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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Marketplace Fix: Painting a Kitchen Table and Chairs

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

You know the saying... one girl's trash is another girl's kitchen table. Or I guess it's something like that!? Since we gained a dining room with this move and used our existing kitchen table in there (see the dining room progress here), I wanted to get a smaller eat-in table for the kitchen. While it could definitely hold a larger set, I wanted a small 4-person table for our everyday meals. So I started looking for an expandable table with leaves. Problem was, between the move and all our fix-ups, I felt like we were literally throwing money in all directions so I didn't want to invest in anything new or nice just yet. Enter: Facebook Marketplace. I started searching and found an old oak table with removable leaf and four chairs. All for $125. It had some wear but it seemed to be decent quality and was in a home just a couple miles away.

I wasn't concerned about a little wear and tear because my plan was to paint it all. Why wouldn't it be? You guys should know me by now. ;) We got it home and set up in the garage. Luckily we had some nice weather so I could keep it out there and work with the doors open to help with ventilation and cleanup. Plus, I knew this would take more than just a weekend and I'd need some nights to finish. To start, I wiped down the table and chairs with soapy water and then got out our trusty mouse sander. I started with a 100 grit sandpaper to start to break down the shine. Since I wasn't going to stain, I just wanted to get things buffed and even so the paint would stay put. And get off all the grime from the previous owner.

Kiersten with sander
Late Night Sanding Selfie - Thanks to COVID, I had a stock of masks which helped with a little dust control

After a round of sanding with 120 grit, I did a final pass through with a 180 grit paper. I like to wear work gloves to help with the sander movement and vibrations - makes it so I don't want to give up as quickly!

This little sander makes the bigger jobs easier to tackle

Our sander is pretty old, but they sell them with some nice little dust traps now - and they're cheap! After a wipe down with some microfiber towels, the furniture was buffed and ready to go.

Sanded and ready for painting

I started by painting a primer on all of the pieces. I thought I was going to paint them all white, which would have made this a great call. The primer helps seal in the wood so the color doesn't bleed through. I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer for this job. It's a much easier clean-up than the oil based primer I used for the fireplace remodel.

The primer went on quick - I just did one good coat with a little extra touch-up after it dried. This was the point in which I realized how big of a job painting those chairs was going to be with all the spindles. Woof.

I THOUGHT I'd paint them all white but after some late night Pinterest browsing, I decided to do the table white and the chairs back. Wish I would have used a darker gray primer instead. I went to Sherwin Williams because I thought it'd be cool to match the table to the White Flour color we picked for the walls. I decided to use a High Gloss All Surface Enamel. It was supposed to withstand some good use, without requiring a topcoat. I wanted to get this project done so I figured if anything chipped, I could always add a fresh coat and/or sealer later. I got White Flour for the table and Black Magic for the chairs.

SW paint cans
I picked high gloss for all the wiping down we do with these messy kids!

It took three coats of paint. The chairs were painful because we were brushing and rolling on the paint. I definitely need to buy a paint sprayer. That would have saved so much time! But this worked out allowing me to get a coat on each night without moving everything in and out of the garage.

painting kitchen table and chairs
Painting Progress - Gray primer would have been much easier to cover

We waited a couple days more to let the paint cure before bringing it in, but have been so happy to have this little eat-in table. We almost always have this set up for four, but it's great to have the option to expand it when family comes over.

painted white table four black chairs

To round out the project, I decided on a round rug for underneath (see what I did there?!) I liked how it allows for a little more walkability around the table in and out of the kitchen and living room without taking up as much space as a rectangle area rug and table. This one was similar to our dining room rug, but with more grey and browns - and also machine washable! This company, Ruggable, had some really cute patterns, I loved the vintage feel of this one too.

Round rug
Ruggable Machine Washable Rug

Final result ... a cheap Facebook Marketplace find given new life! The top is holding up OK so far, but do think after a year of wear I may need another top coat.

NOTE: for a 1-year review to see how the painted furniture held up, read this blog post here:

Need a Fix Up? Here's what we used:

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, we’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!


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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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