What style of chairs would you put with this table?

franksmom_2010January 21, 2013

I bought this vintage Drexel dining table off of CL for almost nothing. We have a small dining area in the kitchen, and our current rectangular table is a tight fit.

The finish on the tabletop is shot, so I plan to paint it white. We have Jadeite green walls with white kitchen cabinets, red accessories.

Anyway, the cost of the table included these two Windsor chairs. I planned to find two more chairs to go with, but now that I see them together, I don't really care for the chairs.

I think the table needs something "cleaner". I'm thinking at least a simple, plain leg. I had originally planned to paint the chairs red, but I think white chairs with a red chair pad would work, too.

Any ideas?

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I would just refinish the top, or try.
I would try transitional chairs with a french, directoire or beidermeier influence.

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    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:41PM
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(I would refinish it, too, and just have a piece of glass cut for the top. If it's a standard glass size, you may be able to find a top in stock at Pier One, etc.)

And I also agree with Pal's directoire/biedermeier suggestion.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:48PM
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After my post yesterday marvelling at how long my Ballard slipcovered parsons chairs ($129 each, albeit w/o the slipcover) have lasted, I thought of Ballard's.

I particularly like these because they look comfy. I like a DR table/chairs that I can imagine sitting at for a few hours over wine, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: not this fabric or finish, but ...

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Kevin, I was thinking of a simple x-back chair, as well. Pal, the chairs that you've shown are just lovely! However...I have sort of a casual vintage vibe going in the kitchen, so I wonder if those chairs aren't a bit too formal. We have a small "formal" dining area, so I want something a little more laid back for this area. Think vintage printed tablecloths and diner-style dinnerware.

As to painting it...white paint was what I had in mind before I started shopping. Now that I know it's a Drexel, and now that I see that it's really not *that* bad, I'm torn.

There are a few pices of the veneer edge banding that are missing from the top and leaves, which I can easily replace. I'm guessing that the finish is laquer, and it has quite a bit of crackling and alligatoring. Again, not a huge deal to strip off the lacquer and refinish. It really has no horrible gouges, chips, or deep scratches to speak of.

So now what? I wasn't planning on a stained wood table, but there is the argument that a white dining set with the white cabs would be too much. Would it look lame with white chairs?

If I do paint it, I'm going to put a decent coat of shellac on it, so that it could be stripped and stained again. I think I need to sit and stare at it a while longer before I make up my mind. Oh, and clean it up, so I have a better idea of what I'm really dealing with.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:12PM
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If you end up with a stained wood table, which I think would be nice, especially since you have white cabinets, how about black painted x-back chairs?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:48PM
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I'd go with simple slip covered chairs (maybe even IKEA). Easy to throw in the washing machine or change the covers when you're bored.

Here is a link that might be useful: slipcovered chairs

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 2:18PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

Try a little Old English furniture polish on the table. It is amazing what it can do. A link is provided below to a place on eBay that is selling it - just include this so you can see the type bottle. They have (or did have) the dark, a medium (sort of red color), and the light (lemon color). I have nothing to do with the eBay seller and this is the first time I was aware that anyone sold Old English on eBay.

Here is a link that might be useful: Old English

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Love the table. Not loving those Windsor chairs with the table.

Call me crazy, but what about something like this?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 2:33PM
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I have an update!

I cleaned the table yesterday and touched up all of the little rubs and nicks. It looks much better, so I will NOT be painting! The table top does need to be refinished, but it's lacquer, so no problem. The table has two leaves, that also need their top finish redone, so I can practice on those. I've read how to refinish lacquer, but have never actually done it.

I ordered these chairs:

I really like that they are very simple, but most all of the lines are slightly curved. And they look sturdy enough for my family. I didn't really want an upholstered chair, and I was nervous about having a contrasting finish, so I'll stain these to match the table. If I decide that I want more pattern or color, I can always add chair pads or a tablecloth.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Very nice--I think that style works well with the table. Glad you're not painting the table. Be sure to post your "after" pics!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 6:29PM
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A HUGE thank you to everyone who said to refinish the top! After many hours, a few swear words, and a cocktail or two, the table is finished!

Here is a closeup of what the finish looked like before:

It was crazed, dirty, and in a few places had some sort of goo actually melted into it. I was hoping that I could just clean it, brush on some lacquer thinner, and smooth it out. Not so. I had to completely strip the top, which removed all of the color, so I stained and finished it.

It's not perfect, but it's so much better than it was!

I think the wood actually looks better with the stain color IN it, rather than ON it.

And with all of the leaves in:

I've started working on the chairs, and I don't want to go into all of the ugly details, but I may end up with painted chairs, after all. We'll see how it all works out this weekend.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 1:55PM
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It looks great! Thanks for the update.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Looks fantastic. So glad u didn't paint it.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:36PM
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    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 6:12PM
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I like the second one Pal shows with the off white upholstery. I think it needs that softness and I love the way upholstered chairs look with wood tables of distinction as you have there. Not to mention they are comfortable. Voting for upholstery on the chairs in some fashion both on chair backs and seats. Loving the off white with it.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:59AM
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Thanks so much! It was a lot of work, but totally worth it in the end.

I haven't been able to fix my staining issues with the chairs, so I'm going to paint them. Probably a cream color. I should have bought finished chairs in a color "close enough" and been done with it, but I'm still hoping that the finished set looks good together.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Definitely the right choice. Looks great.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:22PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I am so glad you came ack to show us the finished table! It looks wonderful-I am very impressed and ever so pleased for you. I am betting that the chairs will look fine painted. We will all be waiting to see everything put together!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:31PM
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