1950's Dining Set Makeover


This dining set was bought by my parents in the 60's and given to me about 15 years ago. I have always disliked the dark brown but didn't know what to do with it until I discovered chalk paint.

1950 s dining set makeover

Buffet close up. I liked the hardware but the dark brown had to go.

1950 s dining set makeover


1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

Pink rug, green walls, brown furniture. Need I say More?

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

Started with changing the top of the wall color. Used white paint that I had on hand. Four coats of white were needed to cover the green. I could have probably bought new, better quality white paint and gotten away with 2 coats, but I wanted to use what I already had.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

After 2 applications of chalk paint. I like to shop local, so I bought Reloved chalk paint. Color is called Storm. This paint goes a long way. I thin it down with water because I prefer three thin coats than 1 or 2 heavy coats. Personal preference here.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

Top of the china cabinet. I did not want a solid color. White was the best color to offset the grey and give the cabinet a light, clean and airy feel.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

Drawers were next. The white paint is also by Reloved. Color is called Cotton.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

The doors were time consuming. After washing the hardware, I decided I would keep it. Small memento of what the piece was originally.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

Cabinet. Waxed with clear wax.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

Cabinet and hutch. Used clear wax only. The waxing was hard to do with so many small crevices.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

The original chairs had cane backs and my mom had them reupholstered years ago. It's hard to find someone who will do cane chairs anymore and if you can it is ridiculously expensive. I had recovered the seats about 4 years ago with the black pleather.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

I painted 2 of them in the grey and 4 in the white.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

The 4 white chairs have the same fabric and the 2 grey chairs have been re-upholstered in a complimentary pattern. Love these after pictures of the chairs.

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster

Project completed. Love the new, clean and airy feel to the room. Looks and feels bigger. Now all I have to do is remove the rug and replace it with a barn wood floor and I am done. Hopefully when spring comes around, I can finish this project. I've since added teal here in there to give it a splash of color. So I guess you're never really finished are you?

1950 s dining set makeover, chalk paint, dining room ideas, painted furniture, reupholster
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 39 questions
  • Teresa Prather
    on Nov 15, 2018

    WOW! My question is, how did you keep such straight lines with a brush? I love it!

    • Diane
      on Nov 16, 2018

      Not sure. I just naturally paint straight. But if you use a straight piece of trim or edging, you can keep long straight lines of paint or stain on any piece.

  • Diana
    on Nov 23, 2018

    Could you remove the decorative panels on the doors? If so , how?

    • Diane
      on Nov 23, 2018

      These are glued on so to remove them could damage the door. I think they are a charming element to the doors compared to a flat surface.

  • Diana
    on Dec 5, 2018

    Have refinished my table and chairs. Now I want to do the China cabinet, should they be the same colour or will it look ok to do it in a different colour? I also have a server to do.



    • Diane
      on Dec 6, 2018

      What color did you paint your table and chairs? I think the china cabinet could be painted a complimentary color and it would look lovely.

Join the conversation

4 of 294 comments
  • Donna
    on Oct 8, 2018

    Beautiful! I am going to give my buffet a try. The Dining Room table is new but my buffet is over 30 years time for an update. Thank you for the inspiration and the great tips.


    • Diane
      on Oct 9, 2018

      You’re very welcome. Feel free to reach out if you need advice.

  • Maria K.
    on Jan 4, 2019

    Nice work I love it! You've inspired me to tackle my husbands grandmothers old Ethan Allen hutch that I have a hard time looking at, thanks!

    • Diane
      on Jan 4, 2019

      Thank you Maria. That’s great. Looking forward to seeing your finished project.


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