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90s Oak Dining Set Gets a Make-over

Wood filler to smooth it out

Then I stained the top using dark walnut gel stain, applied with a cloth. I would have loved to stain it to match our vintage side-board, but I’ve bought so many stains trying to match that colour and haven’t found one yet!

Half stained

I gave the table base a very light sanding and painted it white. I also painted the lip on the table top the same colour.  I’ve never used this shade of white before and it’s my new fav!!! Not as stark as some of the whites I’ve used in the past. It’s Fusion Raw Silk. (I’m going to use the left-over paint for my coffee table!)

Painted base
Painted lip

Then I re-assembled the table and sealed it.



I used three coats of clear satin finish on the table top, applied with a brush. I did a very light sanding, using a sanding block, between coats. It only took about two extra minutes to do this step and it resulted in a beautiful smooth finish.  I removed the dry chalky reside with a dusting mitt I got at the dollar store.

Light sanding between coats

I sealed the base with two coats of matte wipe-on poly, applied with a damp cloth. I did a third coat on the ‘feet’, just so they had extra protection from being bumped with the chair legs. Then the table was complete!!



The next step was to work on two of the chairs. This way we would still have two usable chairs while I worked through this project.



I sanded the chairs with my orbital sander. I paid extra attention to getting the glossy coating off the seats and the outer ring of the back-rests (where people tend to grab it). The rest of the chairs I just gave a light sanding.

Chair sanding

My original plan was to use a paint sprayer on the chairs. But I found the results were bumpy and it was creating a big mess on the surrounding garage floor (even though I used barriers). And it was sucking up the paint like crazy! Perhaps it was because I’m not experienced with a sprayer, or maybe my sprayer is not a good one. I don’t know! A lot of people swear by them. Either way, I stopped after the legs of the first chair were done and finished painting them the old-fashioned way, with a brush! I did two coats per chair.



Then I did two coats of the wipe-on poly on the entire chair and a third coat on the high traffic areas (seat, outer rim of backrest and front legs).

First two chairs completed

A couple weeks later I got around to doing the two remaining chairs – using the exact same process. I found it easier on my back to flip the chair upside down on my counter top while painting the legs.

And this is our re-styled dining set! I’m so glad this project is behind me and that I no longer feel embarrassed when company stops by. 😊