If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you can probably guess my two favorite decorating “secret weapons”. If you guessed paint & fabric, you’re right. If you guessed something else like 1980’s brass chandeliers and taffeta, we need to get together more often!
Anyway, I had all of the components for a great dining room set, but they were a little disjointed. Understandably, since I bought this “set” in four different places over the period of two years! I found the end chairs (not in these pictures) at the Lucketts Antique Market two years ago, the table base at a local antique shop, the barn door (now the top) at a used furniture store, and the remaining four chairs off Craig’s List.
The top was raw, unfinished wood that was dried out. The base was a pretty mint green, but the color didn’t work in my room. The chairs were maroon, which obviously didn’t wasn’t very “Miss Mustard Seed-ish.” The only thing maroon in my house is my Redskins sweatshirts.
So, how can I unify the pieces? You guessed it. Paint and fabric.
For some reason, I like my dining sets in white. All of my sets (and there have been many) have been white with wood tops, so I went with that same design.
(The end chair in the picture below is from TJ Maxx, but I have the ones from Lucketts there now.)
Here’s how the table looked before painting and finishing…
As I said, the wood top was totally raw, so I finished it with a generous coat of Hemp Oil. It brings out the richness of the wood and makes the surface water resistant.
One reason why I like Hemp Oil more than poly is that it penetrates the surface, so it won’t chip or flake with use and if it’s ever looking tired or is marred, I can simply sand and apply another coat. It doesn’t need to be entirely refinished.
When using Hemp Oil, be mindful of the fact that it takes 3-4 weeks for it to completely cure, so the surface will feel oily during that curing period. Since our dining room table is not far from the front door, it’s often the landing zone for mail and other packages. During the cure time, the bottom letter in the stack ended up with oil spots on it! Because of that, I didn’t use linens on it and was careful with it until it cured. Just be mindful of that!
The chairs had layers of paint on them and I wasn’t about to try sanding or stripping them myself, so I paid $50/each to have them professionally stripped. These chairs are hand caned, sturdy and exactly what I wanted, so I felt like it was a good investment. Since the wood was bare, it was ideal for Milk Paint and the Bonding Agent wasn’t required. It soaks it up like a stain, making a durable finish. For this reason, I also mixed the milk paint a bit thinner than I would’ve if I was painting a piece with an existing finish. I dry-brushed ironstone on and lightly sanded the edges to expose the wood and highlight the details of the piece. The chairs were finished off with a light coat of Hemp Oil.
I made the skirts for each chair out of vintage hemp sheets and grain sacks. You can find the tutorial HERE.
I painted the table base in Ironstone as well, but painted over the existing mint green paint, which looked like it was a semi-gloss oil. I didn’t really want the green to show through chipping paint, so I added some Bonding Agent. One coat covered very well and I didn’t even bother with a finish, since legs don’t generally get worn. The matte look is very “farm-house-y”, which is appropriate for this style of table. (I mean, it does have a barn door top!)
Every time I walk in my dining room, this set makes me smile, which is a sign of a great furniture makeover.
As a short and sweet recap…
– Marian (aka Miss Mustard Seed)