Tired Old Table to Cute French Script Dining Table

5 Materials
5 Hours
My niece was given this old dining table. The top was scratched and the chairs were worn. It was in desperate need of a makeover. I decided to give it a French facelift.

I started by taking the seats off of the chairs. They unscrewed easily from the bottom. I took the four wooden back slats off the chairs and then the wooden top off of the table. Leaving just the metal frames of the table and chairs. They had lost most of their finish. I spray painted all the metal frames a flat black.
Next, I sanded the table top and the wood slats from the chair backs with a coarse sandpaper to remove the worn finish. Then, I whitewashed the wood with a diluted cream acrylic paint.  I literally just wiped the watered down paint on with a rag.  It dried very quickly.  The thinned paint really let the wood grain show through. 

While the table was drying, I searched the internet for a French script letter including an old 1909 post mark.  I printed it out as a four foot by four foot poster.  If you have never done this before, it prints out on 30 sheets of regular printer paper.  They fit together to make the picture of the letter just like a very easy puzzle.  I laid the sheets of paper out on the table top forming the picture and taped them together.  I took a sheet of old carbon paper, (Yep, old typewriter carbon paper) and put it under the first sheet of paper.  Then just trace the French script. 
After tracing each sheet of paper, the French script was very faint.  I took a wide black sharpie and went over all the script.  I allowed the sharpie ink to dry so that it didn't smear. Next, I wiped the table with a damp rag to remove any evidence of the carbon ink.  Then I sealed the table with a food grade sealer made for wood.  I put four coats of sealer on the table top lightly sanding between the coats.  I found some cute French script fabric at Hobby Lobby and covered the chair seats.    Then reattached the seats, the slats and the table top to the now painted metal frames.
All finished! My niece loves it!
Suggested materials:
  • Black spray paint (Rustoleum 2X)   (Walmart)
  • Fabric   (Hobby Lobby)
  • 80 and 220 grit sandpaper   (Lowes)
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  • Mar29975311 Mar29975311 on Feb 08, 2018
    Where do you get carbon paper from? What do you use to seal the fabric on the chairs so they don't stain?

  • Jeanne Johnson Ortego Jeanne Johnson Ortego on Feb 09, 2018
    How did you find the letter? I wouldn't even know where to search!
    You did a fabulous job! I applaud your ingenuity and imagination!

  • Cheryl Johnston Cheryl Johnston on Feb 20, 2018
    I have this exact table set! I ahve been looking for an idea to refurbish it an I love what you did. I found the French lettering but I cannot figure out how to blow it up to poster size so it prints like you said. Once I save it my only size options are the standard 8x11, legal, executive etc. Can you walk me through that?

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