When decorating dining rooms, one of the biggest problems most of us have is our budget. It’s difficult, if not impossible for most of us to purchase a new dining set whenever we want a decorating update. That’s where these dining table makeovers come in! 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 an easy DIY dining table makeover yourself! (And don’t forget the chairs!)


DIY Dining Table Makeovers - Before & Afters


How Can I Modernize my Dining Table

Here are the basics of doing a dining table makeover, whether you redo your dining table with paint, chalk paint, or stain. (Or other, more creative options, like in some of these tutorials below!)


  • Dining table and chairs
  • Fabric in an updated print and color (If you have upholstered chairs.)
  • 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: Pick your new look!

Choose a new fabric to recover your dining seats. Go for a newer, more modern print in a print you love, or a new trendy color. This update alone will help make your furniture seem fresh and new! If your chairs aren’t upholstered, follow the paint directions below. Consider a different color for the chairs!

While we are on this step, check out ‘Confessions of a Serial DIYer‘s’ French chair makeover tutorial. She uses these very chairs in the dining table makeover project farther down in this post. These are awesome! Go check out the “before” photos… you won’t believe it’s the same chair!


Step two: sand and prime

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


Step three: paint your

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 like this one on the tabletop itself… it gives a smoother finish without brush marks.

high density foam paint roller

Step four: put your chairs back together

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


Step five: seal the paint (optional)

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 fresher styles. You can update your dining table and chairs on a budget with paint and fabric, and set the tone for your home with a fresh new look.

Want to pick a project that’s right for you? Let’s get inspired by these amazing bloggers!


DIY dining table makeovers with before and after photos

Painted Table Ideas

Confessions of a Serial DIYer‘ took an old thrift store table, and turned it into this gorgeous dining table makeover – with paint! And those chairs she paired it with? She reupholstered those herself too. (See above!) Such a pretty dining table!





Shrimp Salad Circus‘ walks you through how she did her dining table makeover with chalk paint! This means she didn’t even have to prime first. Curious? She has all the supplies she used listed on her post for you. Such a great before and after!





Lauren at ‘Bless’er House‘ found this gorgeous carved wood table on FB marketplace for $100. With some paint and stain she created a two tone stunner! Lots of step by step photos in this tutorial.




I’ve been obsessed with green lately, so of course this lovely dining set makeover caught my eye! If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your dining room, this inspiration is for you. Christine over at “I Dig Pinterest” refinished her dining set using chalk paint to create a whole new look.



plain wooden dining set



wooden dining set with green accents


Nashville Wife Styles‘ dining room table makeover starts with a dark monster of a table, and ends up with an even darker, cooler than ice cream in January kinda thing! Oh my goodness, this matte black chalk paint gives this table (and the room) such drama! And she even shows you how to add the foiling accents. Loving this!





Another amazing example comes from 2 Bees in a Pod. A lot of love (and hard work!) went into this amazing transformation, with more than seven layers of paint being removed to strip it back to bare wood! From the results though, we’d say it’s worth it – isn’t it beautiful?!



green kitchen dining table before makeover

Aftermodernized kitchen table after makeover


We also love how The Rustic Boxwood turned this thrift store dining room table (and chairs!) complete with water stains into a beautiful, farmhouse-style dining set. The white legs contrasted against the wood give this one such an elegant feel!


farmhouse kitchen dining table makeover before


farmhouse kitchen table after makeover


How to refinish a kitchen table

From ‘Thrift Diving‘, this eat in kitchen dining table makeover started out as an old drafting table top. She added some 2×4’s, some paint and some stain… Voila!




Southern Revivals‘ took her dining table makeover a step farther. Instead of using paint, she created a parquet wood top where tile used to be. This is a totally different table than it was before! This tutorial is in two parts, so be sure to scroll down to the bottom of her page for part 2.


Sometimes all you need is a minor change to create a big impact. This is so true looking at this simple dining table makeover by “The Kelly Homestead.” All it took was adding a bit of a distressed finish to level up the farmhouse style of this dining table.


wood dining table before refinishing


wood dining table after refinishing surface for a farmhouse style look


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!





Farmhouse dining table makeovers really update any look… I love the cool and clean look with this project… Beautiful job! From ‘Design, Dining and Diapers‘!





Last but not least, let’s talk about a couple final questions you may have before diving into one of these DIY dining table makeovers…

What kind of Paint do you use on a Dining Table?

Once you’ve done the prep work and you’re ready to paint your table, make sure you choose a high-quality, water-based enamel paint. Assuming your table will get a lot of use, a high-quality paint is necessary so that your table holds up to things like warm plates, cups, potential spills, etc etc. A water-based enamel paint will end up looking like an oil paint once it’s dry. 

Do you need Primer to Paint a Table?

Yes, it’s best to prime your table first, before you paint it. It helps to protect your table, and prevents stains from bleeding through. Make sure the primer you choose is compatible with the paint you are using. Sometimes, it’s best to choose the paint first, then find a primer that’s suitable based on the color and type of paint you are using. 

We hope you enjoyed DIY dining table makeovers! We think you will also love our posts on DIY Coffee tablesDIY Bathroom Vanities and How to Reupholster Chairs!


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  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

  4. Kuchiya March 11, 2019 at 5:06 am

    My dining tables could sure use a makeover, and these DIY tips will certainly make the entire process more affordable and enjoyable. Thank you.

  5. Hamilton Billiards May 20, 2019 at 3:49 am

    Stunning renovations! Well done! Thanks for sharing. Carolina at Hamilton Billiards.

  6. Aarsun Woods June 5, 2020 at 2:42 am

    Beautiful transformation… Thanks for sharing.

  7. Henry Walker July 9, 2020 at 1:11 am


    It is the blog that is very helping information is a DIY dining table and chairs makeover. thank you for share this blog


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