Monday, March 23, 2009

How To Paint Dining Room Furniture

Do you remember awhile back how I asked you all for help?
My dining room was ordinary and boring and really really tan.
And you gave me so much inspiration.
So many girls said,
"Paint the furniture black!"
"Put some color on the walls!"
I ordered wallpaper and had some big plans.
Then I chickened out.
Instead I just bought a plant and redid the cushions. In a fabric I loved. Tan and safe.
But then, my friend Sarah came over.
And she went in the dining room and put her hand on the side board and said, "I think you should paint it black."
And I went out that VERY day, I bought the paint, and painted the side board black.
Aren't you a little offended?
But don't be.
If you saw her house, you'd know why.
(One day, I promise, I'll sneak over and take tons of pictures and show you.
It's amazing.)



Anyways,
I LOVED IT!
Especially after I distressed the edges.
And I hesitated for about 30 seconds before I started in on the entire dining set.
LOVED IT EVEN MORE!
And then I thought,
"Wouldn't the walls look beautiful in a light bluish-greenish color?
And I painted them.

"Shallow Tide"

Serene and fresh and shallow-tidish.
I bought a new rug while I was at Lowe's too.
Returned the other one.
Never liked it much anyways.
It unraveled and shed.
And the new one was 1/2 the price!

After the color was on the walls, I knew I needed to change those tan seat cushions.
Abbey and I ran to Jo-Ann's and I bought $25 decorator fabric.
Now you are asking, "How did I have time to do this all in one weekend?"
And I'll have to tell you, that my husband was skiing across the continent for 5 days during this whole process!

(I didn't mention that in an earlier post because I'm always afraid that the awful mysterious imaginary internet monster-stalker-serial killer would know I was alone and find out where I lived and come and bludgeon me in my sleep.)

But here's how I did it.
Patrick takes two good naps and I painted my butt off during all of them.
The older kids entertained themselves.
And it went really, really fast.
Because I know how to paint really, really fast.
Because I have painted so many things so many times in my life.
It was really one of the smoothest, easiest redos I've ever done.

AND...
when Patrick was up and awake,
he came through for me big time.
Just so I wouldn't exhaust myself.
Looking for drill bits.


How To Paint Your Dining Room Furniture


1. Make sure your husband is either out of town (like I did) or on board. How to get him on board? Tell him a new black distressed awesome dining room set costs over $3000 and you are going to save him $2,950 approximately. All just for watching the kids for an hour or two. How nice is that???

2. Go to a store and buy these things:


I went to Sherwin Williams. I have a thing for SW Oil Enamel in a Satin Finish. It goes on so beautiful and smooth and easy with just the right sheen. Do NOT get cheap paint. You will hate this project if you do. (1 quart of SW oil enamel is only around $15 and was plenty of paint.) Latex is easier and environmentally friendly and not so smelly, but this is dining room furniture and I did not want it easily scratched, chipped, etc. (If you insist on using latex paint, just make sure it is enamel so you have a super smooth finish.)

Concerning the sandpaper...buy medium grade, and buy a sander like the one above...NOT a spongy, soft sander...you don't want to be able to bend it. Using a traditional block sander like the one above will give you a nice edge when distressing. The sponge sanders tend to leave too many scratch marks around the nice little wood peaking through.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Buy a GOOD paint brush. Spend around $15-$20. This (and the paint) is the key to making your furniture look like it has a professional, store-bought finish.

3. Unscrew the chair pads and put them aside. Unscrew any knobs on sideboards etc. Layout a huge dropcloth under the furniture. I used the sandpaper thingy and sanded only the top of the table and the top and the sides of the sideboard. I sanded them just enough to dull the surface. You don't want "SHINY" anywhere. My furniture was dull and old so I got out of this part easy. When you are finished, make sure to wipe off the surfaces well so there is no sanding dust anywhere. (I've been asked if I primed my furniture. NO! You don't want to prime, paint, then distress, or your white primer will show up when you distress. Like white granny underwear showing!)

4. Open a window for ventilation. I painted the sideboard first, then the chairs and then the table. I put on the first coat, let it dry and then touched up spots I missed the first time because I went so fast and didn't notice I missed some areas on the chair. You can probably get away with just doing one coat if you are careful.

5. After the paint is TOTALLY dry, take your sandpaper thingy and lightly sand the edges to create the distressed look. Do not be nervous about this...it's so easy. Hold your sander so it just touches the edge and rub back and forth...stick with the edges only of every piece, go light at first till you see the wood peeking through. You can do as little or as much as your prefer. Start with a chair till you get the hang of it.

6. Optional But Highly Recommended Step: Because my DR is not a show room by any means, I wanted to take this extra stop to ensure a kid-proof table top. After I completed all the steps above I put a coat of polyurethane on the table top only. Make sure you get POLY urethane...that means it's OIL based, just like your paint. You need just a pint size if you just do the top like I did. Make sure you use the tackcloth you bought and go over the surface very well so you don't get tiny dust particles showing. I didn't sand it...just wiped it clean with the tack cloth. You can use the same brush you used for the black paint, if you wash it out with mineral spirits. I was too lazy to do that...I just bought a second brush and threw them both out when I was finished. Polyurethane is a little tricky..it's sort of sticky and thick to put on. Stir the can gently, use a good brush, and quickly put a nice smooth coat on, not missing any areas. Don't overbrush.
PS. After 6 months, I have not had one scratch or chip! Still good as new.

82 comments:

  1. It looks beautiful!

    I am paranoid about blogging, too. I always wait until my husband comes home before I mention that he was gone! I'm glad I'm not the only one.

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  2. I love it! Your wall color is right up my alley. And I'm getting ready to paint my old tv armoire black, so I must know...did you spray paint or brush paint? It really does look fantastic! Very Ethan Allen. :)

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  3. Sarah...it looks great!!
    You did a wonderful job

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  4. I LOVE the chairs, that fabric is beautiful. Job well done and great use of time.

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  5. Looks wonderful. I'm very impressed at how fast you did it all. I'm in the middle of some changes too. Seriously thinking of painting my set black....or white?? You've inspired me to get my butt moving.

    Did you use flat, satin, gloss??

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  6. Sorry, another question.....did you prime first? Thanks!

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  7. Love it! I have nearly the identical DR table, mine is also black, although I left the top stained wood.

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  8. Your dining room looks beautiful! Isn't it amazing what a little (or a few gallons!) of paint can do??

    Do you mind sharing the brand/name of the black paint that you used? I have an armoire that is begging to be painted black.

    Thanks!

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  9. You did a fabulous job. I am thinking that black is the new rage. I hear of everyone painting things black. I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel and my cabinets are black/distressed. I love them.
    Sarah

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  10. Beautiful Sarah! I love the contrast of black. During our remodel we added it everywhere. We (ok, my husband - I don't paint!) painted our railings ebony and the posts are white. It looks so much sharper than the previous oak with grime veneer.

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  11. Simply gorgeous! I am lovin' the new chair fabric. I don't have blue anywhere in my house, but every time I see something pretty like that fabric, I start wondering where we could fit some blue in! Nice job!

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  12. It looks great! I did my dining room table and chairs in black with the distressed edges a couple years ago, too. I think I might do my sideboard now, too. ;)

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  13. WOW! Love it, love it, love it!!! Thanks so much for sharing your redo with us girls. My dining room looks like your "before" picture. BUT, you might have just inspired me! ;>

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  14. Love the black! It all looks so great!

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  15. Looks awesome! I love Patrick's chubby hand and arm in that last photo - too cute!

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  16. I really like it but don't care ofr the gold - are they gold - handles of the sideboard? I think you need to go with the color of your candlesticks for the handles. I am very very impressed.

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  17. It turned out great. Love the furniture black & the new fabric choice too. Good job!

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  18. It does look great! I love the look of black painted wood and wrought iron, but my husband thinks painting wood is evil. I have to really push him! Also the fabric is lovely. :)

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  19. It looks fabulous! I am so impressed with how much you can get done during some naps. Got to talk to my baby about getting better with that!
    Fabulous!

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  20. WOW! I love it! It looks great and I am so impressed you got it done so fast with all of your kids at home.

    What kind of black paint did you use? Is there one you like to use on wood?

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  21. Great job! I have a MAJOR room re-do in the works (in my head) and needed some inspiration to just do it.

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  22. That is absolutely gorgeous! You have me inspired now. I have been planning to paint my dining room table and chairs black but have been finding a hundred other projects to do instead. After seeing your pics, well I'm all in. The one that did it for me (and don't laugh) was the 6th one. The one of the table leg. My table is oval but has the same legs and I have been thinking how great they would look black. Did you use a brush? What kind of clear coat? How did you do the table top? Oh so many questions. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Juli

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  23. Love it! You must be so excited to have done it so quickly. I keep hoping for one of those weekends but it hasn't happened yet.
    Love the toile cushion covers!

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  24. It looks amazing - I do most of my painting projects when my husband is gone and not breathing down my neck. Anyways - when can I come for dinner?

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  25. Oh Sarah!!! It looks awesome! Great job. I love the fabric you chose for your cushions too. Very pretty!

    XOXO
    Jen

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  26. Oh how I wish I had seen this post BEFORE I painted our dining room table. It was such a hassle.....probably because I used cheap paint and it took like 6 coats plus one coat of poly PLUS one coat of wax. It turned out great but we were without a table FOREVER! Oh my....

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  27. Love it! You did an incredible job, and thanks for the pointers. I am ALWAYS looking for better ideas for painting furniture.

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  28. I love it Sarah! You should start a home decorating company! You do really beautiful work!

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  29. What an amazing change! Do you mind me asking, how much do you think this project cost you? (Paint, fabric, rug, etc.)

    I have finally talked my husband into letting me paint our dining room furniture, although finding the opportunity to actually do it has been a challenge. I also have a little dresser that I'm going to paint black also to use as a small buffet. My biggest problem is that I RELALY want to paint the walls too but I paint them how I want to paint them, I need to redo my floors too.... sigh. Its always something, isn't it?

    Again, it looks fab-u-lous!

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  30. Awesome, awesome, awesome! I absolutely love it! Great job Sarah.

    Adrienne

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  31. GORGEOUS ! Absolutely beautiful. Way to go. Black is so chic.

    I love Abbey's blog too. Can't seem to click on the "comment" gadget. Just wanted to tell her to keep it up ! Good for her.

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  32. I love the new look! We need new dining chairs. So I have been thinking of painting my table black so I can have everything match.

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  33. I love what you did.
    You did a Maaahrvelousss job!

    Love your blog. :)

    ~Rhonda from Minnesota

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  34. Looks GREAT!
    Did you sand the table and chairs first?

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  35. I didn't sand anything BUT the table top...only because it had a pretty glossy coat of polyurethane on it. And then I just did a light sanding. I didn't use any primer anywhere. I also put a coat of poly on the table top when the black paint had dried.

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  36. I LOVE IT!!! I am so impressed that all of that happened during nap times!! I have been planning on painting the rest of our dining room furniture black--I did the table years ago. Thank you for all the details on how you did it because your way sounds way easier then my way!

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  37. I have to say that it went from so-so to SO TOTALLY CHIC!!! I love the black with distressed edges. Great job!!!! ...all the way around, it looks straight out of a catalog!

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  38. Didn't I comment on this? I thought I did. Well, if not...it's GORGEOUS!!!! The paint on the walls, the coordinating fabric on the chairs, the TABLE! Beautiful!

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  39. I love it! Who makes the paint shallow tide?

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  40. That paint is from Lowes...I just bought their brand of paint, and picked the swatch from their collection.

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  41. Because of you I am going to paint my table and chairs black. My husband says he's going to throw out the table if I paint it. Hee hee. Guess I'll be getting a new BLACK table then to match the soon-to-be black chairs!

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  42. How did you do the distressing? I love the black but doesn't the dust really show up quickly? I live in the country and dust is a constant battle. I have a friend who only has rustic pine tables, armoire, etc. because "it doesn't show the dust" and with 8 children she doesn't have the time.... Blessings!

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  43. Oh how beautiful!! You have inspired me to paint my dining room table the same color. Just a quick question....did you sand everything really good first? Thanks for the great idea and inspiration!!

    dididesgn@gmail.com

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  44. sarah, i found your blog thru Meg's "whatever" blog...and this post may have just put me over the edge in painting MY dining room set black!! i have five children too...your blog is great :) i'm a follower!

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  45. Looks beautiful , I am a big supporter of fearless painting of furniture , well done.
    Someone passed me on to your blog , so glad I found it .
    Chris {Just Beachy}

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  46. Love this table! You're instructions were exactly what I have been looking for. I'm afraid to paint my dining room table. Now maybe I'm not! I've never used oil paint or poly before, so your descriptions of how to use them were very helpful... thanks!!

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  47. Love the job you did on this set - it looks great!

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  48. Wow! I can't believe the difference a little paint made. Just gorgeous! I am new to your blog but I'm looking forward to reading more.

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  49. Lovely and thanks for the how to. I noticed that the poly comes in a spray paint can. Would you use that at all?

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  50. Oh thank you so much for the lesson on how to paint my furniture black. I've been wanting to do this with my 2 dressers in the bedroom, but was too chicken to begin. You made the directions so easy to follow and your furniture looks beautiful.

    I found your site after visiting the Nesting Place. I have you now in my favorites and will following your blog.

    Thanks again,
    Lee Ann
    encouragement-is-contagious.blogspot.com

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  51. I am so glad I found this post through The Nester. This is exactly what I needed to see to give me the guts to paint my dining room furniture. I love your blog. Can't wait to come back and read more. Thanks!

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  52. Hi Sarah. I found you through The Nester. Reading through your blog was great! You sound unsure of yourself too- just like me. I LOVE what you did with everything!! Plus you have kids- admirable. I have a husband and FT job and I'm dragging my feet on my table too. What inspiration I found here!
    Thank you so much!!

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  53. It looks great and your friend was right to coax you to paint it black. It's gone from nice to gorgeous! Well done!

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  54. You did a beautiful job. I just painted my dining room furniture black also....so I can really relate.

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  55. im drooling, drooling, drooling!!! girl that is amazing!!!

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  56. just found you and you have so inspired me. . I am going out this weekend to SW. . i will be sure to send you a pic when I am done. .

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  57. I love it and have to show my husband. We have an old dinning set that needs some help. I think this would look great.

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  58. I am sooo excited to find you blog and this dining room! I just bought a vintage dining set to paint and needed some inspiration! Thank you thank you thank you!

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  59. Thanks for the extra details about painting supplies--I'm so nervous about messing mine up! The extra info really helps. We have a blah, normal furniture superstore dining set and I think the black would be an awesome change...just have to get my nerve up for it!

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  60. Thanks for the tips. You are inspiring me to makeover some of my stuff rather than buy new. I am really enjoying your blog and your takes on life.

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  61. Hi.. I know you posted this eons ago, but I just googled "painting black furniture" and your blog post came up! fantastic! I was wondering if you don't do a primer on the furniture, do you find the paint sticks well enough?

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  62. Thank you!! I have seen so many blogs w/ furniture how-to's, but none of them were detailed enough. I have a beautiful desk I love that I keep repainting the wrong way. First I painted it w/ those little cheap bottles of paint from the craft store. It looked cool. I was a teenager then. I didn't like it so much after I was married. Then I painted over it with some wall paint...now it's peeling. Oops. I did something wrong. I was going to put it out on the curb, but you've re-inspired me =) I'm going to give it another shot and fix it up for real, the right way.

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  63. I am getting ready to paint my dining room table black (against my husband's wishes!), and I was really scared to do it, but then I remembered this blog post. Thanks so much for posting the instructions and the pictures of all the products you used. Now I just have to stop being scared and do it already.

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  64. THANK YOU!! I totally used your advice and did this a few months ago to a Craigslist table and it worked great. It's held up to my four kids and I saved so much time not priming plus about $1000 that I would have spent on a brand new table. My post is here: http://www.beingbrook.com/2011/01/be-brave-paint-your-dining-room.html

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  65. I thought you'd like to know that my husband and I just finished redoing our own dining room set after finding your post. This is the 1st project we have ever done like this and it turned out fantastic! I went from hating my D/R set to LOVING it! Thanks so much for posting how to do it!

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  66. I know this is a bit of an older post, so I'm so glad to have stumbled across it before redecorating my own dining room! I also included this post in my weekly series Fab Finds Friday at http://babeecrafts.blogspot.com/2011/06/fabulous-finds-friday-home-decor-ideas.html

    Awesome tutorial!

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  67. I appreciate this sooooo much. I have an old Ethan Allen dr set and I have been contemplating painting it for YEARS. You have TOTALLY INSPIRED me. Thanks.

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  68. I have been gawking at this post for the better part of six months... finally, I have found a decent set on CraigsList for our kitchen nook. Complete with a bakers rack! Bonus! ;) I will keep scouring CL for a set more like yours (love it!) for our DR. This one is currently shabby chic white & maple. Hubs is on board and I'm glad b/c I'm having him sand all of the white parts quite a bit. I was afraid the paint wouldn't stick to the white? Anyway, I'm glad he has an electric sander! Currently the legs are drying and the top is waiting to be painted tomorrow night! So excited for our first DIY! Thank you SO much for this post!

    PS I even brought the post up on my phone inside of Sherwin Williams tonight to show the guy what I needed! Ha!

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  69. Ok, we're taking the money savvy class by Dave Ramsey and so I've been trying to find a way to learn to love my [long-ago-paid-for] 70's dining room furniture that I currently HATE, and not plunk down a large sum of money on a new set. SOO, after seeing your post I am soooo stoked and ready to paint our table and hutch black! (I am the visual learner...) You've inspired me AND my husband!! We can't wait to get started on it! And, SW paint is all we use; my dad's a painter and I've been taught to buy the "good stuff"! Brushes too..... Thanks again!!!!

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  70. Sarah,
    Thank you so much for your directions and inspiration. I have been wanting to repaint my lower kitchen cabinets black. Right now they are white. I know they have an oil base paint on them now and wasn't sure how to paint over them. Thank you for letting me know about Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel. I will most defiantly go there to get my paint! Thanks again for your inspiration!
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  71. Thanks Sarah! I decided that I wanted to do this in January, so I googled "painting your dining room furniture black" and your site popped up. Best instructions EVER! I am finishing up now...yeah, I know I said January but it took me until June to get around to it :) My furniture looks great and I absolutely LOVE it!!! Thanks again!!!

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  72. Wow! You have really inspired to start painting and doing up some furniture again (which I haven't done for ages (I blame extremely bad morning sickness...pregnant with my third son!)
    Now I just need to find some furniture to paint:)
    Thanks for a fantastic blog!

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  73. Sarah, I am a small family owned American made paint maker and I would like to send you some paint for you to try. If you're interested could you email me? Or call my toll free number 800-498-7687. Whichever is easier. Thank you for your time,
    Laney Landis
    Old Village Paint
    Ps: we will be 200 years old in 2016.

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  74. Looks awesome! I am sooo excited to find you blog and this dining room!Hotel furniture

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  75. Just wondering if you sanded the furniture before painting?

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  76. I sanded the table top lightly.

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