Create a Unique Dining Set

Hello Friends! Happy Spring Break!
This week was super busy with furniture make overs. I recently finished this dining set.

I get asked “Where do you find these dining sets?”

Well,  I hardly ever keep pieces that “go together” together. So while I hunt for treasures at Goodwill, Tag Sales and where ever else I keep an eye out for pieces to create a dining set. I will pick up chairs or a table and save it in my garage until I have enough to create a unique dining set. I only buy a chair if he has a matching friend unless I am planning on finishing a desk then a single chair can be used with that.

My dentist knows that I re-love furniture so she asked me if I was interested in a large table and a few other items from her fathers old cabin. I was taken by surprise when I saw this handcrafted table with a beautiful wood top. I bought several items from her along with the table but there were no chairs.
A day or so later these chairs were for sale with a whole table and 6 chair set at the Goodwill. The table they came with is nice but I like to mix and match my own “sets”. I don’t want them to necessarily look like they all match but coordinate with each other.

I like to be able to recover dining seats with fresh fabric. That’s a huge plus but sometimes it’s hard to get past ugly patterns so I just have to trust in myself that I can make it pretty.


On another day I saw these metal chairs that I thought had some potential.

I decided to pair the iron chairs with the wooden ones because they both have a circle design on their backs. Metal is easy enough to paint.

And who doesn’t love a wooden bench. This is an old picnic bench that I added a center beam to and sanded down the layers of old paint enough that the paint layers wouldn’t keep chipping off. Then I painted it grey. I love the layered paint look and this one happens to be authentically layered.

Here is the table top sanded down. I think it took about three hours to get the lacquer or shellac off of it. I started with a 60 grit sand paper for my orbital hand sander and worked my way up to a 320 grit. It’s such a dirty job but I love the smell of wood even when it’s dusty.  (wait until you see my next project…..cedar wood…’s heaven)

The wood was beautiful. I stained it in Dark Walnut and painted the base in white then distressed the white areas just a bit. I am seeing a lot of “distressed” furniture and to be honest you really can go over board with a hand sander. If you think about how a piece really wears over time then only sand areas that might get worn naturally. By making the sanding marks too evenly spaced or in un-naturally rubbed areas then it looks manufactured or it can just look like a really bad paint job. So go easy with a hand sander and go for a sanding block that you have more control of.

Grey painted wood pieces on both sides make the look balanced and the white accent chairs at the ends tie in with the table. The fabric is the last thing I purchase and I usually have a good idea of what colors I am looking for when I head to the fabric store to pull all the pieces together.

Some other furniture completed this week…

I may as well share some before and afters of a few other recent projects.

Transforming out of date accents into unique pieces is very rewarding – as in I just love it!

Well, I hope you have had or will have a wonderful spring break. We are off to a beach house to meet up with our friends from CT. I can’t believe we have been gone from there for almost three years.

Enjoy the sun and the weekend! 🙂


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Absolutely perfect. Oh those chairs! (All of them!) The circle details are really sweet; and I love your tip on not buying a chair unless it has a friend! xoxo jules

Katie Mansfield

Yikes, that is cute. Have a wonderful week.


You've gotten so good with that! I like how you're blending different seating together but unifying it with paint and fabric. Very nice!


I love your style and all the pieces you fix up would look great with my stuff except my house is only 1,000 feet so I am down to what I love.

ImSoVintage Laura Walker

Your pieces are always beautiful, Holly. I love seeing the process you use. xo Laura