$31.64 dining room makeover

Drum roll please, for the final reveal on the project that took me ALL week… No longer will I have dark walnut stain all over my fingernails (that I cover up with nail polish) and AJ and I won’t get our exercise from bringing the dining room table in and out every day to protect it from rain. Will I miss that? Heck no.
This makeover was sparked when AJ came home one day last week, handed me $17 and told me to do whatever I want with it. Okay, this probably sounds like he dictates every penny I spend and I never have any money to spend on fun stuff. Both aren’t true but money is tight now with all our spare change going into the flip. And then without a regular paycheck from me it makes it even more tight. All that being said, $17 now feels like it did when I was 10 and got $17… the possibilities were endless. I was convinced I could refinish our dining room set for $17, wouldn’t that be a fun feat? Well… I’m not sure if I’d use the word “fun” to describe it, but “fulfilling”? Yes, definitely.
I wanted to show both the before and after photos for easy comparison.
See that neat buffet behind the table? AJ and I just got that today from my Nana’s house. She died at the very end of February five days before she turned 107. It’s an old record player but the amount of space on the top is excellent for dinner parties! I think I’ll try to refinish it at some point but I’ll probably wait until the slits all over my hands from sandpaper and endless hand washing heal. Yeah, and I just noticed that I totally need to straighten the lamp shade (also from Nana’s… I’m pretty sure David Bromstead would work that into one of his HGTV designs).
Here is a close up to show you how the stain took to the table. From a distance it looks better than it does close up. AJ had a great idea to use some black / dark brown paint to give a more even finish but I’m going to live with it for a little bit to figure out exactly how I want to proceed.
Final photo… and for kicks I went onto Pottery Barn to figure out how much money I saved by refinishing my set instead of buying a new set. Their farmhouse dining room table was $699 and chairs similar to the ones I recovered on the ends were $279 each (granted, theirs would look better but I’ll take a savings of around $1000 even if it means I need to tweak my staining).
So, I didn’t spend $17 or under because I didn’t intend on needing new chairs pads or new sandpaper. Oh well, $31.64 for a dining room makeover is pretty great!
Total cost:
Stain: $5.64
Sandpaper: $4.44 (because my grody stuff just wasn’t getting the job done)
Cushions: $11.05 (two cushions, a 40% off coupon for one item)
Fabric: $10.51 ($10.99 / yard fabric and a 40% off coupon)
Total: $31.64

You can read about the other two posts in the dining room refinishing here and here.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I trust that, as with childbirth, the pain will soon be forgotten–well, diminished in memory–and the pleasure of this new creation will live on. Really handsome, Jen . . .


  2. says

    Fabulous job!! Love the dark color you chose. That was well worth having stain stuck under your nails..lol (I know the feeling!)I really love the set now, great makeover.

  3. says

    Your DR looks great, and how envious am I for that old Victrola! I have done a fair amount of refinishing and redoing, and I thought I would share a fix I have done a couple of times. Mix up some black or very dark brown paint into a polyurethane or glaze — just make sure that both are either water based or oil — don’t mix the two. Then brush it on till you have the look you want. I found this technique very successful on some old 60’s fruitwood pieces.

  4. says

    beautiful! we’ve been “refinishing” our 75 year old mid-century kitchen table set for a year+ now, and this definitely gives me a slight bit of inspiration to finally finish the darn thing!

  5. says

    i’m new to your blog but I love what I see. We have similar tastes for sure. I was wondering what color stain you actually used for your table and chairs? I love the dark look but there are so many stains to choose from its hard to pick the right one. Seems like you did! Please help!