Alina Sewing and Design
I thought I’d share a couple of projects I did when I first moved into my apartment back in 2009. This antique dining table and chairs were a gift from my mom’s friend. WOW–one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten!
I was warned when I got them that a couple of the chairs were in need of some structural work. Primarily two had been used (if my memory serves me correctly), so two chairs had upholstered seats and two just had loose tie-on cushions (as seen in the picture below).

First, I needed to glue and nail all of the joints that were coming apart on the chairs. Wouldn’t do me much good to have chairs just for looks. 🙂

Then I decided that, since I lived in an all-white apartment, I’d give this ol’ gal a slick black new finish. I started by priming the table and all of the chairs. Since I didn’t want to go over each slat, leg, curve and carving with sandpaper, I used a primer that didn’t require sanding. I made sure every square inch of the piece was wiped down and clean and then I went to work priming with Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 (a water-based primer).

Then came the black! I used Valspar semi-gloss latex paint and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, the paint stayed tacky. I did a layer of primer and several layers of [really thin] black latex paint. Apparently, under the right conditions, latex paint can develop a tackiness that never really goes away. It was moderate September weather, albeit a little humid, so who knows what happened or why?
I was so frustrated by the tackiness that I left the project unfinished until December. Yes…from September to December, this table was left unfinished and unusable. Until the fateful day that I brought a can of polycrylic home. Hello, miracle-worker! Bienvenidos, life saver! Hola, dream maker! OK…so maybe that’s a little over the top, but two coats of the polycrylic (just to be safe) sealed this baby for good. Tackiness=non existent.

Since I could then use the table and chairs (!!!), I finished by covering the seats. The seats are wooden pieces that drop into the frame (see how the chairs are missing the seats in the photo above?), so I used spray adhesive to attach two layers of foam cushion cut to size and then upholstered them (with Amy Butler fabric!) with a staple gun. Since these pieces pop right out, it will be super simple and easy to recover them if I ever want a change!


Cute before, love after.
And that’s my dining table and chairs!
Have you guys redone any furniture lately? Do you have any battle stories with refinishing?
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