Refinishing an Oak Kitchen Table & Chairs

This project was longer than most because chairs can take a bit of time. However, one thing to keep in mind is that a full dining set, including the chairs, is valuable to a buyers perspective. Why is that? Because imagine being the buyer and looking at buying a brand new solid wood table and chairs at a furniture store? It can get very expensive, especially for the fact that each chair can range from fifty to one hundred dollars a piece. Anyways, this is more important if you are flipping furniture like myself and if you are just here for the project that is awesome too! I am going to go through a detailed step by step “do it yourself refinishing oak kitchen table and chairs”, the full set makeover. I will have a list of products and equipment I used at the start, then I will list the steps, and don’t forget to watch the video of the entire process!

Tools & Equipment

Bosch Palm Random Orbital Sander See Latest Price On Amazon
LEOBRO 72 PCS 5 Inch Sandpaper Sheets See Latest Price On Amazon
C-I-L Interior Paint (Pure White) Purchased Locally

Varathane Grey Wood Stain
See Latest Price On Amazon

Rust-Oleum Lacquer Spray, White
See Latest Price On Amazon
Triple Thick Polyurethane See Latest Price On Amazon
Premier Montauk Nylon Polyester Paint Brush
See Latest Price On Amazon


Refinishing Oak Kitchen Table & Chairs Step by Step

This project is a (DIY) do it yourself refinishing oak kitchen table & chairs complete dining set. The table top will be stained grey and the rest will be painted white. The 4 included chairs will have a stained grey seat and the rest painted white. Enjoy the step by step guide to completing a full table remodel!

Step 1: Preparation

Every DIY project starts with a preparation stage. Trust me it is more important than you think… Not having the supplies you need on hand can be very annoying, especially if you are ordering them off of Amazon. Have what you need and the project will go much smoother, in the tools and equipment heading above shows what equipment I used and had prepared. Furthermore, in the preparation stage you should begin cleaning. I used a damp microfiber clothe to rub off any dirt off the table and chairs. Remember to do this regularly on all dry surfaces, not wet paint though, however when you have started the project just use a dry clothe. This process is to prevent dust buildup, which would damage the paint results.

Step 2: Sanding The Table

I started sanding the table first. I used my Bosch orbit sander and sanded along with the wood grain with 80 grit sand paper. What do I mean by that? The grain is the texture of the wood, you will see little wood texture lines facing a certain direction, this is the way you sand back and fourth. I started with the table top:

I started on one side and sanded the top and the round edge, then I moved onto the middle/leaf, then lastly I sanded the other side. Time frame was about 45 minutes – 70 minutes. I initially used 80 grit sand paper on top of my table, but finished it with 220 grit. Also, on the table corners I only used 220 to avoid poor shape quality. After sanding the edges with my orbit sander I would shape it by hand sanding for best results. This is the table after fully sanding the top and top edges:

Next sanding step for the table is under the top, which is called the apron. I sanded all around the table, but it is important to be careful along the leaf extensions gap. You could hook into the wood causing the wood to chip.  This is extra work you don’t want to be fixing. Use 80 grit paper and finish with 220 grit on the apron.

After 20 minutes of sanding the apron, begin to sand down the legs of the table. I used 150 grit sandpaper by hand. This table had a pedestal which was round, so I just sanded the round areas slightly by hand because this would be enough for the paint to stick on. If you are staining the wood remove all prior stains and protector for the stain to settle into the wood. I sanded the flat areas of the pedestal with my orbit sander. Finally sanding the table was complete!

Step 3: Sanding The Chairs

This part could be a little more time consuming, however, take into consideration that if you are painting certain areas you can prime the wood with a primer. This saves time because all the old finish doesn’t have to come off completely. I sanded the chair legs and back-rest just to remove any dents or noticeable scratches. I orbit sanded the seat because it was being stained. I used 80 grit then 220 grit sandpaper.

I removed the backrest of each chair for easy sanding and for better painting preparation. Just remove 2 screws underneath the seat.


Step 4: Staining The Table Top

Before I stain I wipe down my surface with a microfiber cloth. This removes dust and dirt which can damage nice results. Then I applied my Varathane Grey Woodstain. When I applied the stain I went with the grain, back and forth. I did one part of the table at a time. Depending on the tone you are looking for is how long you let your stain sit.

A darker stain you let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping.

A lighter stain tone you wipe off after 5 minutes.

I wiped mine off quickly because I wanted to see a bit of wood still. Wipe off the stain with the grain and depending on how the top turned out decide if you want it darker or not. If you do wait for it to dry according to your stain and apply coat 2. Having multiple coats will increase table durability too. I cleaned and I applied a second coat the next day but wiped it quickly again for a light tone.

Step 5: Paint Pedestal & Apron

Now I painted the pedestal leg and the apron white. This process is straight forward, but painting with a brush means to brush in a pattern to prevent uneven brush strokes. You want the paint to dry and look as professional as possible. Take a look at the photo process:

Let the paint dry and apply as many coats as needed.

Step 6: Stain Chair Seats

You can tape up around the chair if you do not want stain dripping on the legs. It doesn’t matter that much because you can sand it off after it dries. Apply the stain just like the table top, try to make them look the same.

Step 7: Paint/Prime The Chair Legs and Backrest

So when painting the chairs legs and backrest I decided to brush on a layer of white paint/primer. Which was the exact paint I brushed on the pedestal legs and apron. I then used my pure white Lacquer Spray Paint as a final coat.


The lacquer spray paint leaves a high-quality look and feel. While spraying do not get to close, this will cause drip marks which are very annoying. Spray back and fourth carefully. I applied the spray paint until the wood was completely covered. This took 3 cans of spray paint, the last can was down to its last spray. Here is an image of myself during the spray stage:

Step 8: Triple Thick Protector – Table Top and Chair Seats

I have used Triple Thick Polyurethane for many of my projects. I like it most because 1-2 coats is enough, making your process quick but still a high quality finish. I applied 2 coats of triple thick on the table top, lather it on with a brush that leaves a nice stroke. After lathering on polyurethane, finish and stroke along with the grain, a smooth feather-light finish. Lightly hold your brush, without applying any pressure, glide it along the top creating a brush stroke with the grain for a natural finish. When triple thick dries you can see its brush strokes if improperly finished/brushed. Watch the video if you want to see exactly how I did it, its not as hard as it sounds.

After the table I applied a coat of triple thick to the chair seats before attaching the backrests. This makes the seats more durable and long lasting. Stain should always have a protective coat for a number of reasons.

Step 9: Final Check

Finally put all the chairs back together, but make sure they are all dry. Sometimes the chairs are difficult to squeeze back into place. If needed use a mini paint brush with a touch of white paint to fix any little spots. Cover up the stain because you don’t want any paint stuck on. Touch up any spots that you might have missed throughout the table. Check over your table top and make sure there are no issues.


If the table is yours to keep, place it wherever! If you are flipping furniture to sell like myself start taking those unique photos for the marketplace. Here are some photos I used to sell the table on Facebook Marketplace.

Project Photo Results:


table set refinished

table chairs

Youtube Video | The Process

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel by clicking here:


Table Flipping Results/Profits

Let us take a look at the furniture flipping expenses from this project:

Item Cost
Table & Chairs $80
Spray Paint $30
Stain $20
Sandpaper $5
TOTAL $135

Other items such as brushes, triple thick, tools, etc, are reusable and I deduct them at another time. They can be considered initial investment expenses, once I run out of the product I deduct them from each project I used them for to see how much they did cost me.

Let us look at the total profit:

Selling Price – Project Expenses = Project Profit 

$275 – $135 = $140

I made approximately $140 dollars profit. The amount of hours I put into the actual process was around 7 to 10 hours. Waiting for drying times is not included because I am not working. My hourly wage would have been between 14 to 20 dollars an hour. I had much interest in the table and I should have priced the table higher. However, I am happy I sold the table the first day of the listing.


I hope this (DIY) Do It Yourself Refinishing Oak Kitchen Table & Chairs step by step guide was helpful. Follow these steps and you can refinish a table beautifully, either for your own home or to make a sale. If you enjoy little furniture projects please subscribe and tag along on my furniture flipping journey. I plan to flip a lot of different items and I would love an audience, so subscribe to our YouTube channel here or just on our website in the sidebar.

Thanks for sticking around and feel free to leave a comment below!