The dining table {finally} has functional chairs

Don’t you hate it when bloggers start a project, and then never seem to finish it? You’re left wondering what ever happened to it, and hoping for an update. Ya, me too. It’s so annoying waiting months and months and still never get any updates. What I hate most is that I am guilty of this. I’m a terrible blogger! I get excited about a project, start blogging about it, then lose interest in actually finishing the project. Months go by before the project is updated.

I am sorry that I have been one of those really annoying bloggers that takes months to finish a project.

I am even more sorry that it has taken me over a year to finish my dining table and chairs redo. It’s actually been 19 months. Even more embarrassing.

In case you are new here, or just flat-out forgot what the heck I blogged about 19 months ago (I practically forgot about this table and I live here!), Here’s the low-down on the biggest-pain-in-my-ass project I’ve ever taken on.

19 months ago I found a 10 seater table and chairs on craigslist that was solid wood and, hello? It seats 10 people! I quickly bought it and brought it home with the intention of refinishing it top-to-bottom within the month.

Two months later the table was refinished with dark black stain.

Then 4 months later I did a post on how to remove old upholstery. It was suppose to be one of several in an ongoing series about upholstering dining chairs.

And then… nothing. For a full year. Not one post about the chairs. I’ve blogged a lot about the dining room. I just never got around to finishing those darn chairs.

In my latest dining room post you can tell that I painted the chairs. At least some of them. The table is missing several (which were in the garage waiting for a 2nd coat of paint).

So, before I share the good and bad news about finishing the table and chairs, I first want to formally apologize for being the most sucky blogger on the planet. I am sorry I started a project 19 months ago and am just now finishing it. You can just call me Sucky McSuckerson. Because I suck. I will try to never be such a sucky blogger ever again (except for the patching-the-drywall project. I still haven’t finished that one either.)

Okay, for the good news. I have fully functional chairs in my dining room. The table and chairs are done. We can officially eat in the dining room now.

The bad news. They are not the same chairs.

You guys, refinishing 10 dining room chairs is hard. Really hard. I will be the first to admit, I bit off more than I could chew. I could have totally done one chair. Maybe even two. But 10? I got myself in way too deep. And I gave up. Not to mention I’ve never actually upholstered even one chair in my life. So I thought the best way to jump into this world of upholstery was taking on a 10-chair project right out of the gate? I’m nothing if not overambitious.

But back to the good news. I was trolling craigslist last week and came across a post for 8 BRAND NEW Bonded Leather 20″ Pleated Back Parsons Dining Chairs. For only $300 for the full set.

Brand new they are $118 a chair. I don’t luck out on fantastic craigslist deals very often.

I jumped on those chairs so fast and was at the guys house within the hour (with Ben who was acting as my furniture loader and bouncer in case the guy was a creeper). Fortunately the guy was not a creeper, and the chairs were in fact in perfect condition, so we loaded them up in the soccer mom van and headed home. Here are the new fully-functional chairs just waiting for a big family dinner.

I didn’t measure to make sure they would fit before I bought them. Thank goodness they are the perfect size for the table.

I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do about Captain’s Chairs at the head and foot of the table, but in all honesty I really like the set up with only 8 chairs. Having one on the end seemed kind of cramped.

I don’t really know what else to say. I’m not usually at a loss for words. I’m just really glad to finally have a place to sit and not have to explain to every person that pokes their head through my front door why my chairs don’t have any upholstery on them.

I took a few artistic shots of the table from the opposite angle. I always take pictures of the room facing the window but here are a few with my back to the window.

I got the large bluish glass vase at Hobby Lobby last year. It’s one of my favorite decor items in the house. I’m not sure how well the scale works having it on my table, but I love looking at it anyway.


As for my half-finished dining chairs that I still own, I am going to be listing them on craigslist as-is. I’m hoping some fabulous upholsterer will snatch them up and finish them all. I can totally picture them being finished as singletons or in pairs and sold for extra seating here and there. Can’t you picture them painted bright yellow with a bold black-and-white chevron fabric?

Hmmm, that makes me kinda want to keep them and finish them myself.

Totally kidding. Hopefully I’ll have the ad posted by this evening.

And again, I hereby swear to try to be a better blogger and finish any projects that I start in a more timely manner.

The End.

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  1. At first, I was like “Holy Crap! She finished!” I don’t blame you for buying these beauties though! 🙂 Pretty and a LOT less work! 🙂

  2. oh Sucky McSuckerson… I had actually wondered if I missed a post somewhere about whatever happened to your barney dining room and that awesome craigslist find!

  3. Those are some pretty fabulous chairs you found on Craigslist! 10 chairs are a lot to get finished. I have two in my dining room now just waiting their turn. Hoping it doesn’t take me 19 months now 😉 What a great find!

  4. very nice! Very pretty.. LOVE the wall color.. What color is that?

  5. They look fab! You should put three chairs on each side, and two on the ends as head chairs. That way, it frees up more room for you guys to sit at the head of the table! Great find 🙂

  6. Allison,

    You are too hard on yourself, as we all are.

    The reason why I love reading your posts is that you are so real with us. All of us have taken on a job that we don’t realize is too big until we’re in the middle of it. And like you, we often ‘side-table’ it, as we mull over how to rectify the situation. And regarding the timeline, I think this resembles how things go in my home. We start a project and feel guilty about not finishing it? Why? I don’t know. It drives me crazy too but reading posts like this helps me remember I’m not the only “horrible” person in the world.

    I am happy you found chairs you love. Seems like those chairs were made for your dining room!

    And kudos to your husband for helping you out on this. It shows his character and that he supports your creative ventures even when they don’t turn out how you plan them.

    • Brooke, thank you. You are very sweet. I guess I just feel more pressure because I’m a blogger and everyone is seeing my slacking. I am really glad that you can tell that I am real in my posts. I try to always be really transparent and not fake. What you see is what you get! The good and the bad! ha!

  7. oh I think the white chairs you ended up with are just great, they work so well and much easier.

  8. RE the head and the foot of the table, I think you have a great opportunity to do something different. Maybe you can find a quirky pair on CL or even drag 2 occasional chairs from elsewhere in the house just when you need them.

  9. Those chairs are perfect! Your home is GORGEOUS! I would have to keep the old chair with the arms and finish it though…

  10. Oh, I’m one of those bloggers too. Always starting stuff and not finishing it, or taking forever to finish it. In fact, I’ve redone my powder room and haven’t blogged about it because it still not totally done – and I started in April. So, you’re human, just like the rest of us. Don’t be so hard on yourself. And I love the new chairs. I love leather – so easy to wipe clean.

  11. Love the new chairs! Why don’t you keep the two original chairs with arms and paint them to use at the head of the table? Maybe you could handle doing just two? Love the drapes, btw…do you know the fabric details?

  12. I have a bedroom re-do that I started in July and haven’t updated at all. I guess we all suck…or we just get too busy with life. I wish I lived in your area ‘cuz I’d snatch those chairs up in a heartbeat. Not that I need more to do, but they’d look really good sitting in my garage for a while!

  13. Where did you get the beautiful fixture above the table?

  14. Love the new chairs. Even better than the originals.
    Definitely do not beat yourself up about underestimating that project,…we all do it. Plus, Look at the great Dining Room table you got out of the deal!

  15. Aw, dont be too hard on yourself.

    Love the chairs! Great find. They look fabulous and they look comfy too!!

  16. you could reupholster the 2 end chairs in your curtain fabric or a coordinating color! it’s be a great pop and set them off from the other chairs.

  17. Allison! You are so funny! I promise to be a better blogger to and finish projects 😉 And, the chairs look great!!

  18. Dear Sucky,
    This post cracked me up, because I can soo relate! I think all of us that blog about home decor or projects have been in that situation. Sometimes my problem is that the project didn’t turn out as well as I thought and I’m embarrassed to admit that. 🙂 Definitely not the case for you, the dining room is gorgeous, and I love the new chairs!

  19. Love those chairs! What an excellent find!! I have several unfinished projects lying around myself…

  20. I wish we lived closer, i would take the chairs in a HEARTBEAT! the ones I have now are too big for my table, and it’s hard to find 10 matching chairs!!!! I keep finding 6, but I need 10!!! Boo

  21. I totally agree with everyone else, the chairs look amazing and you are a great blogger to follow, because you ARE real! I see myself so much in how and what you do, want to do and attempt to do and it makes me more able to try (and sometimes fail) new decor/decorating in my home. Just this week I attached new hardware from IKEA to my doors in the laundry room; normally I would have made my Darling Hubby (DH) do it, but I decided to do it myself … yes I messed up a bit but I did it MYSELF and I fixed my mistakes and learned from them and I am happy and feel proud of myself … and that is in part due to you and reading your posts. You help me – a SAHM DIYer to have enough faith in my skills to try something new, pass or fail 🙂 Thank you!

    • What a wonderful comment! Thank you!! I’m so excited for you that you took on a scary project by yourself. You didn’t die and your laundry room now has awesome hardware. Give yourself a big pat on the back – you earned it! Way to go!!!

  22. Wow, what a great find! Totally worth abandoning the chair project … life is too short to worry about not finishing a project … and honestly I like the new ones better! Enjoy them and say a fond b’bye to the old ones!

  23. I love the final look with the painted table and more modern chairs. What a great mix – the whole room looks great! I think what I like best though is how that story evolved and how it makes me feel more normal. I have unfinished stuff around the house too, and it might take me that long to get to it too. Sucky McSuckersons Unite! 🙂 This time though, it really paid off! Sharon

    • It’s okay to take your time on a project, and it’s okay if your style evolves as you go. I once loved the chairs, but now two years later I am leaning in a new direction. And that’s okay! We are all human, and I’m glad that my blogging mistakes help others to realize they are normal and awesome. So many blogs only show their good side, which isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it makes people start feeling like they are not good enough. Don’t compare yourself to perfect looking bloggers. Everyone is human and makes mistakes, even if they choose to not share it with their audience.

  24. I LOVE the chairs and it doesn’t matter that you didn’t “make” them yourself! I love that you took ownership of being late in posting because that’s REAL LIFE. You rock Allison!

  25. Wow! Awesome find on Craigslist. Those chairs are awesome and they really look great in the space.

  26. Wow it really does look amazing! Nice find! Way to embrace steering off the initial plan and making your room yours (regardless of old chairs!).

  27. Anne Greene says:

    This made me laugh… I found your web site looking for instructions on how to upholster dining chairs, because we have a set of 6 that we paid someone to re-glue, refinish, and remove all the old upholstery from. Ours only have upholstery on the seat part (not the back) but they have the same kind of springs. They have been sitting in our dining room for about 3 years now with the springs exposed– after sitting for years with the old stuffing popping out– all ready for upholstery. I just had someone quote me $150 per chair just to have the seat upholstered (labor only– material separate), so thought maybe I’d try doing it myself because that seems crazy. This does not give me confidence ;-D

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