Chalk Paint Dining Table Makeover

So every now and then I get a wild hair to move things around and completely re-do the entire house. My mom says this started when I was about 10 years old, and she’d find me rearranging all the furniture in my room on a regular basis. And then I’d do the living room. I can still remember her and my dad telling me not to try moving furniture alone because I’d hurt myself. Weird? Possibly. But I’d say that’s just a girl who knew the value of freshening up decor from time to time, which explains why my home now is always evolving and changing. And maybe why I’m addicted to DIY projects. So it probably won’t surprise you that I’m back today with a little breakfast nook makeover. Well, actually it’s just a new dining table makeover, but it really feels like this space has new life with this swap.

Here’s how the space looked before with my old table:

Farmhouse Breakfast Nook

Ok, let me be honest. I never liked this table. It’s cute, yes, but I wasn’t crazy about it. It just didn’t seem to fit. And for the past few months I’ve been itching to make a change. So when I saw my cousin selling an antique oak pedestal table at her yard sale last weekend, I knew the time had come! Here’s the before:IMG_0379

This is exactly what I envisioned for our breakfast nook all along: an antique, claw foot table. This baby is old and heavy. And it turns out this has been in our family for years, which always makes me happy.

Here’s the after with a little DIY paint job:

Breakfast Nook and Painted Antique Dining TableYou guys, I adore how this DIY project turned out. We had to clean it up a bit, sand down a few spots here and there, but other than that it was in great shape. I really, really wanted to paint the entire thing white. Shocker, I know. But I decided to resist that urge for once and go with a bit of color. Here’e exactly what I used:

Dining Room Table makeover supplies

I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White on the top of the table and Paris Grey on the bottom (2 coats of each). Instead of using the Annie Sloan clear wax to seal the top of the table I tried out this clear Polycrylic protective finish. I honestly haven’t been loving the Annie Sloan wax finish on my vanities in our bathroom. It just doesn’t seal and protect from water damage like I was hoping. So we decided to try this instead and it actually worked just fine with the chalk paint.

DIY Chalk Painted Farmhouse Style Table

DIY Chalk Painted Farmhouse Style Table

DIY Chalk Painted Farmhouse Style Table

DIY Chalk Painted Farmhouse Style Table

The little scrolling is my favorite part of the table. And I couldn’t help myself. I had to distress just a smidge to accentuate those details.

DIY Chalk Painted Farmhouse Style Table

This purdy bench cushion is from Pier 1. It’s perfect in this spot, but I’ll be honestit’s never here at meal time. Ever. Because white cushions and kids don’t go well together.

DIY Chalk Painted Antique Dining Table

I was happily surprised to see how well these chairs, which were a free findon Craigslist, match the table with that scrolling and detail on the side. I love when that happens!

Farmhouse Style Breakfast Nook and Antique Table
DIY Chalk Painted Farmhouse Style Dining Table

DIY Chalk Painted Antique Dining Table Breakfast Nook

DIY Chalk Painted Farmhouse Style Table

Honestly, this is my favorite kind of DIY project. I love taking an old piece of furniture and breathing new life into it with a bit of chalk paint and TLC. And although my husband thought I was a little crazy to replace our perfectly good table, even he is loving this change. It just seems to fit so much better with our decor. Plus I already sold the other table, which means it literally cost me nothing to freshen this space up. That’s winning my friends. So that’s my chalk paint table makeover. Let me know what you think and be sure to track me down on all those social media things. Instagram.Facebook.Pinterest.

Dining Room Table Farmhouse Makeover

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The Comments

  • Susanne Stewart
    June 17, 2016

    That looks wonderful!! I love claw foot tables 🙂 I re-did the top of our 90’s oak table a few years back. I still have to do the bottom(it is that awful hunter green). Your posts always inspire me 🙂

    • Sarah
      > Susanne Stewart
      June 17, 2016

      Thanks Susanne! I loe claw foot tables too, they’re so dreamy. Good luck refinishing the bottom of your table!

      • Morgan
        > Sarah
        May 7, 2017

        I was wondering where you got your Annie Sloan chalk paint. I can only find it in the quart size.

      • Jean Hill
        > Sarah
        July 18, 2017

        did you have to sand the table first? I love it by the way…

        • Sarah
          > Jean Hill
          July 18, 2017

          Nope, just went straight in with the chalk paint!

          • Jessica
            > Sarah
            September 8, 2017

            If you were to sand the top of the table, would you recommend doing so by hand or getting an electric sander?

          • Sarah
            > Jessica
            September 8, 2017

            Oh you can totally do that by hand!

    • Melody
      > Susanne Stewart
      January 15, 2021

      I recently got a ball in claw table just like that but i dont know anything about it. What the age is price.. id lick to refurbish it too.
      .what can you tell me?

  • Joette
    June 17, 2016

    Your home is amazing! There’s not one thing I don’t like about it.♡
    I’ve got a table sitting in my garage as well screaming for me to give it new life.

    • Sarah
      > Joette
      June 17, 2016

      You’re so sweet Joette! Thank you so much. And heck yes, get that table out of the garage and get to work girl!

  • Ann Lietz
    June 17, 2016

    Wow! Love it! You sure didn’t waste any time! Love the grey and white combination! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah
      > Ann Lietz
      June 17, 2016

      Thanks so much Ann, I’m loving the grey and white combo too!

  • Tricia
    June 17, 2016

    Your table looks great! I love the color combo. I’m getting ready to paint our table, so thank you for the inspiration. So glad I found you on IG!

    • Sarah
      > Tricia
      June 17, 2016

      Yay! So glad you found me too Tricia. Good luck painting your table!

  • Glenna
    June 18, 2016

    The table is beautiful! How did you apply the polycrylic? Brush? I am finishing a dining table now and already applied one coat of AS wax. I am planning to do a 2nd but saw your comment, which is also a concern I have. Do you think I could polycrylic right over the wax or should I do some sanding? I don’t want to hurt the paint finish. Thx! Glenna

    • Sarah
      > Glenna
      June 18, 2016

      We used a basic paint brush to apply the polycrylic. We did 2 coats, sanding a little in between the two. I’d say maybe sand down the top to remove the wax a bit and then go in with the poly. Good luck!

      • Shallena Miller
        > Sarah
        July 31, 2018

        How does the table wash with the poly? I love chalk paint and have planned to use it on my table but with kids am a little worried.

        • Sarah
          > Shallena Miller
          July 31, 2018

          It washes up really well! We are a couple years into using it almost every day now and it’s hoping up like a champ.

          • Ashley Kelly
            > Sarah
            August 31, 2018

            I would love to see a pic of the table top now, after using the water based poly as the finish, and after exposure to sunlight. I fear yellowing.

  • Kellie
    June 18, 2016

    Love it! Great job!!! And this is how my mom describes me! Now in my own house I not only move furniture all the time but entire room switches!!! I can’t help it!!!

  • Debbi
    June 18, 2016

    Luv, Luv, Luv your home, your
    D-I-Ys, and you! Keep me motivated please…

    • Sarah
      > Debbi
      June 20, 2016

      Thanks so much Debbi, I really appreciate that!

  • Jane
    June 19, 2016

    I simply love it. Paris Gray is a great color by Annie Sloan. I love the carving under the top. I would sand that a bit more to show how old and pretty it is. And if you ever tire of it, send it this way!!!

    Jane

    • Sarah
      > Jane
      June 20, 2016

      haha! Will do Jane! 🙂

  • Nikki
    June 19, 2016

    Looks great! I just purchased almost the same table for $25 off Craigslist. I painted it all white:) I will use poly seal as well. I want it to hold up with wear and tear. Your table and chairs are perfect! Great job.

  • Alicia
    June 21, 2016

    Love your home! Can you tell me what you used to distress the grey part of the table?

    • Sarah
      > Alicia
      June 21, 2016

      Thank you Alicia! I just used a piece of fine grit sand paper.

  • Shelley
    June 22, 2016

    Love how your table turned out!!! I just got a coffee table that is the exact miniature of your table and I have been wanting to chalk paint it white and know I’m excited to do it because I can see the end product and I love it!! I will take your advice too, with the poly, on other piece that I have that are chalk paint and waxed they don’t hold up as well and I definitely want something that is more wearable!
    Thank you, love your blog and all your DIY’s!!!

  • Ann Richie
    June 25, 2016

    Hi Sarah,
    Am planning to paint a similar oak table to stage a house we are preparing for sale. I usually brush the paint with the grain, but the top of this table — like yours — has a starburst pattern. Did you just brush in any direction? or did you use a roller for the tabletop?
    Thank you for the inspiration! Well done!
    Matthew 5:16
    –A

    • Sarah
      > Ann Richie
      June 25, 2016

      Hi Ann! I brushed vertically on the top of the table. It took 2 coats, so no brush strokes show. And I just used a normal paint brush. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Erin
    June 30, 2016

    Beautiful! What is the color on your living room wall…looks like a beige/tan/yellow?

    • Sarah
      > Erin
      June 30, 2016

      Thanks Erin. The color is Autumn Blonde by Sherwin Williams.

    • Laurie
      > Erin
      May 30, 2021

      Your room looks very nice. Love seeing the DIYs. The scrolling is beautiful. You could have opted to use a smidgen of black glaze or black wax just on the scrolled decor area to make it pop even more. Perhaps down the road when you get bored again…lol I did try this on a piece. Extremely easy and you control the depth and darkness. I think it is nice as is too.. it brings a light summer look to your eating area. Very nice

  • Irma
    July 6, 2016

    Hello Sarah.

    Beautiful work. What kind of paint did you use for the chairs? I have one that is the same but I want to spruce it up.

    Thanks!

    • Sarah
      > Irma
      July 6, 2016

      Those chairs were painted with Annie Sloan Old White.

      • Emma
        > Sarah
        September 1, 2016

        Did you seal the chairs as well? Wax? Or leave with just the paint?

        • Sarah
          > Emma
          September 1, 2016

          I did Emma, I used Clear Annie Sloan Wax on the chairs.

  • Hilary
    August 22, 2016

    I am in the process of redoing my dining room table with chalk paint – I was going to wax, but I just read your piece about the polycrylic. Did you use multiple coats of the polycrylic and if so, how long inbetween coats? Also, do you apply with a regular paint brush? Thanks!

    • Sarah
      > Hilary
      August 22, 2016

      We used 2 coats, but I might add one more down the road. We used a normal paint brush to apply it. We sanded lightly with steel wool between coats and waited about an hour I think before applying another coat. Good luck with your table!

  • Nancy
    October 6, 2016

    Hi there, I was just wondering if you sanded the entire table before applying the chalk paint? I have read mixed things about whether or not one must sand the furniture prior to using chalk paint specifically.

    Thanks! The space looks great! 🙂

    • Sarah
      > Nancy
      October 6, 2016

      Nope, I didn’t sand it at all. Sometimes not sanding can cause an issue with the paint adhering to the wood, but I’ve never had that experience. It always works fine. But you can always sand the top down a bit just to be safe.

  • Morgan
    October 7, 2016

    Love your table! I’ve been wanting to do something similar with our old oak table. I’m wondering how does your beautiful table stand up to daily use with small kids? Eating. Coloring. Etc. I have a 3, 1 and one on the way. I think I saw you have littles? Thanks!

    P.S. Just found your site and am really enjoying it. We live in a little limestone house built in 1852!

    • Sarah
      > Morgan
      October 8, 2016

      Great question Morgan! It is holding up REALLY well with the kiddos coloring on it, drawing on it, and banging on it all the time. My daughter even got nail polish on the top and it came right off with nail polish remover and no damage to the table. Definitely use that polycrclic to finish it off and NOT wax. I used just wax on our bathroom vanities and it’s not holding up well at all.

  • 7 Practical Ways to Refresh Your Home
    January 18, 2017

    […] not hard to paint furniture. I promise, you can do it. I have numerous tutorials, both with chalk paint and with regular paint. Heck you can even use spray paint. Really, there’s no reason not to […]

  • Honest Review of My Chalk Painted Bathroom Vanities
    February 2, 2017

    […] polycrylic to protect the top of the dressers instead of using wax. I actually did this on our dining table and the combination worked perfectly–no water damage at all on that table. I’ll […]

  • Angie
    March 23, 2017

    I have the exact table that I’m looking to revive with a new look. 🙂 Did you have to remove the varnish from the table before painting?

    • Sarah
      > Angie
      March 23, 2017

      Nope! Not with the chalk paint, you can paint right over it.

  • Michele Smoot
    April 17, 2017

    Sarah I love your table tutorial. It is very informative and the polycrylic is going to be the way I go when I refinish our table. Thank you for the simple and easy to follow directions. Be blessed!!

    • Sarah
      > Michele Smoot
      April 17, 2017

      So glad you enjoyed the post Michele! And thanks for dropping by!

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  • My Top 5 Most FAQ's
    April 25, 2017

    […] Oh I love this question so much and it’s one that I get a ton of emails and message about. I’ve written two posts on this subject, which you can check out here and here, but I’d say that if you’re just getting started with creating a farmhouse look in your home there are three main things you can focus on that won’t cost you much at all: 1) Paint colors–this is one of the easiest and fastest ways to change the vibe in your home. Plus it sets the foundation for how the rest of your decor and furniture looks. I recommend going with something natural and soft. I recently put a list of farmhouse style paint colors together, which you can find here. 2) Avoid mass produced, “cute” decor. I know, this is controversial and I don’t mean you have to avoid all mass produced decor. I have plenty of it! But just be very selective in what you buy. I’ve talked about this before, but I recommend not filling your home with a lot of items that don’t add personality or character. To me, farmhouse style is all about charm and coziness, with a focus on vintage and timeless simplicity. Clearing your house of clutter and those cute little wooden bears that say “home sweet home” will get you started on creating a home with classic character–which is a key component of farmhouse style. 3) Paint your existing furniture a neutral color. If you don’t love it, paint it. That’s my motto. This might apply to your old dining table, outdated TV console, or maybe that big hutch in your dining more that needs a fresh look. Also don’t be afraid to get out there and find a used option that you can buy for cheap. The dining table is a great example of that. I wanted a new table for our breakfast nook, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I bought this used for $50 and painted it. You can see the before and after here. […]

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    April 30, 2017

    […] If you have any old furniture that is looking worn out, try freshening it up with paint. If you’re brand new to painting furniture, you will not believe the transformation. Now keep in mind, this doesn’t always work for everything, and some furniture is better left in its natural color. However, I’ve found that keeping your furniture within the same color scheme really pulls the entire room together–kind of like having your wall colors match. I painted this old dining table and the transformation was pretty darn awesome. You can see how I did it here. […]

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    […] confident they would have held up fine. I actually did a chalk paint/polycrylic combo on our dining table about a year ago and it’s held up wonderfully, so I felt pretty confident with this […]

  • Jenn
    September 17, 2017

    I have a table almost identical to yours and have been wanting to paint it for the last year! It’s going to happen asap after seeing your pics! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Betsey
    October 15, 2017

    I painted my dining table using Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint. The first time I used polyurethane for top coat and it yellowed! Needless to say I sanded the whole table down and started again. I keep researching and I am not sure what to use to avoid that yellowing appearance. I see you used the polycrylic. I read elsewhere that can also produce a yellow appearance on light colors. I did not see any mention of any color change in your blog. So my question is that, have you experienced or seen this to be true?

    • Sarah
      > Betsey
      October 15, 2017

      Hi Betsy, I haven’t seen any yellowing yet on that table. I’m not really sure why, but thankfully it hasn’t happened for me yet. Sorry that happened to you, what a huge pain to sand it down and start again!

      • Cyndy Mackenzie
        > Sarah
        November 11, 2017

        Polyacrylic has two varieties one may yellow the other does not (Check with the sales people at your paint store) . I ran into that when we were refurbishing our cupboards in a former kitchen Unfortunately we had to sand, repaint and re apply the non yellowing variety on the affected doors.

      • GAIL
        > Sarah
        December 17, 2017

        SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME ON A WHITE PIECE

        • Debra
          > GAIL
          December 30, 2017

          Me too! Working on a kitchen cupboard project-chalked them all and then applied polycrylic after much research (decided against wax) only to have it yellow!? Sanded it all down and started over. Still searching for a topcoat….anyone try the Rustoleum topcoat?

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  • Kellie Blount
    March 26, 2018

    Hi Sarah. Your table looks beautiful by the way though I have a question relating more to the table itself. In your post you mentioned that you obtained the table from your aunt’s garage sale. I have the identical table and have been painfully trying to identify and obtain a value for the table before I sell it but have not been able to do so. However I have seen numerous posts on Pinterest where people have refinished the table so I am going down the list and one-by-one trying to see if anyone has information on the table itself. I wasn’t sure if it was antique or vintage? The legs are that of a sleeping cobra and the only identification mine has is way under the table top there’s a stamp in Japanese which I had translated to mean “table for many people.” This makes sense to me because I bought it from a friend almost 30 years ago who bought in Japan while stationed there. If you or your Aunt has any information on the table I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

    • Sarah
      > Kellie Blount
      March 26, 2018

      Oh wow Kellie, it sounds like you have an awesome table!! This done doesn’t have anything like that, so I can’t say what kind of value yours would have. But I regularly see these tables on Craigslist for anywhere from $100-$250 depending on the table. I paid $50 for this one because my cousin just wanted to get it gone!

  • Karen
    April 19, 2018

    So my daughter is getting married and we have the table/chairs, but wonder how long of a project this might be? Table and 6 chairs, 2 layers chalk paint and acrylic top coat? Thx!

  • Sarah
    May 24, 2018

    Hi, Sarah!

    I love this beautiful makeover! I’m getting ready to chalk paint my table, and I’m curious if this has held up well for you! Thank you! 🙂

    Kindly,
    A Fellow Sarah 🙂

    • Sarah
      > Sarah
      May 27, 2018

      It’s help up really well actually!! Even with kids beating it up everyday! 🙂

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  • Dawn
    July 20, 2018

    I love your farmhouse table. We just recently moved into a smaller house (retired and downsized). I have been painting furniture for years cuz I love the look. I had to get rid of my dining set cuz it was too big for our small space and ended up with my mother in laws round oak pedestal table which had lots of lacquer on top. I painted the bottom white and am using a dark stain on top as I like the look of the contrast. Having to sand it lots but am going to love the look when it’s done. Love your blogs..

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  • Kimberly Axie
    October 1, 2018

    I am getting ready to paint my table as well. I love the Annie Sloan chalk paints but just like you, I’m not a fan of the wax seal. I want to try the seal that you used but was wondering if your final product remained flat or did it shine it up. It was kind of hard to tell in the pics. I prefer a flat finish.

  • Sharron Sonders
    November 1, 2018

    I’m about to do my oak kitchen cupboards. 20 cupboards plus other oak panels and 4 drawers. I have never used chalk paint but really can’t afford Annie Sloan as I’m a pensioner with very little left over at the end of the month. I don’t want pure white but soft beige color. I also want to use a light black smidgen on the grooves of the inserted panels on the doors. Do you truthfully think Home Depot Chalk Paint with Polycrylic top coat will do the trick. Should I use a sponge roller on the door panels and paint brush down the inserts. Want to do a good job but very nervous to get started. Or, should I bite the bullet and wait to purchase Annie Sloan. About how many cans would I need. Do you have any ideas.

  • The Purple Phantom
    November 5, 2018

    Just my opinion, but It’s sad that you had to ruin all that beautiful oak inlay with trashy paint.

    • Sarah
      > The Purple Phantom
      November 5, 2018

      well thank goodness it’s my table and not yours! 🙂

  • Anne
    November 16, 2018

    I have stripped a table top and want to paint it because the wood is quite strange. It has a wood grain, only in some places, that just cannot be sanded down and really does not accept the stain. It’s patchy and rough in places.I have stripped it down 3 times now and really do not want to do it again.
    I cannot fine Annie Sloan paint in Canada.
    Are they basically all the same or are some brands better than others?
    Anne

    • Sarah
      > Anne
      November 18, 2018

      You would be fine with Rust-Oleum chalk paint or even the Magnolia Home chalk paint, which is now available at Target!

  • Jayne
    December 19, 2018

    Hi! I love your table! I’m about to redo a dining room table. It’ll be my first time using chalk paint. Thanks for the tip about not using wax but using polycrylic instead. I hope mine turns out looking as good as yours!

    • Sarah
      > Jayne
      December 19, 2018

      good luck Jayne!

  • Kate
    January 19, 2019

    I love this! It’s exactly what I’m planning with a table my in-laws have given us. Is it holding up well to stains etc?

  • Sarah
    February 5, 2019

    I just started my first chalk project ever… i chose Rustoleum because it was available at Home Depot….the fellow actually mixed a custom color from the Rustoleum paint sample cards Espresso I don’t know if he did it to help me out or if it is common ….painted on beautifully…sanding now love the experience….thank you for the help!!

  • Amy
    March 17, 2019

    Your table looks wonderful! I am getting g ready to do the same project very soon, and was concerned about the best finish to hold up to the daily use of a kitchen table. So glad to hear the polycrylic is holding up well to cleaning and not yellowing, either. Do you happen to remember her what brand you used? Thanks!

  • Michelle
    April 13, 2019

    Beautiful! How has the top of the table been over time? I’ve read white paint can turn yellow with a poly on top? I recently redid a similar pedestal table too & used the wax as a seal but I’m not confident it will protect the table enough with our heavy use. I would like to poly it instead but I am concerned about possible yellowing…

  • Sarah Morel
    June 14, 2019

    We just got this table free from a family friend. We are getting married and moving into our first place. I was struggling with what style we wanted to revamp it. Once I saw this, it was meant to be! So perfect. Love the color. And even convinced a once skeptical fiancé that the table was a good find! Thanks for the inspo… I even added the Longford chairs to our registry… so perfect!! xo

  • Brita
    June 19, 2019

    Looks great! What paint/color is on your walls in these pics?

  • Angel
    September 6, 2019

    So I am a wee bit late to the party! BUT SO HAPPY I DISCOVERED YOU! I am shouting for joy. I own this table and I have grown to HATE IT. I was sooo in love when I bought it early 2000’s. I don’t have money to buy new one. My question is this, the table has a veneer top (I think) which has bubbled when water was spilled on it. How do I address this before painting?

  • Jonna Turner
    April 11, 2020

    your table looks great! I am doing mine now for the first time ever painting a piece of furniture. Thanks for the tips. I had another question- random… but where did you get that bench pillow? I’d love to purchase or have made one like it but not sure how to search for that style? Thanks so much for your help!

  • Kim
    June 9, 2020

    Wow the table is gorgeous. Do you just finish stuff for yourself or do you sell your pieces? If you sell them…where?

  • Sally
    September 9, 2020

    I have used a that poly and it turned yellow
    What did u do differentl

  • Shirley
    October 24, 2020

    I just bought the exact set .. going to paint like u did…,Have ?? u sanded the whole table/chairs. Right? What weight did u use to sand? How many coats did u need? Why the chalk paint. Not sure what the difference is between white paint & chalk appreciate any help

  • Fonna
    January 28, 2021

    Hi. Lived your table and demonstration of Anne’s and rust oleum comparison

    Do you ever need to sand on between coats?

    Thanks

  • Gail Hooker
    May 21, 2021

    DId you seal the chairs with theMinwax also?

  • Tammy Rousseau
    August 3, 2023

    Thanks I think you inspired me to chalk paint the kitchen cupboards in my rental suite!