Something Painted White

How to Take a Dining Room Table from Drab to FAB!!!

Dining Room Table Makeover

In 2015 we moved from the Phoenix area to Seattle.

It was a big move and we did it ourselves so we sold as much as we could and then had to start over when we got there.

The first thing we needed was a dining room table…so off I went to the local thrift store, Value Village.

I fell in love with Value Village the first time I walked through the doors.   They always had a ton of furniture and I LOVE OLD FURNITURE!!! 

Ok..sorry…breathe Cindy!

Anyhow…sitting outside was this wonderful drop leaf dining table with the harp style legs and THREE leaves. I loved it as soon as I saw it and I knew right away this would be my first project.  A dining room table makeover.  Yay!!!

This is how she looked when we first met.

Found this old beauty at Value Village in WA for $25.

Dining Room Table for $25.00, my thrift store WIN!

Those curvy harp style legs just sang to me

(get it…harp…sang…never mind) anyhow…I couldn’t believe the price….$25.00!!!



Oh, It’ll Fit!!!…

There was no way I was passing up that sweet deal!!! So the hubs and I bought it, disassembled it, and loaded it into our Dodge Charger (aka, The Racer).

That’s right…no truck here…but as I always say, ‘OH, it’ll fit!!!”  And it did!!!

We even bought 4 chairs (for $4.99 each) at the same time and brought it all home at once.  What fun!!! This is the only photo I took, but trust me...the entire table…3 leaves and 4 wood (non-folding) chairs are all in there! 🙂

We took this huge Dining Room Table apart in the parking lot at the thrift store and very meticulously fit it into our Dodge Charger. There are also 4 wooden non-folding chairs in there too!

OH, It’ll FIT!!!


I knew right away that I wanted to paint it white

of course…but decided pretty early on that I would just refinish the top of the table.  This was not the first time I had refinished something so I knew it was going to be a process, but I was up for the task.

Fortunately, this Arizona girl was now blessed with a beautiful Seattle summer to spend her days in the garage with the door up feeling the cool breezes and the occasional rain.

Did I mention I love Seattle?


Which paint to use…

chalk paint or “regular’ paint?  I love chalk paint… I do… but I decided to try something different that promised to be super durable with a hard finish and even self-leveling.  Not that I mind brush strokes at all because I actually love them.  So…I settled on Sherwin Williams Door And Trim Paint and I am so glad I did! 

Due to the fact that it’s not chalk paint, I decided to do a bit of sanding…just to rough it up, followed by a coat of primer.  I used Kilz primer because I had it on hand and I know it’s good stuff. 

Purdy 144152325 XL Series Glide Angular Trim Paint Brush, 2-1/2 inchUsing a Purdy brush…my favoriteI applied two coats of SW Door and Trim paint in Dover White (heads up…this is the exact paint and color I will be painting my kitchen cabinets with very soon…stay tuned). 

The self-leveling aspect of this paint is pretty darn cool.  It goes on so smooth and silky…I love it!  

I sanded just a bit to rough it up an then applied a coat of primer to the base of my Dining Room Table.

Sanded and in the Priming Process!


Painting tiny little spindles with a brush is very tedious. But this dining room table makeover never promised to be easy, just rewarding.

Getting closer! Painting those little spindles is no walk in the park!


Even though I did NOT use chalk paint for this dining room table, I still used dark wax in the details for an aged, distressed look.

Time to wax those legs!


I love a bit of a distressed look…

on my painted furniture, but since I didn’t use chalk paint I knew it would be difficult to distress by sanding so I decided to try something else.  Annie Sloan dark wax in all the details/cracks/crevices.

I used a wax brush to apply it and then wiped it with a cloth being careful not to completely remove it from the detail areas.

I knew once it cured it would be there to stay and I love the aged look that it gave it.

I used Annie Sloan dark wax, applied with a wax brush, to give the base/legs of the dining room table an aged, distressed look.

Annie Sloan dark wax for an aged, distressed look.


I love the brass ‘not real brass’ feet so I polished them up and made them shine using my trusty Norwex cleaning paste. I love this stuff!

Though the feet may not be brass...they're still very cool and I love how they shined when I polished them.

Dining Room Table gets a pedicure! 🙂


Meanwhile, I was also working on the table top…

which was a completely different process.  The top was in pretty bad shape with water damage and scratches (as you can see in the first before photo).

I intended to re-stain the top of the table…

which meant I had to get all of the finish off first.  I applied a thick coat of Citristrip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel and then covered it with plastic. I wish I had a picture of that part but alas…I don’t.

Just imagine cutting down the seam line of big trash bags and laying them out on the top of the Citristrip on the table top.  This way it stays nice and moist and seems to make it work even better.

I love this stripper because it can be used indoors and doesn’t have a strong smell or bad fumes, not to mention it works like magic.

All of the finish was removed first by stripping and then sanding in preparation for staining the top of the dining room table.

Table top is stripped, sanded, and ready for stain!

The Citristrip did most of the work…

Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stainbut I still sanded the heck out of that table top to get all the scratches out.  There were a few places along the edge that had some issues so I used wood filler on those and then I was ready to stain.

I chose MINWAX Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in Dark Walnut. Staining is quite fun, wipe it on and wipe it off.  I put two coats on the table top and then was pretty happy with the color.  I followed the directions on the can very carefully and even let it dry a bit longer than it needed since it was cool and rainy.

Once it was good and dry…

Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Protective FinishesI was ready to apply the top coat.  I chose MINWAX polycrylic because I was promised that it was tough and would not yellow over time.


This part of the process is not for sissies and it’s very important to Lather, Rinse, Repeat…or in other words (literally) Apply, Sand, Apply. Now it seems almost counterintuitive to apply it…let it dry…and then sand it off, but trust me, it works. This process gives you a beautiful, smooth, polished surface.

I applied 4 coats of topcoat.

Staining is a process of stain, sand, stain, sand, get the idea! It's a necessary evil that makes for a beautiful finished product.

After 4 coats of Polycrylic! So shiny!!!

Don’t worry about the slight milky look to it…it dries crystal clear. Since this was going to be our everyday dining room table…and our only table…I decided to let it dry for 7 full days.

I wanted to make sure not to use it too soon and risk messing up all my hard work.

When the drying period was over and the table was back together and in our dining room I was thrilled with how beautiful it was and quite proud of myself.  I mean, come on, look how pretty, Right??

Dining room table base painted in Sherwin Williams Door and Trim paint. Table top stained with MINWAX dark walnut penetrating stain.

What a transformation! So Pretty!!!!


I painted and refinished this Dining Room Table almost 3 years ago…

so I can tell you, from experience,  how it has held up.  I can even show you! 🙂

3 years later and only a few scuff marks. The 'not real brass' feet have darkened a bit but I love the look.

3 years later and only a few minor scuffs.


The dark wax in the detail give such an authentic aged look to painted furniture.

Dark wax is still there


This dining room table makeover has held up great even after 3 years. It survived a move, being stored in the heat for 2 months and puts up with grandkids on a regular basis. :)

3 years and still shiny!


This dining room table makeover is one of my favorites. It has held up beautifully after 3 years of constant use. I love that it has a history, with stories to tell.

Dining Room Table Makeover after 3 years!


This Dining Room Table is one of my favorite makeovers. I can't imagine having a different table. I love this table with its history and stories to tell.

3 Years Later, the only difference is the house. 🙂

It has held up wonderfully! 

I am so happy with my choice of products.  It even survived the move back to Phoenix which meant being disassembled, packed into the back of a moving truck, taken on a long road trip and then, to top it all off, stored in the heat for 2 months while we bought a house.

It has some scuff marks from feet resting on it and chairs bumping against it but the paint has not chipped at all! I consider this project a Dining Room Table Makeover WIN!!!


This dining room table makeover was worth every step. From Drab to Fab!!!!

Before and After


How I transformed a thrift store dining room table into a fabulous french country dining room table that we use every day.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
The following two tabs change content below.
Hi! I'm Cindy....wife, mom, Mimi (aka grandma) and home décor enthusiast. I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and good junk!
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hi! I'm Cindy...

….wife, mom, Mimi (aka grandma) and home décor enthusiast.

I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and good junk! But I really don’t like spending a lot of money, which you probably figured out by where I like to shop.

Learn More...

Let’s Get Together