Dining room table, before and after
Brittany Shaw portrait

Refinished Table

How to Refinish a Dining Room Table Set

Brittany Shaw

A Spark of Creativity

How to get more life out of your existing dining room set with a fresh coat of paint and updated seats.

Behr Color Palette

This color is Black



I had a dining room set that I absolutely loved but I was not in love with the cherry stain color. It did not match my home decor style or any other pieces in my home. I have been debating for months whether I should just buy a new table or take on the challenge of refinishing this one and I went with option 2. Refinishing furniture is one thing I absolutely love to do. I love seeing a piece of furniture in its original state and then turning it into a gorgeous show-stopping piece. I knew I wanted my table and chairs to be black and I wanted to refinish the chair pads to give the entire set a new look and it turned out absolutely beautiful! It’s like I got a whole new dining set without breaking the budget.


Dining room table, ready to paint

The first thing we did was prep the table and chairs by removing any gunk from the legs or table top and cleaning with a dust rag to ensure a clean canvas. There were a few spots that had gunk on the legs that we removed with a little spatula. We also made sure there were no loose bolts or anything else before we got started. As you can see in the photo of the table in its original state, it's a beautiful piece of furniture - but the color, not so much!

We got the table ready by placing a drop cloth underneath to protect our wood floors and to ensure an easy clean up area. We unlocked the hinges to remove the leaf and pulled the table as far apart as we could to make sure we could paint everything!


Priming the table with gray primer and a paint roller

We opted to not sand down the entire table because we wanted to make this a one weekend project. We headed to Home Depot and picked up a primer in gray to cover the existing gray color. This worked like a charm to cover up any scratches, nicks and water rings and give us a fresh canvas for painting! We applied the primer with a roller and only used a brush to fill in the grooves on the very top of the table. We applied a total of 2 coats of primer with a drying time of 1 hour in between.

Let's not forget the chairs. We had to prime every single angle of the chairs to make sure we got a clean canvas to paint with. Although this part was a bit time-consuming it was totally worth it!


Table with the first coat of black paint

Once the 2nd coat of primer was dried, we were ready to start the transformation and I couldn’t wait to see how gorgeous the BEHR PREMIUM PLUS ULTRA® looked on the table. First, we start by using a small brush and filling in all the grooves, then we took our paint roller and rolled the BEHR paint in Black on. We started with the table top, then the legs, then the sides. We painted the chairs. We allowed the first coat to dry for one hour before we went for the second coat.

The coverage was pretty good, but we definitely wanted to do one more coat. At this point I’m loving the matte finish. We added the second coat the same way as the first coat and allowed it to dry overnight.

Detail of the newly upholstered chairs
Using a roller to paint a chair
Stapling new fabric onto a chair seat

Chair Pads

After painting, the chairs looked amazing but now I wasn’t happy with the leather seats. So, we decided those needed a makeover as well. I grabbed a yard and a half of fabric and that was plenty to recover 6 chair pads. I cut squares 24” x 24” and this was the perfect size! Just flip the pad upside down on the square and pull the fabric tightly starting at the bottom and staple it into place. Repeat with the top and sides.

How amazing do these chair pads look now? We wanted a busy print because let's be realistic — we do have four children in this house!

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The black matte finish was the perfect choice for our dining room table and I’m so in love.

The finished table and chairs with a new table runner and candles
The newly finished table and chairs
Close-up of a refinished and reupholstered chair with the updated table

The table turned out absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The black matte finish was the perfect choice for our dining room table. I can’t wait to host the holidays at our home now so we can show off our refinished dining room table set! We added in an 8x10 rug just to pull the entire dining room together! Doesn’t it look beautiful?

I am so in LOVE with the dining room table set now! I can’t even remember what it looked like before! I added a table runner and some of my favorite candle holders to complete the table! I can’t wait to see what you all think about my dining room table refinish makeover!

Brittany Shaw portrait

Brittany Shaw

Hi my name is Brittany and I’m a wife and mother of 4 little ones ranging in ages 6 years to 4 months old. I run the blog A Spark of Creativity and I share a lot of my Home Decor Photos, DIY Home Decor Projects and our DIY Home Renovations on there as well as some other things. A year ago, my husband and I purchased up a fixer upper home and from the day we moved in we’ve been making it our dream home with one project at a time. Now that we’ve finished the big projects such as the kitchen remodel, bamboo flooring, new stair rails it’s time to start focusing on refinishing furniture and more! The blog is full of fun and creative projects!