Shabby Chic White Dining Table and Chairs

Today I am sharing with you a special set.  I love when my faithful followers come to me with pieces that can no longer use but know that I will give them love and a whole new life to be loved again..


What’s so special about this set… Well the above and it went to another wonderful follower who I shared a while back on facebook all these lovely pieces she brought to me in August last year.  I kept the sofas for myself and hope to “learn” the art of bigger upholstery through redoing one of them myself.  {We shall she don’t hold me to it… It might honestly go straight over to Back Alley Furniture for a lot less stress on myself!!} But right now it sits covered in quilts up in our media/guest room… And it’s perfectly happy right now!! You can see what I did with the hope chest here… a client uses it for a coffee table now!!




So I posted these pictures with this vision already in my head of doing it in a wonderfully white shabby chic finish… And guess what she totally LOVED it and said Yes Me Me!! Yay- and not until she came to pick up the piece did I know Me Me was her- epic fail on my part… I am horrid with names and didn’t remember her… I am hanging head low and lips pouting at myself… But I hugged her big when she came to pick up and you can bet I WILL never forget her name again…. See I tell you all the good and bad… I am who I am and accountability makes sure you will never do it again right?? Okay enough on to the table…

My only before shots.. Sorry.

Before Makeover Shots

I am on such an American Paint Company Navajo White kick lately… I love this stuff.. It’s a two coat opaque coverage every time.  I used to hate it when clients wanted white and now- I am excited… I am actually considering painting my own buffet in white… I still owe you a post on an entire nursery of furniture that was painted in this color as well…

Table- focus.


So I want to share a few tips and techniques that are very basic, but sometimes when we want something done now we forget to just take the time to do it- it actually makes it faster when we do.


Clean clean clean your pieces. Especially on chairs and tables.  They have spots, food hiding in that finish that you can’t see until you paint.  Trust me.  So a good TSP cleaning will go a long way on this.  If you are painting with white- paint from a bowl you pour into to lower contamination risk…What contamination?? Well when you paint that first coat- you are likely going to know instantly on these old pieces whether they bleed or not.  So every brush re-dip puts that old finish in your quart… not good.  If you notice it turning a yellow- don’t go any further thinking more coats will cover it…It won’t and if it does it will come back over time.  Shellac Prime those and let them dry and then get to painting…


Chairs & Tables… always turn upside down to paint the legs and under the beautiful curves.  When you are staining or painting even table tops- always put your leaves in so that the finish will be consistent and match. Here I did use General Finishes Java Gel Stain.  I lightly scuffed the surface and used a pad to put the stain on.  It is the best stain & super friendly to use!!


Distressing your beautifully painted pieces… natural think about the spots over time that you see getting rubbed by natural life… Those are the spots you want to make your first “marks” on,  if you will.  Don’t make soldier marks all over… It doesn’t look natural and well it’s your preference I suppose.  But I think if you think about those spots that naturally get touched and rubbed more, you will have a finish that looks just perfect!! This can be done with wet and using a variety of different grits… I will show you some close ups so you can see what I mean.  I may break out of my comfort zone and do a video on this one.  It’s one of the most requested questions I get -“how do you make it look so natural??”  I realized when answering a question to a fellow painter that we all do it different.  But it’s how I get that smooth buttery finish.  So many people don’t believe you can get that smooth finish, minus brush strokes with chalk or chalk/clay based paints.  Yes you can!! And with a different topcoat you can have a lacquer look as well!! {Click here for that example}








Thank you for stopping in today!! Hope you find something that inspires you!!

Don’t be shy leave a comment- I love them!! And Share Share Pin Pin away!!

Until the next time…. ~Lori



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  1. […] up the tall one and didn’t get home until late late with the other… to which he had to load up this dining set so I could bring in the two pieces!! This is a pretty physical job and I am thankful for his […]

  2. Ashley says:

    I have some barstools that need some TLC and wanted to use this method. I don’t want to assume about the fabric part, I wanted to ask, how difficult was it? Is it just covering up the old material with new material? Thanks and your blog is awesome!! So much inspiration here 🙂

  3. Bobby says:

    I do agree with you about the soldier marks, baffles me why people do it

  4. Jennifer says:

    HI!! Where did you find that fabric for your chairs?? I love it!!


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