Updated: Oct 14, 2020

My husband has always said to me, “Maryna, if I stood still for long enough, you’d paint me white too”, and he’s right about that!

There is just something about giving furniture a fresh coat of white paint that makes the setting feel bright, new and fresh. Think about an old cane furniture set, after several years the varnish turns yellow, cracks appear, and it just doesn’t look fresh. Apply a lick of paint and it’s good as new again. So in the spirit of repurposing old, but still usable furniture, I’ve put together a guide on how you can easily transform your dining set in a single day.


This dining table and chairs were still in perfect condition but were beginning to look outdated and just didn’t fit with the design of the home any longer.


All it took for this dining set to look updated was a fresh coat of white paint and re-covering the cushions. Read on to see how it was done.

Before you start

Before you get started it is best to get all your materials together.

This includes:

  • Spray gun It is highly recommended that you use a spray gun for larger pieces of furniture to get a clear coat of paint.

  • Drop sheets A canvas cloth or plastic drop sheet will ensure you don’t cover your whole house in paint.

  • Sandpaper Fine sandpaper will be used to prepare the furniture of the undercoat.

  • Dustpan Brush/Cloth This will be used to lightly clean the furniture – especially after the sandpaper has been used.

  • Paint Both a color and top coat are recommended to ensure longevity.

  • Chalk paint can be used, but I prefer to use a water-based enamel as it’s easier to clean.


Put down the drop sheets in the area you are planning to paint. Ensure that the area is still with low levels of wind to ensure an even finish.

Use the sandpaper and just roughly sand down the surfaces. You don’t need to be perfect here and get into every nook and cranny – just ensure that the large surfaces have gotten a good sand down.

Brush down the furniture with either your dustpan brush (for cane furniture) or a cloth (for flat surfaces) to get rid of the dust from the sandpaper.

Prepare your paint mix. If you’re using a spray gun you will need to dilute the paint with water. The manual for your spray gun should provide you with the best ratio of water to paint. Using long even strokes, use the spray gun to spray the paint evenly up and down the furniture piece, keeping at least a 20cm distance.

Tip: It’s best to start slow with the spray gun, as if you spray too much on one spot the paint will run. Once the first coat is dry, repeat the above step until a second coat has been complete.

If it is a flat surface, like a table, I generally give the table a very light sand (don’t sand the paint off) to ensure a smooth finish.

Once the second coat is completely dry, you’re ready for the topcoat. The topcoat, whilst not required, is recommended to increase the longevity of the paint coat.

And voila, you’re done!

You have now created a beautiful new piece and saved the world from more unnecessary landfill.

I use paint on all kinds of household items to make them new and unique. Next time I’ll share my lamp make overs – it’s even easier.

If you prefer a video, lovely Martha Stewart has a DIY video tutorial that you can follow

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