Dining room furniture face lift.

This is been long overdue, my dining room furniture is about 15 years old and when I purchased it I remember being pregnant with my first child and I had just donated my solid marble dining table to Good Will because at the time I felt it was too ’80s, now I wished I had that table it would have been a great kitchen table for pastry making or even a patio dining table but anyways the pregnant mind was in control. I had gone out shopping for dining room tables and I was stuck on the idea that I wanted dark wood furniture, I did not want to modern, I wanted something classic and it had to be solid wood but had to be budget-friendly so I ended up with this…

And so until currently, this was my dining room furniture, it had a bunch of scratches, dings, chips and some water damage from all the moves it had gone through, it was time for a facelift and I did not want to change the furniture because 95% is solid wood, I knew I wanted something lighter and brighter, perhaps shabby chic and I figured chalk paint was the way to go. I had redone my daughter’s bedroom furniture a few years back with chalk paint and that was very successful but I was still a little apprehensive, after all, it was the dining room and it’s the first thing you see when you walk into the house and it is constantly in plain sight. With that being said I researched and watch more youtube videos on how to chalk paint than necessary but I wanted to get the right materials and wanted to make sure that I had the right process for my vision. I watched Elisa & Magic Paint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbm7SdzMcCE, the whole video is in Italian but it inspired me, I knew at this point that I wanted a look similar to what she had done, I was completely unsure of the color but with a little consulting with my 14-year daughter, I opted for a white color paint.

I had my trusty BEHR Whites paint brochure and we concluded that a “Bit of Sugar” would be the color – did not have grays, blues and/or yellow that was dominant in the color base, I knew that I was going to distress with sanding and adding dark wax and this would darken the color anyways. I previously had mixed and used my own chalk paint and this is why I was able to be picky about my color the chalk that I used and I still had leftover was by Dover’s Mix which I had purchased on Amazon when I did my daughter’s bedroom set. I did incorporate Plaster of Paris to the mix because it gives it a little more durability. I did mix small batches because the Plaster of Paris makes it dry fast. I mixed…

2 tablespoons of Dover’s

1 tablespoon of Plaster of Paris

1 1/2 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons of water


1 cup of paint

at times I did double the mix, especially when working with the dining table.

I had my paint and my formula all ready but I still had to decide how to tackle this job, I know everyone says all you need is to clean the furniture and minimal prepping is required for chalk paint but in the past, I had used the de-glosser and sanded and the furniture for my daughter’s room and it held up for several years until my daughter wanted to change the color again. I still wondered if I should de-gloss, sand, do I sand in between and what wax would I use? It was a big job and I wanted to do it right the first time. After seeing more videos for days I finally started to think and looking at the condition of my furniture, I knew it had a few coats of Johnson’s furniture wax, that thick paste that creates a film and I did not want that to jeopardize the project, the furniture did have some substantial scratches and the veneer had bubble in an area on the dining table and I did not want that to show through. I figure I would de-gloss and sand any area that bothered me, I hate sanding because of the dust so I wet sanded to keep the dust at bay. I prepped, cover glass, taped and removed hardware, I did remove all the hardware because I was not sure if I was going to paint it in a different color, I knew that I was not doing the chalk paint on it, I was not into that look, I set that aside and I began de-glossing and sanding. WOW… what a task pulled out an old toothbrush to scrub the groves – well to make a long story short it took me 1 week to clean, de-gloss and sand the table, 6 chairs, and the server. I dipped, brush, wiped, sprayed with water and wiped again for several days.

Some supplies

Liquid de-glosser, 220 and 180 sandpaper, steel wool, blue painters tape, paper to cover the mirror and glass, big utility sponge, Plaster of Paris, and chalk mix. So, I began to tape up anything that I did not want to paint and removed the hardware, later you will notice that I ended up removing the doors of the server.


I used Liquid Sandpaper by Klean Strip and follow the directions but then I sprayed with water to remove residue and I was going to sand again anyhow, I sanded with 220 at times used 180 for the more pronounce scratches. Once I got it to where I wanted, I cleaned everything up and prepped for painting and like I said I mixed small batches.



I started with the service and then painted 1 chair, the picture above is with one coat coverage, I ended up doing 3 coats in total for every piece and did wet sanding between coats with 220 sandpaper, it was going to be a long process especially since I was letting everything dry for several hours even overnight, I did want to rush anything I wanted to take my time and when I got overwhelmed I would stop for the day. Here are some additional pictures as I progressed.

Here are some pictures of the progress…

1st coat on everything. Then began second coat with wet sanding in between coats.

I did leave overnight to dry between coats and did sand between coats.

Once the 3rd coat was applied and dried overnight, I distressed the furniture with sandpaper.



After I distressed with sandpaper, I cleaned up and it was waxing time… I used Annie Sloan dark wax, I was scared at first and tried it on the server, I applied a little clear wax first buffed it lightly and then applied the dark wax and buffed again.



I played around using different methods to apply it and what worked for me was… applying clear, buffing it off almost immediately and then applying a mixture of 50% clear wax with 50% dark wax that I had mixed on a paper plate.


left before the wax, right after the wax.
left before the wax, right after the wax.
left before the wax, right after the wax.


I did use a little steel wool in some areas to give it a little more depth in the color but be careful with that, it does make it gray, I ended up using a Loofah sponge to buff the wax to a beautiful satin finish.
This is how everything turned out, I am really happy it was done, it took some time but I am very happy with the results.





Published by Art by Isabel

Artist, gardener, and creator. I'm an artist obsessed with gardening, DIYing, and with a passion for baking.

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