DIY Before and After: Painting My Dining Table

Many of you may remember my dining room update from my last home. I had just received this table and it completely transformed my space. I had a white painted table just prior to that and switching to this grey-washed oval table gave me the new look I was after. It had texture and looked a bit rustic with a grey wash that I loved at the time. I’ve been through so many phases when it comes to furniture. From georgian furniture to something a bit more contemporary, I’ve done it all in one way or another. But with this being said, it’s always fun switching things up a bit.

I have since moved, and my new home is more tone on tone. My table color never felt right in the space. I have hardwood floors everywhere, and I wasn’t loving the look of wood on top of wood… At least these two colors of wood. Normally, I would just throw a rug underneath to break up the textures, but this space is so small and feeds into my entry. A rug doesn’t fit properly! My best solution? Paint the table.

It’s important to emphasize that I love my table. The soft details and oval shape fit the space beautifully and it fits our needs perfectly. I love that this piece with it’s oval shape, is easy to walk around, especially with french doors on both sides. The chandelier that hangs above compliments the shape as well. This house is so much smaller than my last and as a result I wasn’t able to squeeze in a kitchen table and a dining table… so this is it as far as tables go. It needs to be right.

*this post contains some affiliate links


  1. Paint
  2. Drop Cloth
  3. Favorite Paintbrush
  4. Prograde Sanding Sponge
  5. Disposable Latex Gloves
  6. Handy Paint Cup
  7. Good movie in the background or music!

Whenever I look at painting a piece of furniture, my first step is to decide on the color. I usually paint everything in my favorite white or cream category, but this time around I felt I needed something slightly different. I decided to venture into the grays after successfully painting my dresser in my master bedroom a few months ago. As luck would have it, I had leftover paint in the garage from that project (Sherwin Williams – Reflections) so I decided to try that before anything else to see how the color looked downstairs. I knew that if I didn’t end up loving it, I could always repaint. (I’m a bit impatient as you can see)

Once I painted one coat of SW Reflections, I immediately loved the difference. While the change was the right direction, I wasn’t convinced that it was the right color. I decided to head back to the store to look for something slightly different. That’s when I opened Pottery Barn’s brochure of their color line with Sherwin Williams and found, ‘Big Chill’, a soft gray that is similar to ‘Reflections’ yet slightly warmer. I picked up a quart of it, ran home, and completed my second coat with ‘Big Chill’. I was immediately in love…

When I researched what kind of paint to use for the upstairs dresser, the guys at the paint store directed me to a paint that has a “harder” finish, Emerald. Btw… I am by no means a paint expert and say this time and time again on Instagram. I feel it’s important to mention again here. I’m not looking for perfection when I paint something, I just know what I like and how I like for it to look. ;)

image via SW

Sherwin-Williams Emerald is a high-end interior acrylic latex line of paint that is a bit pricey but I felt worth it because it allowed me to skip the all important primer step. It covers that well. I also love that it leaves a smooth finish.
(this is not a sponsored post)


(Remember I am not an expert)

Step 1: Choose Paint color. ( I had already picked out my paint color, so step 1 was complete)

Step 2: Drop Cloth

Once I select the color I’m going to use, I prep by throwing a drop cloth underneath the furniture piece. If you don’t know what a drop cloth is, it’s simply a plastic clear sheet that is used to protects your floors. You can pick them up at Home Depot or any paint store.

Step 3: Sand your piece if it’s required.

Always sand in the direction of the grain. I use a prograde sanding sponge and I don’t spend too much time on it. I lightly sand to give the paint something to adhere to. My table had a grainy raw finish that didn’t need sanding, so that cut my prep time in half.

Step 4: Dust

Once you sand your piece, you need to take a soft cloth to dust everything off. Very important!

Then you can begin painting!

Step 5: I like to pour my paint into a handy paint cup.

You can purchase one from the paint store/Home Depot. It makes life easier.

Step 6: Where to start when painting…

How you paint your piece is personal preference.. I tend to paint the legs and sides before I paint the top because it’s the most tedious and time consuming. It’s nice to get that out of the way first. It usually takes the longest also.

Step 7: Painting the top or front of your piece

My table has so much grain, I didn’t need to use a finishing roller to give it the smooth look that most people desire for tabletops. Luckily, I was able to paint my table top pretty quickly without needing to be super careful. I used my Purdy large brush and went to town. I painted in the direction of the grain, and started on one end of the table then worked my way to the other side fairly quickly. (Wait to go back until the piece is fully dry)

Step 8: Check for drips.

I made sure to check around the edge of the top for paint drippings. I use my brush to lightly brush those away.

Step 9: Wait

I waited a couple of hours before painting a second coat, then I repeated steps 5-8 again.

SW – Big Chill

I hope some of my painting tips above help those of you who reached out to me on Instagram this weekend. I have to admit, I’m so happy that I listened to myself and went forward with painting my table. It’s something that I have wanted to do for quite some time. I’m always amazed at how many people settle and live with furniture they are unhappy with. Painting is such a simple and easy way to update a piece in a huge way and life is too short as they say. I love painted furniture, especially against wood floors and I think the soft grey that I selected looks beautiful. I can’t believe the difference!

Have a great Monday!

If you liked this tutorial, click here to see how I love hanging my wreath without using nails or a wreath hanger.


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22 thoughts on “DIY Before and After: Painting My Dining Table

  1. You did a wonderful job, I love it painted. Beautiful color! I also love your new flatware. The weaved texture looks amazing with the cane on the backs of your chairs. Perfect!

  2. Beautiful! How do you keep the top protected from watermarks, etc?
    I painted my table white and used poly acrylic to protect. It turned yellow!

  3. Your table looks beautiful, but I would NOT recommend wall paint for a durable furniture finish. You really should use some sort of enamel finish or paint designed for furniture. I’m actually surprised SW would recommend Emerald to you. It’s really not great for furniture. Their Pro-Classic would have been SUCH a better option.

    1. Hi Shannon,
      Thanks so much for your input. I’ve had nothing but good luck with the Emerald but… that being said, I tell everyone what works for me and nothing else. ;) I’m not an expert and mention this over and over again. Hugs

      1. I was just there they recommended Emerald Urethane trim Enamel for my kitchen table.

  4. It looks wonderful! And inspires me to refresh a couple of favorite pieces of mine. Would you do a blog on how you spray paint and what brand you use because I love your front porch chairs too. Thanks

    1. Thank you Dawn! Great idea. I love spray paint. I have a link to that spray paint under Home Sources/Garden. I love my front porch chairs so much more now.. Hugs

  5. Hi Kristy, I just bought the Emerald paint in Big Chill but I think I made a big mistake and bought semi gloss! Ugh. Did you get a satin finish?

  6. Beautiful Kristy as always. Such a lovely home. Going to paint my kitchen table now I know how to do it thank you.


  7. Hi Kristy,
    Thank you so much for sharing your Beautiful home and ideals! I too though am curious if you have had trouble with water spots or hot spots from food, or do you use coasters and protectant under dishes when using table?


    1. I never worry about those sorts of things… really. :) We wipe drips as soon as we can or afterward. The satin paint protects better than you might think. We haven’t had any issues. Besides, if something happens…I would simply paint it again. ;) The wood unpainted was wayyyy more absorbent to stains.

  8. Thank you so much for this post! I have a couple of questions hopefully you can help me with. Did you use just the basic Emerald line (when I called Sherwin Williams to ask about it they thought I might want the Emerald Urethane line instead). Also, how long did you wait before using your table and putting decor on it? How has it held up for you so far?

    I have been having a terrible time trying to refinish an antique table. It have veneer damage and needed to be painted. I attempted chalk paint with a polyurethane top coat a couple of times. The chalk paint would always look great, but then the polyurethane would go on streaky and gummy and ruin it. I finally decided to remove all of the veneer before trying to paint. This time I decided I will go with a latex paint that I don’t have to top coat and while researching what to use I came across your post. Hopefully this will finally be the thing that works for me. It’s a beautiful table and I can’t wait to finish it!

  9. I was wondering if your table has any leaves or is it one piece? I’m worried about the connecting edges on my oval table wont fit correct if I paint them?

    1. Hi Lorri, I had to sand the edges a ton between each coat then gave them a final sanding with a fine sand paper once finished. It was double the work but the table leafs still fit perfectly. I also made sure to not paint the grooves that connect the pieces. Hope that helps a bit.