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How to Refinish and Update a Maple Table

Posted on August 9, 2016 by KylieMawdsley

Before and After – Maple Table Makeover

Ooo, I just love it when people listen to me! A few months ago I went to my client’s house and they were lamenting over the state of their dining room table. They had their hearts set on a gorgeous set up at Modern Country, but because that’s a fancy-shmancy store they may as well take out a 2nd mortgage on their house to finance it – but it is a darn nice table…

Soooo, I suggested that their current maple table could maybe use a little ‘makeover’ with paint and stain. That way, while they were saving for the new dining set, they could at least enjoy the old set (and then sell it for mucho moula down the road).

Ideas to update a maple or oak table with chairs, stain and paint by Kylie M Interiors.jpg


How to refinish and update a maple table 

(for an in-depth ‘how to’ please check out ‘How to Paint Wood and Laminate Cabinets/Furniture’)

Here’s the original table in it’s screamin’ maple glory…

maple table and chair set before update, paint and stain

And here’s how to fix it!

Step 1 – Modernize the chairs

You can’t go wrong with a parsons chair whether it’s leather, vinyl or fabric (well, if you have kids fabric might not be the best choice if you know what I’m saying….) These chairs were found at Costco – 2 pk for $140.

I love this set from Wayfair, good transitional style for the older style maple or oak tables. And it’s just coincidental that they are both darker colours, feel free to have some fun with colours too!  If we’d had online sites like Wayfair when this update was done, I’m sure we would have gone with something like these…

Chair ideas to update a maple or oak dining set

Via Wayfair

Or if you like something a bit more wipeable…

chair that is good for updating a maple or oak table

Via Wayfair

I love this neutral one as well, maybe not as kid-friendly, but SUPER gorgeous…

Chair to update a maple dining table

Via Wayfair

Step 2 – Sand down and stain the top surface

The second step for this couple was to sand down and stain the top (sand down evenly with 100 then 220 grit). When re-staining a piece like this it’s vital that you get all of the lacquer off and get a relatively consistent finish so that the new stain will absorb evenly. Once you’ve finished your sanding you can also use wood conditioner to ensure that the stain appears even. My favourite stain is Varathane Gel Stain – nice and gooey and doesn’t run like a water-based stain!

Step 3 – Sand down and paint the base

They didn’t have to be as thorough with sanding the base compared with sanding the top. This is because they decided to paint the base and all that paint needs is a smooth and un-shiny surface to ‘stick’, whereas stain needs a uniformly sanded surface so that the stain will ‘penetrate‘. A really nice scuff up of the base to break up the lacquer was all that was necessary to prep the surface (give ‘er with some 220 grit). We chose my favourite ooo-la-la dark colour “Willow” by Benjamin Moore. In these photos, it looks quite gray while in reality, it’s a dark brown with a strong charcoal base.

Before and after, maple or oak country style table update ideas for paint and stain

Now I’m not going to throw fluff at ya and tell you this was a straightforward and easy job – because it wasn’t. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of sweat, but as you can see – it was well worth it – who needs that Modern Country crap anyways when you have a set like this!

Before and after, maple or oak country style table update ideas for paint and stain and chairs

Now that you know how to refinish and updated a maple table, do you have any other outdated pieces that could use a makeover? Invite me over and let’s do some brainstorming – it’s amazing what a coat of paint can do (and a bottle of Baileys….)

See the rest of this open layout dining and living room here: Warm and Welcoming Living/Dining Room Design

Want some ideas for your own home, check out my Personalized E-Design Packages!

E-design, virtual interior design, decorating, paint colour consultant and expert. Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams. circle

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign


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