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Painting a kitchen table and chairs

Listed under Blog, hand-painted furniture, mark-roberts Posted Sep 14 2016

Traditional Painter for Cheshire, Mark Roberts, was invited back by a client in Warrington, Cheshire to advise on painting a kitchen table and chairs. They wanted it changing from this

pine kitchen chairs and table in Warrington

to something more like this!

painted kitchen chairs and table Warrington

I headed to Warrington to talk with a client who wanted me to paint their well made, well worn pine kitchen table and chairs. They had already seen what I could do, having painted their kitchen, and I already had a good idea about what I was going to suggest here.

A reliable specification for painting a kitchen table and chairs

The chairs clearly needed a lot of TLC and the table top would have to be stripped and very well sanded to revive it. I proposed to paint the chairs and table base in the chosen colour (you can see the sample on one of the chairs) using a slightly different paint to what I had used on the kitchen cabinets. With the level of wear and tear expected, a mid sheen oil enamel was the appropriate choice in my view. I also specified an Osmo product on the table top.

In light of the space that the table and chairs took up in the kitchen, and the amount of work required, I agreed to collect the furniture and take it all back to my unit to minimise disruption in their working kitchen.


Back at base, all the chairs were thoroughly degreased using eco safe Virosol citrus-based cleaner/degreaser. Like any degreaser, wear gloves to stop it degreasing your hands.

My Festool dust-free extraction system was then used to properly sand all areas back to a sound base.

The table top was more damaged than the chairs, so I stripped off the remains of the damaged coating using Blackfriars paint and varnish stripper. I then sanded down the surface quite hard with a Festool RO90 sander.

This was the tool for the job, with a very powerful action that is strong enough to eliminate water marks that go below the surface. Using smoother abrasives, I was able to bring the top up to a smooth finish for the top coats. No dust to worry about thanks to the excellent Festool extraction system.

Finishing coats

Two coats of Otex adhesion primer and two top coats of Tikkurila Empire satin-matt were applied to the table legs and chairs.

The table top received 4 coats of Osmo top oil in a clear Matt finish.


This combination of paint and natural finishes is a tried and tested approach that really brings out the beauty of the wood. I was very happy with the result!

It is always helpful for readers (and myself) to hear what the customers actually think about the work I do. This is the testimonial from the client:

Mark Roberts has done an exceptional job with our kitchen and kitchen furniture.

We are delighted with the results, the room has been transformed, I love it ! We couldn’t recommend Mark more highly.

SN Appleton Warrington Cheshire.

One of our most commonly asked questions is: Can our kitchen furniture be painted?

We have been painting all styles of kitchen and fitted furniture for many years and within reason, we know how to successfully refurbish any kitchen : laminate, bare oak, lacquered orange pine, new MDF, ornate, plain, old, new, second hand, recycled, upcycled…

Another question or statement is: That seems awfully expensive for painting some cheap bedside cabinets!

The truth is we cannot always upgrade certain furniture cost-effectively. The above kitchen dining suite for instance would cost a lot of money to replace with like-for-like quality in the colour of choice. Putting it politely, though, not all wooden furniture these days can be valued so highly, and it takes as long for us to hand paint a mass produced stapled cabinet as it does a piece of furniture lovingly built to outlast the millenium.

We have plenty of information to help readers in that situation. See How to paint pine furniture where there is no stone left unturned to help explain how to achieve a professional standard. Or search “paint pine” in the search bar.

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