DIY, Farmhouse Decorating, Our Farmhouse

Farmhouse Dining Room Table Makeover

Just like the rest of Little by Little Farmhouse, our dining room has been a work in progress.  It made a huge leap forward last fall with its major transformation.  I had originally placed a mismatched bunch of chairs around our table at that time.  And I liked it…for a while.  A few months ago, I switched out most of those chairs for a matching set of black chairs.  These black chairs were nothing special and have been a variety of colors throughout the years.  I wasn’t partial to them, but felt that a more cohesive look was needed in the dining room.

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A few weeks ago, I got a hair-brained idea to do a makeover on the chairs and our table.  For a week, the plan was to repaint the boring standard chairs.  And then I came across four chairs that made my heart pitter-patter something fierce.  {Price tag: $15 for all four!}  Now, mind you, many people would of passed up these chairs {and they probably did} but I saw their potential.  Enter the husband.  I was looking for his agreement to put some work into the chairs because in their current condition, no one should sit in them and expect the chair to hold them up.  He agreed!  And on Mother’s Day, he and our son worked on stabilizing the four chairs.

If you read my blog post about whitewashing our living room fireplace, then you know that I used the Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint for the very first time.  I loved it for that project and was excited to use it again…and in its pure form since I watered it down for the whitewashing.

After the chairs were stabilized, I gave them a good cleaning.  I did this because not only should a surface be clean before applying paint, but these chairs were in major need of a cleaning.

I was so excited to get paint on these chairs.  I know, I may catch some flack for painting these.  In all honesty, I did doubt myself a little, but they were in such bad shape and I do not have the time {read: desire} to invest in that amount of work.

I loved how the details stood out after one coat of paint.  But, I was envisioning chairs with full-coverage of white paint.

Here you will see two coats on the left chair and one coat on the right.

And here is two coats on the left and three coats on the right:

Now, this is where things went a bit awry.  The One-Step Paint was incredible.  It was my mind that was not being cooperative.  I put the chairs in the dining room and I was quite unhappy.  Again, not the paint.  It’s me…not them.  😉  I couldn’t put my finger on what was not working.

So, I did what anyone else would do and I put the chairs aside and continued on with the project.  Enter: the table.  Can I tell you about this table?  Right before our one-year anniversary, my husband and I purchased our first {town}home.  Around that time, I came across this table for $50.  It was a floor model and had some nicks and dings, but I didn’t care.  It has been with us for 16 years now and oh the stories it could tell of all the dinner parties and little ones eating around it.  Again, it isn’t anything special, but since we like to use what we have, this table continues to serve its purpose in our home.  I actually sanded and re-stained it about five years ago and have been hesitant to paint it as I recall all the hours that little makeover took.

Let’s start with some before pictures.  Basically, what our dining room looked like two days ago…

First up was cleaning.  I used Simple Green and diluted it 1:10.  A quick wipe down and a rinse off and the table was ready to paint.  Wait, what?!  She’s going to paint it?  Yup. But, not all of it.  Keep reading…

Do you see that can down there?  Yup, it’s some more Amy Howard One-Step Paint.  Woohoo!  This time the color is…black!  This part of the table makeover was going to go quickly thanks to the 30 minute paint dry time.  Yes, you read that correct.  It only takes 30 minutes to dry!  Wow!  I know!

The paint went on the table so smoothly that I almost painted the entire table!

But.  I didn’t.

It looked wonderful.  But, something wasn’t quite right.  So, I hopped on to Pinterest to get some inspiration.  And that is when it hit me.  I am not usually a clean, smooth paint kind of girl.  I like a good dose of chippiness in my life.  And chippy was missing from the table…and the chairs!

Enter: sandpaper!  60 grit to be exact.

{I do need to add that the Amy Howard One Step Paint does not require any type of sanding in between or after coats of paint.  My use of sandpaper was to remove paint in areas that would give the appearance of wear and tear on the table.  I sanded for this reason only and after the two coats of black paint were applied and dry.}

A little wipe down with a damp rag showed the pretty wood underneath.

I don’t usually do my sanding inside, but have I mentioned how heavy this table is?  And how it was raining outside?

Now that my hyperventilating was over and I found that what I needed most was some sandpaper, I was ready to wax this baby!

I used Amy Howard at Home Light Antique Wax…more on that in a little bit.

Let’s head back to those chairs now, okay?  I promise that we are nearing the end and all the pretty pictures are coming soon.

Now that I knew my “vision” for clean paint lines wasn’t really in my heart and that I needed to be true to my decor style, I pulled out the rest of the 60 grit sandpaper and went to town!

Can I mention how three coats of paint is very difficult to sand through?  Ugh!

Now for the moment of truth: waxing.  Do I have what it takes to wax?  I had armed myself with a bunch of research and tried various techniques.  In the end, I found one that myself and the Karate Kid would be happy with.

I worked only a small section at a time as my goal was to keep the chairs from becoming too dark.

Wax on: Amy Howard at Home Light Antique Wax.

Wax on: Amy Howard at Home Dark Antique Wax.

And repeat the wax on of the light wax.

One hour later: wax off.  Or, buff, as the furniture experts call it.

I’ll share a side-by-side photo of the chairs at the end, but since you are dying for some pretty after pictures, let’s not delay any longer.

Amy Howard At Home

And because I promised you a before and after of the chairs…

From this project, I learned that I need to stay true to my decor style.  Make this house OUR home.  Use other homes as inspiration, but in the end, judge the success of a project on whether it reflects my heart.

And how about you?  Are you staying true to your style?  I sure hope so!



{I do need to let you know that I received products from Amy Howard at Home in exchange for the use of their paint in this project, along with an honest review.  All opinions expressed are solely mine.}


  1. I love how the table and chairs turned out. Beautiful!!! What a great deal for the chairs too! The white paint really makes the details stand out.

    1. Leigh

      Thank you, sweet friend! It was a hairy week, but I am so happy that I stuck with it and “solved” the problem! I so appreciate your encouraging words. ♥

  2. Love this table! The black looks great! Definitely trying it.
    Check out my blog if you have some time!
    My blog is about my son and I flipping a 1940s home, we post DIYs, recipes, and cool things we do.

    1. Leigh

      Thank you for stopping over! And your sweet words are a blessing to me. I will definitely hop over and see what you and your son are up to! ♥

  3. Glenda Shine

    I love, love how everything ended. As you kept adding the white, in my heart i was thinking, “Oh no, I don’t think she will be happy!”
    We bought a small 1949 house and I am slowly trying to bring it back into the character of that time. The problem is our previous house was a very large Tuscan style home. It will be s slow but loving, creative process for me, changing styles and creating my nest!
    I have an all black country table and chairs but I feel the details don’t show up like they could. Your project has defiantly given me thought as to what I might be able to do.
    On another topic… I love you art work in the back with the quote of Acts 2:46. Is this something you made yourself?
    Thank you for your inspiration! Stay true to yourself!

    1. Leigh

      You know me better than I do! I should of had you over to help me! I would love to hear more about your sweet home and I love that you are bringing it back to the character of it’s time. Oh and my Mom actually made the Acts 2:46 sign for me! ♥

    2. Glenda

      Of course not,I am still trying to figure myself out! From looking at all of your photos it seems as if you prefer things that look well loved.
      What a lovely gift from your mother, the thoughtfulness you use answering our comments and questions were probably learned from her.

      1. Leigh

        You are so sweet and I really appreciate your kind words. Have a wonderful day! ♥

      2. Leigh

        Again, you are just so sweet, Glenda! May you have a blessed day! ♥

  4. I think you did a beautiful job! I love the contrasting colors with the wood and it looks great with your shiplap walls, too! I also love the basket with jars of flowers. Simple & so lovely!

    1. Leigh

      Thank you for your sweet and kind words. They are very much appreciated! ♥

  5. Aaaahhhhhh!!!! I cannot even tell you how much I absolutely love what you did with your dining room set! It’s completely gorgeous girlfriend! 😍😍

    1. Leigh

      Your comment means so much! Thank you, friend! ♥

  6. […] Lindsey shared how to create the easiest antique chippy paint technique. Leigh transformed her dining room with a farmhouse table and chair makeover. […]

  7. Amera

    Hi! Love how this turned out. I have 4 kids and have to wipe down the table & chairs a lot, how do you keep the paint from coming off? Thanks!

    1. Leigh

      This is a great question! The key is to apply a wax after the paint has cured. This wax may have to be re-applied in a year again, but that is how a soft wax works. It is easy to apply, so it doesn’t require much time. Also, the better paint that you use (and I really recommend this Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint), the less likelihood of paint wiping off.
      My kiddos are a little bit older, so I don’t have to wipe the chairs down as often, but when I do, it would be with a damp cloth. Always test in an inconspicuous place before applying any chemical cleaners.
      And I need to mention that the tabletop, which is always getting dirty from three meals and snacks each day, has a few coats of poly applied to it. I did that about five years ago and it is still holding up well! If you are concerned about easy clean-up, poly is a good thing to look into.
      I would love to see what project you are working on!

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