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7 Ways to Paint Your Dining Table

Looking for a super-easy and quick DIY job for the weekend? Why not transform a favourite table?

Houzz UK deputy editor. I’m an interiors journalist and editor, previously for the… More

The dining table is typically the heart of the home and gets lots of daily love and wear. So perhaps yours is in need of a little affection in return, in the shape of a little refresh? It couldn’t be easier to give a table a new lease of life using nothing more complicated than paint. But there are many ways to use it… Which do you fancy?

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Complement tonally
If you’re taking the plunge and painting your kitchen table, it’s tempting to pick the colour of your cabinets for continuity. Or you might go for another strong shade in the room – here it could have been black, like the worktops, or white, like the walls.

Any of these would have worked, but this idea makes for an interesting alternative, too. The shade of the table (which has been painted all over and given a distressed finish) is the same tone as the grey of the cupboards – which is what makes it so complementary – but a mid grey-blue.

See more photos by clicking on the image and hitting ‘Other Photos in This Project’ on the right.

Get ideas for painting other pieces of furniture around your home

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Colour-block
Now this is a bold look for a kitchen – the three primary colours plus a strong green. It works because other details are kept to a minimum and it doesn’t look fussy or ‘colour-cluttered’. Adding to the effect is the fact that the paint appears on large expanses, rather than being dotted around bittily.

The tabletop has had a paint revamp, but the legs are still the original wood. It’s also an unusual table to paint, especially this way around, as it’s a 1950s or 60s Formica (TM) design, a reminder that there are paints suitable for every surface. There are lots of tips videos online about how to prep this sort of surface and the best paints to use.

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Top it off
Here’s how totally different one painted tabletop can look from the next. In line with the antique table and period details in this room, the white surface has an aged look.

There are various ways you can achieve this effect and there are specialist paints to help you. Equally, a well-watered-down emulsion painted on until you get the depth of colour you’re after is a good option that will allow some of the grain to show through.

Attack it with some fine-grade sandpaper when you’re done to batter it up a little if you like that look. Then top with a clear matt varnish to protect your handiwork (make sure it’s safe for food surfaces).

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Tie in with wallpaper
The yellow detail in this wallpaper is not immediately obvious, which is what’s especially lovely about the sunshine-coloured table legs. Picking out a non-dominant colour can tie your scheme together without making everything look too matchy-matchy.

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Make it monochrome
When your kitchen includes black features – say black grouting, lighting, sockets, bar stools and door frames, as here – you have an instant paint colour option right there. And that’s just what the owners of this handsome dining table figured when they painted it a sooty shade.

The crisp white walls and grey floor in the mix make for a classic black-and-white-photo palette. (Also, don’t let anyone tell you that navy and black don’t go together – the blue in the inky cabinets here is, in fact, beautifully highlighted by the adjacent black).

Consider the effect you want by browsing lots of photos and getting paint samples – eggshell for a near-matt finish, gloss, satin…? One tried-and-tested tip is that floor paint can look excellent. It gives a minimal sheen, is extremely hardwearing and comes in both water- and oil-based, depending on your preference.

Be careful when painting either drawers or the surrounding wood – it doesn’t take much paint to make them hard to open. You’d do well to over-sand these areas before getting your brushes out.

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Bring an oldie up to date
Dark wood furniture is having quite the revival at the moment, but mahogany et al aren’t for everyone. If you fancy just a dabble with this trend, or have an heirloom you’d like to reinvigorate, take inspiration from this dinky dining spot in an urban cottage.

The base has been painted grey using Annie Sloan chalk paints, which lend themselves (along with other brands of chalky paint) to creating antique effects. It’s then been given a top coat of varnish. Look up ‘distressed paint finish’ online and see how you can copy the effect.

Tour the rest of this home

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Give it some zinc-a-zinc-ahhh
All-wood tables aren’t the only sort that work well with a painted finish. Here, a chunky wooden dining table has had its legs painted a rich, inky colour, while the top is zinc. You can buy different styles of zinc-topped tables or, if you’re a game DIY-er, you could try buying sheet zinc and revamping your own piece of furniture.

Tell us…
Which of these tables appeals most to you, and do you have any table-painting ideas to share? Get busy in the Comments section.
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