05 Sep

When Bold is Beautiful

update table & chairs

You know that cliché “go big or go home”? I’ve been in restaurants with tables smaller than the one Misty commissioned me to update for her busy family. She and her husband, a local church Pastor, entertain often and loved the size of their second-hand dining room set but knew it was in need of an overhaul. So when she asked, I was happy to see what I could do to help.

Because theirs is a home full of activity – with three young children and a constant flow of visitors – their tabletop had seen better days. The clear finish had gummed up and worn away in several spots. Misty gave up trying to get it clean and opted for a large tablecloth instead.

dirty table

the infamous ‘before’ picture

The chairs were in pretty good condition. A bit of glue to tack down the splat veneer, lots of paint and new upholstery would freshen them right up. They felt solid and were heavy. And once I’d stripped them of fabric and foam I knew why.

veneer chair

guess what the seat is made from…

I guess over in Malaysia it’s common to repurpose laminate countertops into seat bases. It must also be standard practice to secure fabric with 108 staples per chair. Have you ever tried to pry staples out of MDF? I don’t recommend it. Especially not eight times over.

Another lesson learned on this project was that attempts to spot-bleach wood will fail. Miserably. And since the top was composed of thin sheets of veneer an all-over-bleaching would soak through and compromise the substrate glue. That meant my plan to restore the natural blonde wood tone was out the window.

wood bleach

spot bleaching is bad!

See, originally Misty and I both assumed the filmstrip-like border was a sticker or paint and would easily remove when the table was stripped. I was surprised to find the checks were built into the tabletop itself and couldn’t bring myself to paint over the gorgeous ebony wood inlay.

black dining table

color: caviar & paint minerals

So, I taped it off and painted over. Three times.

ebony wood inlay

salvaged ebony wood inlay

Stunning right? I love how the skirting’s dentil molding pops against the checkered pattern that ties fabulously with the polka dots on the chair seat fabric (that is on sale right now.) Seriously, I love when project pieces just fall together.

Speaking of chair seat fabric, the very day I planned to haul these puppies out of the garage for delivery I had an unexpected challenge to overcome.

reupholstered chair pad

Why is there a gap under the chair pad?

The original screws seemed to have grown a 1/4″ causing the space between the chair base and seat. Apparently, eliminating the fabric-wrapped piping from the finished design meant I’d need (32) shorter screws (and a fancy new screwdriver) to complete the project.

painted veneer chair

paint: caviar black / fabric: wizard graffiti

But look at that chair. And those chairs down there! Gorgeous.

painted chairs

paint: lime rickey

Personally, I wasn’t sure if it would all come together. See, when we first discussed paint the plan was to finish the chairs in pairs with (4) different colors (red, green, black, cream) to tie in the bold fabric. Along the way, Misty decided to streamline the palette.

modern dining set

the glorious ‘after’ shot

And it works. Now the fabric takes center stage. Removing the captain’s chairs all together changes up the look too.

black kitchen table

not bad in all black

Now Misty doesn’t have to cover up when guests come over. Her fun, inviting table will no doubt make everyone feel right at home.

painted dining room table

back at home 

black kitchen table

(pin this)

9 thoughts on “When Bold is Beautiful

  1. This is a really gorgeous re-styled set Dee. I bet Misty is super happy. I can’t believe you taped off the inlay and painted over three times! It looks amazing. And I guess it was by fluke that the fabric ended up matching up with the inlay… or are you THAT good?! 🙂 Beautiful work!

    • The whole piece was poly’d and then waxed. Hand rubbing is a method of rubbing out the hardened poly for a higher shine. I do that to tabletops but not legs, chairs, etc. usually.

  2. This is a beautiful set! I don’t know what veneer with inlay means but I think it is something my dentist sells in his office! But seriously, great job on this. It is amazing how you can turn trash into treasure!

    • You’re on the right track! Wood veneer is similar in that it’s thin strips of fancy, expensive wood applied to a less quality wood base. So, when the fake tooth veneer is applied to teeth it does the same thing for a person’s smile that wood veneering does to inexpensive wood. The inlay would be like diamonds embedded in tooth veneer. It’s the ‘bling’.

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