Instructables
Picture of Refinishing Old Dining Room Set

We all have mismatching furniture that just doesn't go with anything else in the house or apartment. Though we all wish it did. Well you can change all that if you're willing to do the work! Since you're on Instructables site I'm guessing you are up for almost any DIY challenge. This is my first Instructable and I hope you enjoy!

Instructable Estimate Time to complete project:

  • 10-20 hours per chair (not including 24hr dry time after washing it)
  • 10-15 hours for table (not including 24hr dry time after washing it)
  • Total Estimate for a 4 piece dining room set:
  • Best 60hrs
  • Worst 115hrs
  • I completed this in just over 63hrs.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Choosing Your Piece

Picture of Choosing Your Piece

I choose to refinish an old pine wood dining room set that is just boring. I'm more of a modern girl that enjoys the classic lines and real wood. You want to plan out your stain and paint job or both before you even begin. I knew I wanted to make the legging and side supports look like metal with spray paint and the back rest and seat to be a darker stain. I also wanted to highlight the chairs details that are hidden with the boring plain stain. Make sure you do one piece at a time so you can pace yourself.

Cheese Queen2 months ago

How did you managed to "wash" the wood with water without raising the grain?

And why wash it- why not use a tack cloth? Inquiring minds...

kmeier (author)  Cheese Queen2 months ago
Excellent I've yet to have a positive experience with tack cloth as it always seems to leave pieces of cloth throughout the piece.

I've never had a problem with not raising the grain using a 50/50 mixture of warm water & vinegar (this is your white distilled vinegar, I was not clear on that) as long as I let it dry fully. Also I'm not soaking the wood just getting it slightly damp. The damp paper towel or rag did not give me any shard pieces left behind like the tack cloth.
Deltic kmeier2 months ago

I've not heard of your warm water & vinegar mixture for cleaning (I think the "white, distilled" is probably an important caveat!); we were always taught to clean with white spirit to prevent opening & raising the grain. Superb looking finished product tho' & great instructable, thanks very much for taking the time to share.

Bettybstt2 months ago

Beautiful - you have much more patience than I!

kudzu632 months ago

You did a very good job on this. I too like the darker color but also like to be able to see the grain in the wood. The metallic is a nice touch. Just a couple of things that MIGHT help. When using the stripper, IF you are trying to get through several layers of paint or polyurethane, you can cover it with clear plastic after applying the stripper and it will keep it from evaporating. Letting it work longer. Also, when you're "washing" it to get the dust off, it goes a lot quicker and in my opinion does a better job to just use some paint thinner on an old rag. I know it's exposing you to a chemical but after using stripper, paint thinner is kind of mild. You may already know these tricks but I just thought I might help someone. Thanks for a good Instructable.

HP_II2 months ago

Looks great and the contrasting details really put this above the usual stuff! Well worth it.

If you get the chance, and have a store that sells it, I'd suggest checking out General Finishes Gel Stain,
it could be perfect for something like this. I'd bet with the dark
color, you could do a light sanding and then just refinish with the gel
stain (which is wipe on). It literally saved a project that the
"minXXX" stuff was not working for.

kmeier (author)  HP_II2 months ago
HP thank you very much. I personally love contrast & try to show off details that someone else already put the time and effort in that's been lost. I will look into General Finishes Gel Stain I try not to use anything that I couldn't get
ronaldcolby2 months ago

You should try Soy-gel stripper, non toxic and won't give you a chemical burn.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2083445/34092/SOY-Gel-Professional-Paint-Stripper-Quart.aspx

kmeier (author)  ronaldcolby2 months ago
Thank you! I will give this a try on my next project.
egon762 months ago
Nice job and thanks. This is why I get so many clients cause the DIY part is just not up to the challenge of the working family. Job security....

Nice job, I love the dark wood stain!

kmeier (author) 2 months ago

Yes I made this and if you have any questions I am more than happy to answer them!