Vintage Dining Table and Cane Chairs Transformation

Hey friends! Today, I'd like to share with you all about our thrifted dining table and chairs makeover!
vintage dining table and cane chairs transformation, painted furniture
I refinished this set from Goodwill a few years back, but it’s still beautiful and in great shape! I absolutely LOVE the cane chairs and the curves of the table legs. And — knock on wood — the cane chairs have held up after all these years! Lol! ;)
The pic below shows how it started out…an old, dilapidated mess! You can’t see in the pic, but all of the chairs had some 80’s fabric that was covered with clear plastic. It wasn’t pretty! And you can see the watermarks on the table as well!
vintage dining table and cane chairs transformation, painted furniture
First, my sweet honey carried the table and chairs onto our back patio to protect against the fumes AND to keep from having to sweep up the big mess I was about to make. ;)
Next, I sanded down the table to give it a rough edge, so the paint would stick. Third, after wiping off the grime from the sand job, I began to paint. It only needed a couple of good coats.
Now, came the exciting part! It was time to adhere the poly! (I used polyurethane only on the tabletop, in order to protect the surface.) So as I painted the poly on, I noticed that a yellowish tint started to appear. And being the newbies that we were to refinishing furniture, my hubby and I both thought that maybe it would dry clear….Afterall, the outside of the can DID say that it was a clear poly. Below is a pic of how it dried. An ugly yellow. Just terrible.
vintage dining table and cane chairs transformation, painted furniture
I was so disappointed that it didn’t dry clear like it was supposed to! So, I started over. Thankfully, there’s this wonderful product for people like me who have to start again or who want to strip paint off of something! It's called Citristrip, and it worked like a dream! It’s wonderful! I just followed the directions on the bottle, and the layers of paint and the yellow poly came right off. It was amazing! Below is a pic of what it looks like, once applied.
vintage dining table and cane chairs transformation, painted furniture
One good thing that came from this project is the fact that I realized (after sanding the poly off) that I liked the tabletop a natural finish instead of what I originally planned, which was a white tabletop!
vintage dining table and cane chairs transformation, painted furniture
vintage dining table and cane chairs transformation, painted furniture
So, after learning my lesson the first time, I repainted and then applied what’s called Waterlox. And I’m here to tell you that this product actually DID dry clear (or at least as clear as one can get with a “natural” finish)! I just painted the Waterlox on the top of the table and on the arms of the chairs….wherever I thought there’d be a lot of wear and tear.
vintage dining table and cane chairs transformation, painted furniture
So there you have it, folks. My refinished kitchen table and chairs. We eat on this table; we do homework and projects on this table; we use the sewing machine on this table….What can I say?! We use this table for everything, and it’s held up beautifully!
If you're interested in discovering all the supplies I used for this project, click on the link below, and it will take you directly to this post. ;)
Have you ever had a mishap with poly...or with refinishing furniture in general? I’d love to hear your story and even learn a thing or two about furniture makeovers! Comment below, or stop by the blog and comment there. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Have a wonderful day!
The Rustic Boxwood

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Ronney Kendall
    on Jul 12, 2017

    I have a similar set that we are moving and I want to redo it. It's high quality stuff and It is very heavy and from the 70, and obviously poly'd up and stained and all that stuff. Do you recommend using that product Cirilex? or whatever it was first to take all that off? or sanding and then painting? Mine is like a walnut finish with gold seats (just like yours) I just want to make sure I work smarter not harder LOL Thanks for any advice:)

    • The Rustic Boxwood
      on Jul 12, 2017

      Well, I'd love to help you any way I can, but just know that I'm not an expert. ;) If you'd like to try the citristrip, I'd make sure you do a sample area first...maybe test a spot on the side of the table?? I think you'll be amazed though at how easily all those layers come off after using this miracle stuff! Hope that helps. ;)

  • Ligia Cruz Vargas
    on Aug 20, 2017

    Was your table solid wood? My dining room table is all scratched and I would like to finish the top but it's veneer. Can I sand it down? Thank you.

    • Ligia Cruz Vargas
      on Aug 22, 2017

      Thank you. I've never heard of chalk paint. Does it come in wood colors. Is it matte or has a sheen to it. I'll look into it at our local hardware store.

  • Tammy Goemaat
    on Jul 13, 2018

    What type of paint did you use?

Join the conversation

3 of 59 comments
  • Annie Doherty
    on Jun 16, 2016

    Lisa what a terrific transformation it is so beautiful and you and your family can now enjoy it for many years to come. As an 'old' refurbisher I really admire people who can turn ugly ducklings into beautiful swans, it just gives you so much satisfaction. Thanks for dharing

    • The Rustic Boxwood
      on Jun 16, 2016

      Aww, thanks so much, Anne, for your kind words. We absolutely love our table and chairs, and I'm thrilled to share it with y'all! :) Hugs, Katie

  • The13363824
    on Nov 11, 2017

    Your makeover is just say the least!! I wouldn't mind eating off this table for Thanksgiving!! Happy Holidays!!

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