Up-cycled Dining Suite

The next project inspired by our daughters constructive criticism of our furniture lay-out has been to replace our beautiful, but dark, solid, Marri dining suite with an up-cycled, lighter look suite. First we sold our Marri dining suite on our local Buy and Sell website before sourcing a Malaysian hard wood suite to do up. Price received for our Marri suite – $2200. Price paid for our Malaysian hard wood suite – $200. Below are the photos of both, and I don’t blame you if you think we’re just a little bit crazy for selling our quality suite, we did wonder ourselves at the time……

Here’s some close ups of the newly purchased table, as you can see it was in terrible condition. There was writing over it, deep gauges, in the top, and a good layer of grime down the edge.

Here’s some close ups of the chairs. As you can see the two carvers were upholstered in different material to the four side chairs. The seller offered us some drapes to match the two carvers – we gracefully declined.

We liked the sheaths of wheat detail carved into the chair backs, and thought it would come up nicely once painted. Firstly Paul removed the table top, cleaned it, sanded several layers from the surface, and then applied a few coats of polyurethane to it. He then removed the seats from the chairs and took the arms off the two carvers. The base of the table, and the chairs had several coats of undercoat applied before applying two coats of semi-gloss white. Some needed to be brushed on, but where possible Paul used small rollers so as to get a smooth finish, with as few brush marks as possible.

We had found a nice off cut of upholstery fabric that would be enough to re-cover all six chairs, so we started stripping the brown material off the seats of the chairs. It become clear just how well used the set had been over the years. Under the brown velvet was a layer of dirty cream, then under that a deep blue floral fabric. We quite liked the blue, so were undecided as to whether we’d re-upholster the seats as planned. We decided to wait till the painting was finished. We could clearly see two more layers of upholstering under the blue layer, and neither of these looked to have been professionally done. This means that the original covering must have at one time been removed, and since then the chairs have been re-covered five times. I’m pleased the person whom we purchased the suite from hadn’t stripped the layers back to the blue upholstery though, as I suspect that with the blue it may have been considerably easier to sell, and perhaps someone would have been more willing to pay the original asking price of $300.

Below are the chairs showing the layers of upholstery, as well as the upholstery off cut we purchased and had planned to use to re-cover the seats.

The suite is now fully painted, and we decided that, for now, the blue can remain. One day we may use the grey and re-cover then again. Here’s some photos of the finished project. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the reasons for replacing the beautiful Marri suite with this cheap up-cycle is, there are several reasons. Firstly, we have Marri floors and felt the good suite blended in with the floors to much, also we missed our coastal up-cycled decor that we had in our last house, and last but not least, we felt having more white in the house will add to giving the room a lighter feel. I’m pleased to say it’s definitely achieved what we wanted to achieve. We love it. Here’s some photos of the finished project.

Before and after photos together of the chairs and table below. We think the white looks much nicer against the Marri floors. What do you think?

Now it’s on to the sideboard which you can see behind the table. But that won’t be the end of it – there’ll be more to come.

And just in case you’re wondering, our daughter is no longer banned, but I suspect Paul may gag her if she starts making suggestions next time she visits. Really though, we’re both delighted with the changes she has inspired, it’s much easier to ‘love’ furniture which you’ve transformed with your very own hands, and we do love our ‘new to us’ dining suite, and kitchen dresser. (Shush – don’t tell her though).

8 thoughts on “Up-cycled Dining Suite

  1. I love it Chris & when I saw the first blue chair I immediately thought Yes that’s gorgeous. I told Garry about 2yrs ago I was going to paint the lounge wall (over the rimu). Over my dead body he said. So be it I said… I get tired of all of the timber look. Oh well one day . All I can say it you have both done a great job.

    Liked by 1 person

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