Tips for Painting a Dining Room Table

Last Updated on October 29, 2022 by Jason Nguyen

A dining table is an important part of a kitchen or a dining room, where all family members are together. If your table is outwardly old and doesn’t look very presentable, don’t rush to throw it away. Give it a “second life” by painting or decorating it however you like.

If you want a new table, but with an individual appearance for yourself, buy a ready-made one and let your imagination run wild. You can find a top live edge table for dining in UK on sale. So, how to paint a dining table, read in our article. 

Ideas for painting

dining room table

It is worth deciding with your room style and the desired color before considering painting ideas for dining room table.

The most popular colors:

  • bright tones: light green, yellow, scarlet, blue. These color schemes will “fit” well into the modern style, where such furniture will become a bright detail of the room interior ;
  • white or black colors. It is the best option for those owners who are pretty tired of the “native” table color or countertop and decide to make it more “neutral”. This solution will suit any interior and become its concise highlight. When the table is properly painted, its wooden texture will be hidden under a uniform layer of paint;
  • metallic. Painting all furniture or its parts in metallic colors is a successful solution for classic or high-tech design.

First of all, we recommend reading the article about trendy table designs to make it easier for yourself to choose.

The choice of paint

What type of paint to use for a dining table depends on the material of your countertop and legs.

For painting, an old wooden table can be used with almost any paint. But it is best to choose the kind of paint depending on the type of wood.

1.  Water-dispersion paint.

It is an excellent version for furniture that stands in heated rooms, and not on a veranda or terrace.   It is non-toxic, doesn’t emit harmful substances, fits well on the countertop and dries quickly.

2. Oil.

Previously, this type was mainly used. However, paint manufacturers have released paints that are more economical in terms of costs and have a less toxic effect. Therefore, oil went by the wayside.

3. Enamels for wood.

They are resistant to light, mechanical stress, not subject to corrosion. The compositions are varied. You can choose both matte and glossy finishes for the countertops

Necessary materials

You need to select only high-quality materials for painting and priming.

For the entire process of restoration or staining you will need:

  • an antiseptic for a wooden surface;
  • white primer;
  • varnish;
  • solvent, sponge, sandpaper;
  • masking tape;
  • rags, textile, old unnecessary newspapers.

Anyway, it is better that the whole process of painting the wood doesn’t take place in the living room if the paint is not water-based. 

Necessary tools

The following things you need to prepare for painting:

  • sprayer, a roller, brushes;
  • a container for a paint and varnish composition;
  • rubber gloves;
  • eye protective glasses and a mask (if spraying is planned);
  • rubber spatula;
  • tools for furniture disassembling (screwdriver, puncher, etc.).

This is the main set of materials. You can purchase a means for finishing varnishing. Let’s already know how to paint a kitchen table.

Step-by-step painting algorithm

We disassemble the table. If there are inserts on the surface that are planned to be left unchanged (ceramics, glass), then we simply seal them with masking tape. We put on protective equipment and get working:

  1. “Skin” the old countertop, parts and boards with fine-grained sandpaper. Prime them with a rubber spatula if there are large defects and cracks.
  2. “We pass” on the surfaces with a primer. 
  3. We wait until the primer dries, again “skin” it with sandpaper.
  4. Do not wash the surface with a rag, but “pass” over it with a dry brush or vacuum cleaner.
  5. Then shake it if the painting of the table comes from aerosol. It is recommended to keep at 30 centimeters distance from the surface and apply the layer smoothly for avoiding smudges. Large areas are painted with wide brushes if the surface is covered with ordinary paint. Fine details and corners would be covered with a thin brush.
  6.  Let the layer dry and paint the next one. Usually, two or three coats are enough for a uniform tone.
  7. Acrylic varnish is applied on top after the parts have dried. So, the surface will be resistant to mechanical damage.
  8. We remove the tape from the decorative elements and inserts. After that wait 8 hours.
  9. It will be possible to use the updated furniture after the allotted time.

The table painting with your own hands will be easy and fast after a little patience, attention and accuracy in work. When you have learned how to paint a dining table, you can get working. The table can still be decorated after painting.

Decorating ideas

1. Using tulle.

We prepare the surface for painting with sandpaper or using a grinder. Then we paint in 2 layers with white acrylic paint. We cover all places that would not be painted white with masking tape.

We lay a piece of moistened tulle on the surface and carefully straighten all the creases and wrinkles. We paint with acrylic blue paint from a can. Let dry, varnish with clear polish.

2. Decoupage technique with your own hands.

You can apply applications to the surface of the table using decoupage napkins.

We will need the napkins themselves, which can be bought at any art store, special glue, water-based varnish, acrylic varnish, primer.We need sandpaper, a fan brush and a roller for work. 

The area of the kitchen or dining room will be very important for choosing a dining table. Sometimes the size of the room won’t let you place a large rectangular table. In this case, before purchasing the product, study the question of which table to choose for small spaces.


Can you paint a dining room table top?

Yes, you can paint a dining room table top. First, sand the surface of the table top to create a smooth base for the paint. Next, apply a primer to help the paint adhere to the table top. Finally, select a paint color and finish of your choice and apply it to the table top. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the table.

What kind of paint do you use on a dining table?

The best kind of paint to use on a dining table is a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint. This type of paint will give the table a nice shine and will be easy to wipe clean.

You can also use a satin finish paint if you want a softer look. Whatever type of paint you choose, make sure you prime the table first so that the paint will adhere well and last longer.

How do you seal a dining room table?

You will need to purchase a sealer designed for dining room tables. Apply the sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You may need to apply multiple coats of sealer, depending on the type of wood and the look you are going for. Be sure to let each coat of sealer dry completely before applying the next one.

Can I paint a table without sanding?

Yes, you can paint a table without sanding. However, if the table is made of wood, you will need to prepare the surface by cleaning it and removing any wax or polish. Once the surface is clean and dry, you can apply a primer and then paint the table with your desired color.

What type of finish should I use on a dining room table?

Polyurethane is a common type of finish used on dining room tables. It provides a durable, protective coating that can withstand heavy use. However, it can also yellow over time, so you may want to consider using a different type of finish if you want to keep your table looking its best.

Other finishes that can be used on dining room tables include lacquer, shellac, and wax. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll need to decide which is best for your table based on your specific needs.