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Hand Painted Table & Chairs, Halifax

First Published on Traditional Painter

The original unpainted table and chairs

For this project I was contacted by a lady in Halifax, West Yorkshire, who had inherited this lovely table and chairs and wanted to have it repaired and updated. The style she had decided upon was for the chairs and table base to be painted with the table top being left wood. A lovely choice of finish and something fellow TP’er Adam Bermingham in Ireland does a lot of with fabulous results – painted areas were to be a finished in a classic off white and the tabletop  restored back to it’s former glory, like the central leaf in this picture.

I received some photos, sent a guesstimate and she replied saying she would like me to go ahead with the work. I arranged pick up using my usual, ‘man with a van‘ and had everything delivered to my workshop in Whixley.

After setting up it was prep time. Due to the intricate nature of the detailing on the chairs I paid particular attention to ensuring all areas were thoroughly cleaned and sanded. I used Krudcutter Original as the cleaner/degreaser and 180 Abranet strips and the Mirka hand sander for the sanding.

Priming –

After hoovering up any dust residue from the sanding it was onto the priming stage. I wanted a good high opacity base coat so turned to the shellac based primer Zinsser Bin.

Zinsser Bin dries very quickly and to get a perfect finish is virtually impossible. It is however nice and sand-able so the next stage was to check over each piece and sand any areas that weren’t quite right, making everything perfectly smooth and ready for the next coat of primer.

This initial priming stage also highlighted quite a few areas that needed attention so next I set about filling, using a combination of Fat Hog Fine Surface Filler and caulk. After another quick sand in the places I’d applied the filler it was onto the top coats, the really fun bit of the project.

painted furniture preparation
Cleaned, sanded and primed

Top Coats

For my top coats I applied 3 coats of Empire by Tikkurila (available at Holmans Paints) which was tinted to Laura Ashley’s ‘Pale Ivory’. ‘Pale Ivory’ is a real nice ‘classic off white’ colour which has just a hint of yellow in it to give it a bit of warmth.

furniture painter Harrogate
The completed hand painted chairs
The finished 'brush mark free' paint finish
The finished ‘brush mark free’ paint finish

The Tabletop

As you can see from this picture the table top was originally in very poor condition. The varnish was peeling and cracking and in some areas it was long gone. The only thing to do was to start from scratch Out came my sanding kit and I began taking both sides right down to the raw wood, getting rid of every hint of varnish or oils.

The central leaf however was removable and in much better condition than the sides. This section only needed cleaning and then a very gently sanding with 380 wet and dry to get it ready for the top coats.

Using the original colour of the central leaf as my guide I mixed together Cognac and Ebony Transparent Wood Wax Finishes by Osmo to get the right colour. I then applied 2 coats using my 2″ Wooster Flawless which is available from I originally asked Andy at MPB to special order me this Flawless hoping it was going to be good for feathering brush marks. It didn’t really work doing that, not with oil based paints, but it did work brilliantly applying  stains and varnish and is now my go to brush for this kind of work. I used the Wooster Flawless again to apply the final two coats of Osmo Polyx Hard Wax Oil, creating a lovely satin sheen with high durability.

The damaged table top
Table legs finished, first coat of stain applied to the table top
reconditioned tabletop
The finished reconditioned tabletop

After final tickety booing the new look table and chairs was complete and ready for  delivery back to it’s home in Halifax. Later that day I got an email 🙂

Just wanted to say thank you for the work on my table & chairs it is absolutely stunning. Many thanks, Kate”

A tough but enjoyable project and a great transformation. I hope many a meal is enjoyed for many a year to come.

Lee covers most of Yorkshire and is within easy reach for furniture painting projects in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, Thirsk, Wetherby, Leeds, Otley, Ilkley, York, Skipton, Pontefract, Wakefield, Halifax, and all the surround areas.