Dining Room Budget Makeover: The Reveal!

Can I just tell you how happy I am to have the dining room complete?!! For two reasons actually. 1) I’ve never painted so stinkin’ much in my entire life and 2) It is BEYOND drastic – in a great way! So much brighter I can hardly believe it, and I am being totally serious when I say I walk in there and just feel giddy. I hadn’t planned on even tackling this room any time soon, but once I did the kitchen makeover, you’ll see in these pics that the two rooms bleed into one another. And I simply could not have my bright and happy white kitchen looking into dark gold walls and nothing but black furniture. It was like two worlds colliding. Let me preface all of this with this: I LOVE black furniture – there is not one bone in my body that objects to it, but I’m going through this lightening-every-blessed-thing-in-this-house phase at the moment, so all that black furniture got painted. Emphasis on ALL. Told ya there was a heckuva lot of paintin’ going on for quite a few naptimes;)

I love this makeover for another reason too. I realized yet again, how little you have to spend to make a space feel completely different. Other than paint, I spent very little.

Would I have loved a new farmhouse table, chairs, a bench? Oh absolutely. I dream of that rustic rectangular table, looking so worn and loved…with a long bench for my kids to hop on for dinner. But when you spring a makeover on your husband on a “just fine” room, you (or at least I!) don’t get a monstrous budget to work with. So what’s a girl to do who is itching for a brighter space with a limited budget? Two words: Craigslist and PAINT! Sold my curtains. Sold my rug. Painted every. other. thing. you see in this room:

That was then. This is now.

Before I go nuts with the pics, let me summarize what I did:
1. Painted the walls Valspar Crafted White. It’s a lovely neutral. Some parts of the day it’s so creamy white, some parts it’s almost a soft soft yellow. I love it.
2. I painted the hutch with a plaster and paint recipe. (Add a small bit of Plaster of Paris to paint and it slops right on)
3. I used the same recipe for EVERYTHING. Chairs (made a goal – one per naptime!), table (base only), buffet table. ALL white paint with plaster.
4. I spray painted the black mirror with white gloss spray paint. I can’t even tell you what a difference that made when I hung that bad boy up in it’s new look. Brightened the dining room 1000%.
5. Moved the bench we had at the “fake entry” (technically it’s the dining room, but since we don’t have a large foyer/entry, that’s what we use. In it’s place, I took a bookcase from my daughter’s room (don’t worry, we had a spare!;), and lined it with contact paper.
6. Sold the rug, and bought a new one for not a whole lot more than we sold the old one for! Wasn’t a huge expense by any means, since we had money from the old rug! (Seagrass rug from Overstock).
7. Sold the old dark curtains, made my own burlap ones (actually, did that as an update even before the big makeover began), but I added decorative tape to the trim.
8. Spray painted even the freaking curtain rods white. And rings. Yes, yes I did.
9. Gave the gingham lamp shades to a friend and bought new white ones. Better Homes and Gardens line at Walmart – $2.86 a piece.
10. Made a runner from a piece of burlap (tutorial post to come very soon). $6.
11. Painted black oval mirror with white paint to hang above the entry bookcase.
12. Spray painted black lamp in aqua for the bookcase.

So you get the point – paint, paint, and more paint. A few inexpensive accessories and voila! A pretty budget makeover;)

Now let’s get to the fun part – the PICTURES!

Here’s the old buffet table:

Here it is now:

Those baskets were 60% off at JoAnn’s – got them for $16 total. Perfect for housing all my cookbooks!

Ok, here’s the entry before and after:

(That would be the bookcase I stole from Reag’s room;)

The china cabinet before and after:


LOVE that blue!! I used a sample of Olympic Kingston Aqua, mixed with some white satin paint, and the plaster of paris to make awesome stick to anything paint.  Goes on like a dream, waxed when I was done and it’s amazing!

I love how I can look into the dining room from the kitchen and just see it all so bright and cheerful now. Matches the happy mood of the kitchen to a T;) See what I mean?

And here are just some random pics just for fun;)…

And one more look at the room…

I am just so happy with it! Paint is some powerful stuff, huh?!


  1. I’d love to paint my kitchen chairs white, along with the bottom of my kitchen table (top will be stained). My kitchen table is very well-used with 3 little kids, though. Were you able to seal the white paint? Everything I’ve read says poly will yellow (even if it’s supposed not to). I’d love to know you did this and if it’s held up (although I know you ended up painting the chairs blue…).

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