How to paint a dining room table & chairs

Written by ryan lawrence
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How to paint a dining room table & chairs
Sand off the shiny varnish coat before you paint. (sandpapier image by Thomas Aumann from Fotolia.com)

If you would like to paint a dining room table and chairs, you will need to focus on a pair of important issues. First, because dining room furniture is usually varnished, you must execute specific preparation techniques to encourage paint adhesion or the finish will peel up over time. In addition, you will need to employ a specific application strategy that will help to prevent sagging and brushstrokes in the final finish coat.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Coarse plastic brush
  • Rags
  • Palm sander
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloths
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheets
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Oil-based primer
  • 2- to 4-inch oil paintbrush
  • White spirit
  • 2-gallon painter's pot
  • Measuring cup
  • Wooden stir stick
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Clean the dining room table and chairs with soap. Rinse all surfaces thoroughly using a damp rag. Allow the furniture to dry completely.

  2. 2

    Sand off the shiny varnish coat. Sand with the grain of the wood. Continue sanding the dining room table and chairs until the finish appears dull.

  3. 3

    Wipe sawdust from the dining room table and chairs using a tack cloth.

  4. 4

    Cover any parts of the dining room table and chairs you want left unpainted with painter's tape. Cover flooring beneath the furniture with dust sheets.

  5. 5

    Apply a thin coat of oil-based primer to the dining room table and chairs using a 2- to 4-inch paintbrush for use with oils. Allow the primer to dry for three hours.

  6. 6

    Wash the 2- to 4-inch oil-based paintbrush with white spirit.

  7. 7

    Pour one gallon of acrylic latex paint into a 2-gallon painter's pot. Dilute the paint to encourage a smooth, professional looking finish by stirring in one ounce of water. Stir for five minutes.

  8. 8

    Apply two thin coats of acrylic latex paint to the primed dining room table and chairs using a 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush. Do not overapply as this may lead to sagging and brushstrokes in the final finish coat. Allow two hours of dry time between coats.

  9. 9

    Clean the 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush with water.

Tips and warnings

  • Because most dining room tables and chairs are stained, you should never use a water-based, acrylic primer, or the finish will peel away soon after application. However, if your dining room table and chairs are not stained, you may use a water-based, acrylic latex primer instead of an oil-based one.
  • Never sand against the grain of wood or you will severely damage the surface.
  • Dust can interfere with paint adhesion. Do not use plain rags in place of tack cloths.

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