Asked on Jun 7, 2020

I just stripped my diningroom set should I paint them?

Joy ElizabethKmdreamerChloe Crabtree


The set is mainly Cherry wood which is very difficult to stain. I was going to paint them white but not sure any more. If I don't paint them, what should I do?

15 answers
  • Nan W.
    Nan W.
    on Jun 7, 2020

    Hi! The set is beautiful and you did a ton of work! The table looks "consistent" -- by the chair might have different woods and/or different directions of grain that may not be optimal for stain.

    (PS. I'm a big fan of painting furniture).


  • Deb K
    Deb K
    on Jun 7, 2020

    Hello SL, I don't know how you feel about chalk paint, but I love it! You could do a modern color of chalk paint and a new modern fabric on them.

  • I would not paint that beautiful wood. If you're worried about stain, try tung oil. It leaves a beautiful finish.

  • Mogie
    on Jun 7, 2020

    Or do a little of both. I have seen dining room chairs that have just the legs and pieces that run up where you back leans painted white and the rest left with natural wood. Sort of breaks adds more interest to the piece.

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    on Jun 7, 2020

    Yes! Would a white chalk paint work with the other colors in your space?

  • Redcatcec
    on Jun 7, 2020

    There is nothing like the beauty and grain of natural wood. I would not paint it!

    Ann made a good suggestion using tung oil.

    You did a great job stripping it.

  • Ken Erickson
    Ken Erickson
    on Jun 7, 2020

    I hate to see quality wood covered by paint. I would use a gel stain to get a color you want, of just put on shellac of other finish to protect the wood and add a minimal amount of color.

  • Dee
    on Jun 7, 2020

    I would not paint it and certainly not with chalk paint if you decide to. I would call General Finishes. They make one of the best stains around or find a retail store near you that sells General Finish Products and consult with them.

  • Gk
    on Jun 7, 2020

    General Finishes would work beautifully on this!

  • K. Rupp
    K. Rupp
    on Jun 8, 2020

    I personally love cherry wood and I probably woudn't paint it because of the type of wood. If you feel like you are dying for it to be brighter, then paint the chairs white and leave the natural cherry table. I love a two tone set. Don't stain the table, just cover it with a general finishes sealer after you have done your sanding. Before sealing, do a light coat of steel wool so it is super smooth if you haven't done that already. I also LOVE Waterlox (another sealer). You will need a few coats of that though because it is pretty thin but gives an amazing finish.

    For the chairs, if you decide to paint, go with something a little more heavy Benjamin Moore Advance. This is a cabinet paint, but I use it on furniture when I know it will be getting a lot of use and I don't want chipping. The result of this paint is like what you would get at a furniture store. It really is amazing paint. Check out my post :

    I used that paint on that dresser. Expensive paint but It never dissapoints!! and doesn't need a topcoat. Good luck! I know your set will be beautiful whatever you decide;)

    • K. Rupp
      K. Rupp
      on Jun 8, 2020

      My husband has been sealing cherry very recently actually while he has been home. Hubby is a woodworker and is making our kitchen cabinets in cherry. I know ...not the style right now because everything is white but he is a wood guy and they are really beautiful! I do love them. He is sealing them with Waterlox. That is why I thought of that finish. It will take at least a few coats though like I was saying. I think he has put 4/5 coats on them. If you want to know how to work with Waterlox, I have another post for you.

      I redid a bench and used it, and the finish came out like furniture I would buy in the store. That is why I really recommend it. But between each coat, I steel wooled in between so it would be super smooth. This was one of my first posts on my blog....but I go into detail on how to get furniture quality finish using Waterlox. I still have to reference it sometimes to make sure I can remember each step. HAHA. Pictures aren't great...definitely not a photographer so you can't see how great the finish is. BUT my mom who has always used poly came over when I finished it and she said, 'how the heck did you get this finish'? This feels like from a store...and there is no raised dust. HA. Anywho, check the post out. It is actually part of a 3 post series on a bench I re-upholstered. So if you click the link at the end, you will see the bench finished. GOOD LUCK!! Feel free to ask me any questions on my blog or contact me with questions;). Send me a pic with what you decide to do. I would be excited to hear!

  • Johnavallance82
    on Jun 10, 2020


    You could paint it or stain it or wax it or Lime wax it. The choice is yours really, depending on your decor............You have done the hard work - enjoy the finish!

  • Linda
    on Jun 12, 2020

    They look amazing! I like them stripped which is saying a lot because I love painted furniture. If you decide to paint I think milk paint would look amazing. Here is a post I wrote on how to paint with mild paint.

  • Chloe Crabtree
    Chloe Crabtree
    on Jun 12, 2020

    It totally depends on the look you want. You can paint or can re-stain this set.

  • Kmdreamer
    on Jun 12, 2020

    Wow looks great how about you get a penatrating stain it adds a hint of color and put a finish but you could see the wood grain come through it looks great

  • Joy Elizabeth
    Joy Elizabeth
    on Jun 13, 2020

    I think a paint and stain combo would look wonderful! For example, stain the table top, and paint the legs,

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