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.

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


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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Cabinet. Waxed with clear wax.

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

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.

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

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.

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?

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 42 questions
  • Theresa
    on Feb 6, 2019

    Did you strip the chairs or just use the chalk paint on them? I have a couple old chairs I’d like to do, but do not want to strip them down to bare wood first. Ugh.

    Thank you. Your finished projects look fantastic.

    • Diane
      on Mar 25, 2019

      I didn’t strip. I clean them really well with TSP or dawn dish soap and water, rinse well and prime then paint.

  • Bonnie
    on Feb 13, 2019

    ok my plan is to do the same , but my hutch is veneer shiny from somewhere in the world, needless to say, with the chalk paint, do I have to sand paper it ? and are you putting a wax finish on top? any diyer please chime in...

    • Brenda
      on Aug 7, 2019

      I found after I had painted my dinning room furniture I put the wax recommended to finish the calk paint .

      Later I need to touch up the top of table found needed to strip it down to bare wood U cant sand the wax off it just gums up the sanding paper

      Much better to use a water base finishing top coat from a paint store

  • Julie
    on Feb 23, 2020

    Whats with the wax sealer? how does it work. I've seen a lot of DIYs that finish with some sort of wax. Please tell me what exactly is this? and how does it work over paint. Thank you.

Join the conversation

2 of 315 comments
  • Molly Jo
    on Mar 1, 2020

    one of the best makeovers i have seen in a LONG time, beautiful!

  • Johanne Palange
    on Jun 7, 2020

    Well done, elegant. I like the fabric on the chairs that go so well with cabinet. You could have done the motif fabric on the 4 fronts of the chairs and the 4 backs in stripes. But your way looks great too.

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