Refurbished Dining Setting

Whilst not necessarily in-keeping with my usual style I knew this was a special find.

A stunning 13 piece vintage Drexel dining setting comprising a table with three optional leaves, two carvers and ten standard dining chairs!

The enormity and repetition involved in the refurbishment led to two years of steady procrastination, but hey, I got there in the end, right? Right?

Given the heritage and mid-century styling of the setting I wanted to maintain as much of the original integrity as possible so decided on a sympathetic restoration rather than a full-blown renovation.

The table top was completely stripped, sanded then sealed with several coats of danish oil. The timber is really quite beautiful, I wish I knew what it was. Pecan, maple or walnut perhaps?

I decided to re-finish the apron and legs, which were in poorer cosmetic condition, with a few fresh coats of rich ebony satin acrylic.

The base of the legs were quite damaged (and I wasn’t loving their bulbous shape) so as a solution I affixed some vintage brass cup castors for a more tapered line – the wheels also come in handy for rolling the table open when adding or removing leaves.

To accommodate the castors I used the inside dimensions of the cup as a guide then trimmed down each foot with a hack saw until it could neatly fit inside.

The chair frames were in great original condition so to retain the natural character of the timber I simply nourished them all using raw linseed oil tinted with a dash of teak stain.

The seats were originally upholstered in a ‘lovely’ mustard gold corduroy – well, I’m sure it was lovely at some time – which needed replacing so I unscrewed all of the seats from the frames then prized off the staples affixing the original fabric. A fresh layer of wadding was then layed over the existing foam (which was still in great nic) then my chosen fabric was positioned over that – I went with a very neutral mini houndstooth for a classic finish. I flipped the seat over, pulled the fabric sufficiently taught and staple-gunned it neatly in place before trimming away any excess (oh, and remember when recovering seats try not to staple or upholster over the holes needed to re-screw them to the chair frames!).

This was a pretty ambitious project and suffice to say I won’t be attempting another one this big for quite some time!

  1. What a beautiful dining set! Someone is going to be so lucky to purchase it! Great job on the refurbish!

  2. Wow! I’ve tackled a table and eight chairs before…and I don’t look forward to doing it again! It looks lovely, and I’m glad you let the beautiful wood on the table top show through. Hope the auction goes well!

  3. That is AMAZING!! I wish I had a grand enough dining room and knew enough people to make such a thing work. :)

  4. wow, that is just beautiful! i would love to entertain at a table like that!

  5. That table is crazy big. I wish I had it. I wish I had the space. What fun that would be. Great work.

  6. I NEED that table! I love how it’s so diverse. The little casters are adorable too!

  7. This is gorgeous!

  8. Andrea says:

    It looks great! Love the casters on the table legs.

    I’ve been MIA in the blogging world for abit, so I just read about your pregnancy. Congratulations!!!

  9. Jacquelyn says:

    I love it, wish I lived close by so I could bid on it! My dining room might not be big enough… but it would be perfect for large family dinners! Great job!

  10. Angela says:

    FABULOUS job!!! I am in love with that table! I am looking for a new dining room set, and would like to find something similar.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. modern jane says:

    So so beautiful and an enormous amount of work! Be proud!

  12. this is ridiculously fabulous…well well done and it fits in that space SO GREAT. Looks like a restoration hardware shot! nice!

  13. Gorgeous! Love the finish and the casters. The lighting fixtures are great, too!

  14. The Moerks says:

    Fantastic, I love the finish, what an improvement.

  15. Sarah B says:

    Wow, what an impressive makeover! It’s stunning!

  16. just stopping by from the shabby chic cottage party. i loove this transformation! so happy you decided to refurb the pieces instead of simply painting them. the result is so luxe and fabulous!

    great work!


  17. Kristine, What a pretty set! Love the darker apron and casters on the table. I hope you get a really good price for it on ebay.

  18. The DIY Spot says:

    WOW! I’ve never seen such a huge table. I wish I had a large dining room to accommodate such a beautiful find. Impressive makeover!

  19. Jenny says:

    Wow, that looks amazing Kristine. Good luck on Ebay, I am sure it will be snapped up. ;-)

  20. SHERRY HART says:

    Wish I had a room big enough for that beauty!

  21. Wonderful find! :-)

    I like 0 dollar makeovers.

  22. Julie says:

    what can I say…Fabulous…you are a rock star….have a Fab day…julie

  23. This is fabulous Kristine…What a huge impact that must make in your dining space.

    Take care,

  24. Andrea says:

    Oh my, I love it! What a great find. Love the lights over the table also.

  25. Sommer says:

    This set is STUNNING! Those subtle differences you made were just the right amount. You nailed this! I would be delighted if you could link this up to my VIP party tomorrow.


  26. Kim Elkins says:

    Seriously – I thhink that is my favorite thing I’ve ever come across on a blog. EVER. I want it.
    (and that cool room with the brick…..)

  27. i love this,it turned out beautifully. great job. i have a party going on if you’d like to link up.

  28. radn says:

    I am drooling. I just got my dinning room table and chairs! Love your eye for picking up furniture. Love the maculine fabric you used on the chairs!

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  29. Olive Cooper says:

    Oh gracious I love it, the size is awesome and you kept it’s original spirit Kristine.

  30. Greetings from Southern California

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  31. Ann says:

    Oh goodness, what an amazing find, and a great makeover. I love it!!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Swoon. Wish I lived on your continent so I could bid. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  33. AntiqueChase says:

    WOWZA… times two!

  34. That is just beautiful! It looks stunning in the dining area!

  35. Fiona says:

    It’s gorgeous. At first I was more jealous you had room for such a big table (my dining room is 3.5m by 4 m) but I read on and you don’t, so i don’t need to feel jealous anymore! good luck with the eBay sale.
    cheers Fiona from

  36. Wow Kristine, what a fantastic job you have done! It looks beautiful, if I too had a bigger dining room, I might of been tempted… :)

  37. Shannon says:

    Man! I wish we lived nearer (ha!). It’s beautiful! Good job, girl!

  38. Jacqueline says:

    Gorgeous just gorgeous!

  39. Ange says:

    Magnificent – I just love it! You are one talented woman. Simply gorgeous! Ange

  40. what an exquisite piece of furniture! I admire ur ability to see such beauty in an old piece, and it really takes a whole nother talent to bring it out. ………..Bonnie

  41. I love love LOVE that!Officially obsessed.

  42. Crazy, you are in Australia! I just assumed you were my neighbor :-) I’m in the states- Idaho….a little hick town. My inlaws just left for 2 months to do church work there in Brisbane. I am jealous that it is warm and perfect there while I am still in the snow. Your table is Beutiful! and it’s going for a pretty penny on ebay! WOW! Thanks for a great post like always.

  43. It looks fantastic! I love the added casters. The painted base looks great with the wood top – you are right, the wood grain is pretty. Love the shape of the chair backs. Someone is going to be happy when they win your ebay listing! Dropping by from Met Monday. When you have a few minutes, I’d love for you to come see my recovered chairs.


  44. I just love your dining table and chairs so much, that I liked them before and after! They look grEat, very nice for so many guests to sit and eat together!

  45. I’ve nominated you for the “Stylish
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  46. Condo Blues says:

    I love mid century modern and have a big extended family. If I had the room, I’d snatch that set up in a heart beat!

  47. Gosh those chairs are gorgeous! I wish that set would fit in my home.

  48. Fiona says:

    hi Kristine – saw this sold on eBay for a great price. well done! are you happy with the sale price?
    cheers Fiona

  49. Eugen says:

    Great work Kristine. Love the refurbished dining set.
    I am looking for something similar at the moment.
    As it would go perfectly with my melamine homeware set.

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