I’m not going to sugar coat it; I’ve hated our dining room since… forever.

There wasn’t anything really gross about it.  I just wasn’t my style.  And since we have an open concept house, my least favorite room was always in my face.

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Now it’s been 6 years, and I’m finally doing something about it.  On a budget.  That’s key here.  While I would love to do a full renovation of the kitchen and dining room, it’s just not a financial priority right now.  I set myself a budget of $200 and was determined to stick to it.

The first thing I did was paint.  The paint colors were really adding to the country feel of the room and that’s the first thing that had to change.  To keep things simple I decided to leave the top half of the room as it was and paint the bottom a cream color.

PicMonkey Collage

Ummm… I didn’t love it.  It went from too country to… blah.  You know that sinking feeling you get when you’re halfway through a project and you start to wonder if you’ve made a huge mistake?  Yeah, that was me after the paint was done.

BUT, I had faith.  I knew that bigger changes were coming and I just had to be patient.

Actually, I had to get off my butt and make the changes happen.  So that’s what I did!


First up was the easiest change, the mirror.  This was a simple coat of spray paint to update this thrift store find.  The store was going out of business and the owner was asking $10 for the mirror.  I offered $7, to which he replied, “I’m closing, I’m not desperate.”  Hmmm.  But then he continued, “But… I’ll let you have it for $9 so you can win.”  Score!

Side Table

The console table was next.  This was left behind by the previous owners and I’ve never really liked it.  I started by painting the whole thing with General Finishes Seagull Gray, but up against the newly lightened walls it blended in too much.  I made a split decision to paint the top Basil Green, also from General Finishes, taping out a diamond shape pattern.  It gave it just enough design to be interesting, and not so much that it was busy.  Lastly I put on several coats of High Performance Satin Top Coat to protect the paint.

Note: The milk paint has basically no odor and is safe to use indoors.  The top coat does have a pretty strong odor and should be used in a well-ventilated area.


The next thing I tackled was the buffet.  This was a big project and I knew it would take time, but the humidity slowed down the drying time even more than I thought.

Step 1 was to remove the hardware.  I sprayed it with the silver spray paint I used on the mirror on both sides and set it aside.  Then I sprayed the rest of the brass.  I needed 2 full cans to get it done.

Because I had to tape the newly spray painted parts, I had to wait 3 full days for it to dry.  Ugh.  Finally I could get started on the General Finishes Seagull Gray, then the Basil Green top.  This piece gets a lot of heavy use, so I put a TON of top coats on.  Seriously, I think the flat top has 10 coats on it.  I also put top coat on the spray painted sections, including the hardware, to keep it from chipping when a certain 4-year-old runs into it with her little pink shopping cart.

Wine Rack

Let me tell you; this wine rack has been the bane of my existence since we moved into our house.  The previous owners left it and I hated it.  Mr. O loved it.  We had several “discussions” about it, all of which ended with nothing changing.  I finally got his okay to paint it, and boy, did I paint it!

I decided the easiest thing to do would be to take it apart.  It was actually easier than I thought.  I took off the back panel and sanded it down because it was quite rough.  I used the same silver spray paint I’d used on the mirror and buffet table to give some shine to the back piece.  Then I took off the criss-cross pieces that hold the wine and painted them General Finishes Seagull Gray.  A small foam brush was perfect for this.

I wasn’t planning on it, but I decided to take off the glass holders as well.  It was a pain, but trying to get clean coats on all those awkwardly shaped pieces would have been a bigger pain.  It also allowed me to get more creative with colors.  I sprayed the back piece silver and painted the glass holders gray, which I never would have been able to do without taking it apart.  I also sprayed the trim piece around the top to give it a bit more depth and sparkle.

Again, I had to wait several days for the paint to dry before I could tape them up to paint the body of the wine rack Basil Green.  I found it helpful to use paint pyramids when doing the body.  They keep the edges clean so you don’t have to do touch-ups later.

Finally I put on the top coat and reassembled!

After 1 After 2 After 3 After 4

It’s done!  My total cost was about $150, but I received 1 pint of paint free from General Finishes.  Paying for it would be an additional $30 or so.  I have to say that I LOVE the General Finishes milk paint.  You don’t have to sand and the finish is beautiful.

Next up is the kitchen cabinets!

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Dining Room 1