know what works and how it will look. 25 years ago I did this to a dining set when we were first married, I've changed the look of that table 3 times and now my daughter has it and changed it again, but I learned the hard way that preparation is the key to a good finish.

Have FUN, and let your creativity out! (07/31/2009)

By Patricia Nicholas

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