When decorating dining rooms, one of the biggest problems most of us have is our home decorating budget. It’s difficult, if not impossible for most of us to purchase a new dining set whenever we want a decorating update. But for just a few dollars, you can update your dining table with paint or stain and fabric in just a weekend for a whole new decorating look! Check out these easy directions, then do a DIY dining table makeover! (And don’t forget the chairs!)




DIY Dining Table Makeovers


Dining Table DIY

You have a lot of choices in paint colors for your dining table redo, but unless you have a funky decorating scheme, stay with something neutral. I like satin black, espresso brown or gloss white. For the bold at heart, choose a daring color for the table or the chairs, or both! For directions on staining or other DIY makeover options, see the DIY projects below these instructions.


  • Dining table and chairs
  • Fabric in a modern print and color
  • Staple Gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Satin or Gloss paint
  • Foam brush or good quality paintbrush
  • Optional: Clear water based polyurethane

Find a place to work where you don’t have to worry about dust, paint drips and a mess. A garage is ideal. If you have to redo your dining set outside, make sure it is not a windy day to prevent your paint job from being ruined by dust and debris.

To redo your dining set inside, place a large drop cloth underneath your dining set, then place small squares of wax paper under table and chair legs so you can paint all the way to the floor.

Step One:

Choose a new fabric to recover your dining seats. Go for a newer, modern print in a cool geometric, or a new trendy color. This update alone will help make your furniture seem fresh and new! Check out this Goodwill chair makeover tutorial by Taryn at ‘Design, Dining and Diapers‘ for ideas!



Remove seat covers from dining chairs. Cut fabric pieces several inches larger than the seat. Lay the fabric down on the floor, wrong side up. Lay the seat on top of the fabric, centered, also wrong side up. Using a staple gun, pull the fabric edges around to the back of the chair seat, and staple every couple inches. Remember to pull snug so the fabric will lay flat. Repeat with all chair seats.


Step Two:

Sand and prime dining chairs and table. Let dry 24 hours.

Step Three:

Paint dining table and chairs with your chosen paint, following manufacturers instructions on the can. You will likely need several coats. Let dry 24 hours. Tip: I like to use a mini foam roller on the tabletop itself… it gives a smoother finish without brush marks.

Step Four: 

Re-attach chair seats using the same screws or bolts.

Check out Laurel’s painted dining set makeover for a step by step at ‘A Bubbly Life‘!



Step Five:

If desired, coat with a water based polyurethane to protect the surface. Remember to choose a clear coat in the same finish as your paint… If you used satin paint, use satin poly.


Done! Remember, the key to updating your dining set is to choose fabrics and paint colors that reflect today’s more contemporary styles. You can update your dining set on a budget with paint and fabric and set the tone for the gathering space for your home with a fresh new look.


Want more inspiration?

Check out all these DIY dining table and chair makeovers!

Nimi Design‘ has a great tutorial for us on this fabulous dining table makeover.

DIY Dining Table and Chairs Makeover


Diane at ‘In My Own Style‘ shows you how to make a driftwood finish when doing a dining table makeover. Easy instructions to this cool, updated finish!



This DIY dining table and chairs makeover from ‘Flutter & Flutter‘ is a new take on redo… a rustic look for less than $10!



This farmhouse dining table makeover really updates the look… I love the cool and clean look with this project… once again, from ‘Design, Dining and Diapers‘!



This DIY dining table tutorial from ‘All Things Thrifty‘ shows you step by step how to create this funky dining table! How fun!

Funky DIY dining table

And here is another colorful example of how cool you can redo your dining chairs from ‘A Change of Heart‘!


We hope you enjoyed DIY dining table makeovers! We think you will also love our posts on DIY Bathroom Vanities and Repurposed Furniture- Thrift Store Dresser Makeovers!

Image Credits: nimidesign, Design, Dining and Diapers, A Bubbly Life, In My Own Style, Flutter & Flutter, Design, Dining and Diapers, All Things Thrifty



  1. Gracie January 15, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Love the re-do’s! I was wondering how difficult it would be to make cushioned seats on kitchen chairs that currently do not have cushions – they are just wood-seat, country-style chairs with wood slats on back. I love the idea of a cushioned seat (& so does my bottom!:), but just wondering if you’ve seen it done & if you have any frugal tips on this. Thanks! Love your site!

    1. Brandi {SweetappleValley} April 12, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      There are several ways to make a cushion for your seats! You could purchase some thin foam from Joanns(be sure to use a coupon!) Cut the for to the desired size and shape. Then to have the raised center get some batting, it’s pretty cheap at Walmart and again cut it to the desired size. Use several layers and hand stitch the layers of batting together. I would then run a quick stitch attaching the batting to the foam, even a spray adhesive would work. You could then uphholster in the same way as shown or to make them removable sew wooden toggles to the back and put them through the wooden spacers on the back of the chair. I hope any of that makes sense and works for you. Good luck on your restyle!

  2. Elizabeth April 16, 2015 at 9:02 am

    we did our wooden chairs by taking a pattern of the seat to a foam shop. They cut foam (40mm thick I think) to size using our template. We then stretched sturdy fabric over the foam and stapled under the chair, turning a hem as we went. It’s a bit tricky pulling it back to get it close to the chair back. But fiddle with it a bit and it works. Stretching the fabric over the foam flattens it a bit so be guided by the foam salespersons recommendation as to the density to use. Good luck

  3. Tina Leaza Jones April 29, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Hi, I’m wanting to “Clean-up” my dining room set…and then sell it as it’s too big for my place. It is a dark finish,counter height table w/ ladder back chairs & a buffet & hutch. The table top got scratched in the move & the buffet has these ugly panels tacked to each door. I’d like to open the table up Fill and sand the scratches, then glue black pleather to the table top, where the panels were on the buffet and upholstery the seats with the same material….what do you think?? Since I’m not keeping it, I don’t want to put too much effort and money into it. I’d appreciate your thoughts


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