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Painting A Dining Table And Chairs With Latex Paint

How to use custom mix latex paint for painting a dining table and chairs and then re-cover the fabric chair seats for a whole new look.

Hey Guys! The table for this paint makeover came from my favorite junk shop and the four chairs were an auction buy. The dining table is small because at one time he had folding leaves on two sides but those are gone now. The table is square and a nice size if you have a small kitchen or dining area.

this latex paint for dining room table and chairs

I used my favorite fabric for the seat covers……drop cloth. You have to admit the white paint and drop cloth seats give the table and chairs a fresh clean look. I have a lot of in-process photos for you of the painting and the seat re-cover steps. I also made a video showing how I faux-distressed the tabletop and the chairs.

dining table and chairs to paint

This is how the table and chairs looked before the makeover. There are a total of four chairs and I intend to price the table with the option of two chairs or four chairs when I take the set to the booth and tag it.

sand furniture to rough up the finish before painting

For this makeover, I used my sander to rough up the table top just a bit. I don’t know if that helps the paint adhere or not. I really only ran the sander over the top 2 or 3 times.

Custom Color Paint mixed in Behr Scuff Defense Paint
Custom Color Paint mixed in Behr Scuff Defense Paint

Neutral-colored furniture always sells better in my booth so I choose the custom mix paint I used on the buffet last week for this project.

Petticoat Junktion painting a table with white paint (3)

The JTS came down to the shop about the time I started painting the table and I asked him to snap a photo of me and the table. I always start painting a table just like this…..the table is turned upside down and me sitting on the floor. Once I paint the legs with the table upside down I set the table upright and put a second coat of paint on the legs. It’s so much easier to cover all the nooks and crannies this way.

faux distress paint using a Folkart layering block (2)

I applied two coats of paint to the table and then used a layering block to add some faux distressing to the tabletop. The photo above shows the block. This is a snapshot from the video and they never look very good. You can watch the video and see the whole process. The video is in the post after more of the project photos.

dining table with faux distressing

This is what the top looks like after the faux distressing with dark, dark, brown paint.

Varathane sealer for table top

I always seal the painted dining room table tops. Varathane is my favorite Polyurethane sealer. It’s water-based and for this project, I chose the matte finish.

apply Varathane sealer with a brush

The Varathane is milky white when wet but dries crystal clear. I applied three coats of sealer. The table top feels so smooth once the Varathane is dry.

dining room chair to paint and change the seat fabric

I believe the chairs are made out of oak. All four chairs were in great shape. I didn’t have to make any repairs but as you can tell the chairs definitely needed an update.

taking the screws out of a dining room chair to remove the seat

It’s really easy to recover chair seats like these. First, you remove the four screws holding the seat to the frame by turning the chair upside down and using a power drill or a regular old screwdriver.

remove screws from furniture before painting and put in a plastic bag

I’ve learned the hard way to corral all the screws in a plastic bag or they tend to disappear.

how to use a drop cloth to recover chair seats

Before using a drop cloth to cover the seats I wash them to remove the odor and soften them up. Next, I lay the seat upside down on the drop cloth and cut enough fabric to turn the edges up over the bottom side of the seat to staple the fabric in place.

dining room chair seat recovered with a drop cloth

This is how the bottom of the seat looks after being re-covered. I have a full tutorial with video in this post….How To Paint An Oak Table And Re-Cover Chair Seats With A Drop Cloth


recover dining chairs with white drop cloths

Don’t those seats look so nice and neat!! See why I like drop-cloth-covered seats so much?

paint a wood chair

I turn the chairs upside down on a table to start the painting process. I paint the bottom of the chair this way.

how to paint a dining room chair

Then I turn the chair upright at eye level and finish painting the bottom of the chair.

how to paint a wood chair

I also partially paint the top of the chair with it sitting on the table. It’s much easier to see the underside areas of the chair. Then I finish the chair up with it sitting on the floor. I applied two coats of paint to the chairs.

how to remove a chair seat

I screwed the seats back to the frames once the paint was dry. I do this by sitting the chair seat upside down on the table and then placing the chair frame in place over the seat and then screw I it all back together. Next, I set the chair on the floor and pull on each seat corner to be sure the seat is securely attached.

paint and faux distress dining room chairs and table

I did a great job on those seats if I do say so myself.

how to use a layering block to faux distress painted furniture

I faux distressed the chairs just like I did the table. I ran the block over the edges and then some areas of the body of the chair. I know it’s hard to tell what the faux distressing really looks like in these small photos.

I will tell you that when I took the furniture to the shop yesterday Sarah thought the table and chairs were “real” distressed! I mentioned using the layering block and she had to look at the table and chairs again and still thought the distressing was real…..with sandpaper and the real wood showing underneath the paint.

how to use a Folkart layering block with paint

The video below shows the layering block process including how I brush paint onto the block for the distressing…..


how to paint a table and chairs white (4)

If you read my blog post yesterday on the copper-painted bucket then you’ve seen these flowers. I love artificial flowers and I’m always sticking them in a different containers in my displays.

paint a table and chairs using Behr Scuff Resistand Paint in white

You can see the faux distressing on the legs and apron of the table and on the edges and body of the chair. It’s just very light and not too over the top.

DIY painted furniture using custom color paint

The table is smallish for sure and it looks great with just two chairs.

diy painted table and chairs (3)

Here it is sitting in my booth at the shop with four chairs. That works too.

faux distressed white painted furniture

You can see the faux distressing on the tabletop……and the toe of my shoe…..in the photo above.

How to paint a table and chairs by Petticoat Junktion

Well, that’s it. What do you think? Leave a note if you have time and thanks for being here, Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Well, Kathy, you make it all look so easy! I have yet to paint a piece of furniture, although I keep planning to! I think this little table and chairs turned out really cute. Someone is going to have just the right place for the set and be thrilled to find it. Thanks for the tutorial; maybe it will encourage me to get started on a couple of small pieces that I have.

  2. I’m not a fan of the faux distressing …I might like it more seeing it in person… Appreciate u sharing ur technique… I always enjoy your emails..