Then I realized I didn't really like the chairs and recovering them was basically putting a bandaid on what we really needed which was new chairs. I didn't like the chairs because they had a million grooves on them and would get gunk and stickiness in them from the boys, I would also get clothes snagged on the top as I walked by, and the chairs aren't even wood they're plastic with wood on the base so some of the finish had worn off and one chair was melted in a spot.
While thinking about what chairs to get for the table we came to a dilemma: we needed to find chairs that would match the table. The table and hutch have a unique finish.
So, even if we were able to find chairs that matched or at least went with it (good luck) we realized we didn't even like the finish. It was dated and yellowed. I wish I would have taken pictures before we sanded it all down because it was mighty yellow.
It felt so good to see that finish come off. We were originally going to take the table legs off and put posts in the corners to get a different look and save ourselves the time of sanding the grooves (and also paint the whole thing a warm white color and stain the very top- a Pottery Barn inspired look) but then we were worried those legs wouldn't be strong enough to support the table when we have it extended and also worried that we might drill a screw through the table top when we connected the legs to the table. So we nixed that idea, sucked it up, and sanded a million grooves.
Once the old finish was removed from the table top I noticed the wood grain had a beautiful pattern. I never saw it before because all I saw was the yellowed stain and black spots. And look, there's hearts on our table!
When we figured out what we wanted to do with the table it was time to think about what to do about the chairs. We finally decided on benches for the sides and chairs for the end and folding chairs for when we have guests and the table is extended.
Patrick has been getting better and better in his woodworking and I'd say the benches are his best work yet. They turned out great! He didn't even have to redo or recut or re-buy anything. It didn't even take him very long to put them together. We're very happy with how they turned out. Now to just get the boys to sit still on them while they eat. They're too fun to turn around on or slide across.
It was a lot of work to do but totally worth it. You might wonder why we didn't just buy a new table set? We considered it but first of all we really like the table and second of all it's been in the family for a long time. Additionally, we enjoy refinishing things and Patrick enjoys building things. Also, we saved quite a bit of money doing it this way. The benches were around $100 to make. If we bought them they'd be around $250 a piece. So it made sense to do what we did.
Now, do amp ourselves up for refinishing the hutch and these bad boys...