How to Make an Old Dining Table Look Modern

Are you ready to update the look of your dining room? While completely replacing your existing table might seem like the easiest solution, why not try something a little more creative—give an old dining table a modern makeover?

How to Make an Old Dining Table Look Modern

The right combination of materials and design can transform even the most outdated piece of furniture into something sophisticated and chic.

Whether you’re aiming for industrial minimalism or rustic elegance, this post will guide you through some clever DIY ideas for reinventing an old dining table and creating a beautiful statement piece in any room of your home.

With just a few simple steps on how to make an old dining table look modern and with inexpensive materials, you can transform that outdated piece of furniture into something both stylish and functional. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to paint and refinish an old dining table, so it brings elegance and sophistication back into your home.

Why Making an Old Dining Table Look Modern is a Great Idea

There are many reasons why you should consider making an old dining table look modern instead of buying a new one. Not only will this save you money, but it’s also an opportunity to be creative and make something truly unique.

Plus, if your current furniture is an heirloom or has sentimental value, then giving it a modern upgrade can be a great way to preserve it while also giving your dining room an update.

Here are some of the top benefits of making an old dining table look modern:

  • Cost-Effective – You don’t have to spend a fortune to get the look you want! With just a few materials and tools, you can give any piece of furniture a modern makeover.
  • Eco-Friendly – By giving your existing furniture a new look, you can help reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills each year.
  • Expressive – You have complete control over the design, colors, and materials to create something that perfectly expresses your own unique style. Now that you know the benefits of making an old dining table look modern, let’s get into how to actually do it.

Required Items for How to Make an Old Dining Table Look Modern

Before you can get started, here are some of the items you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper or electric sander
  • Primer and paint (in the color of your choice)
  • Paint brushes, clothes, and sponges
  • Stain or varnish
  • Protective finish (such as polyurethane)

10 Steps on How to Make an Old Dining Table Look Modern

Now that you’ve gathered all the materials, it’s time to start making your old dining table look modern!

Step 1: Prepare Your Table

Use a Fine Grit Sandpaper

The first step is to thoroughly clean and sand your table to remove any dirt or buildup. Use a fine-grit sandpaper or an electric sander for best results. If you don’t have access to either, you can also scrub the surface with a brush and soapy water.

Step 2: Apply Primer

Use a paintbrush to apply primer to your table and let it dry completely. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and gives your table a professional finish. The primer will also help the paint to last longer.

Step 3: Paint

Once the primer is dry, apply two coats of paint in the color of your choice. Make sure to let each coat dry before moving on to the next one. You can use a sponge or cloth for an even finish, and don’t forget to cover any areas that you don’t want to paint.

Step 4: Apply Stain or Varnish

After the paint has dried, you can apply a stain or varnish to the surface of your table to give it extra protection and a glossy finish. Use a cloth to apply the stain in even strokes and let it dry completely before moving on.

Step 5: Add a Protective Finish

Dining Table Look Modern

Now, it’s time to add the protective finish. This will help keep your table looking great for years to come and is an important step in making an old dining table look modern. Apply a thin coat of polyurethane with a paintbrush and let it dry completely before using it.

Step 6: Reattach the Legs

If your table has removable legs, make sure to reattach them before using it. This will help keep the table stable and provide extra support for any heavy items you might be placing on it. Reattaching the legs is also a great time to add decorative accents such as caster wheels or rubber feet.

Step 7: Add Decorative Accents

Now that your table is painted, stained, and sealed, it’s time to give it a modern touch with some decorative accents. You can choose from a variety of options, such as glass table tops, modern chairs, or even coasters and placemats.

Step 8: Arrange the Room

Once your table is complete, it’s time to arrange the room around it. Place the table in the center of the room and add other furniture pieces, such as a sofa or armchair, to create a comfortable seating area. Finally, add some decorations such as wall art or curtains to complete the look.

Step 9: Accessorize

You can further customize your dining area with a few accessories. Consider adding some candles, plants, or table runners to give it an extra touch of style and personality.

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Look

You’ve done it! You now have a modern and stylish dining table that you can enjoy for years to come. Sit back, relax, and admire your handiwork. It won’t be long before you have friends and family asking how you managed to make an old dining table look so modern.

With a Few Decorative Accents

Making an old dining table look modern is a great way to add style and character to your home. With some paint, stain, and varnish, along with a few decorative accents, you’ll transform your space in no time.

8 Care Tips for the Made-Over Table

Once you have given your old dining table a modern makeover, it is important to take steps to ensure that it stays looking great. Here are 8 care tips for the made-over table:

1. Dust Regularly

To keep your modernized dining table looking its best, consider dusting it every week with a soft cloth. This will help to remove any dirt or dust that has accumulated and keep your table looking clean and new.

2. Use Coasters

To protect the finish of your modernized dining table, use coasters whenever you place glasses, dishes, or other items on it. This is especially important if you are using glasses with condensation on them, as this can damage the surface of your table.

3. Avoid Harsh Detergents or Chemicals

When cleaning your dining table, be sure to avoid using harsh detergents or chemicals that could damage the new finish. Instead, use warm soapy water and a soft cloth for best results. Harsh chemicals can strip the finish off and damage the table.

4. Use Tablecloths or Placemats

One of the best ways to protect your newly modernized dining table is to use placemats or a tablecloth when it is in use. This will help to keep spills, scratches, and other wear from damaging the surface of the table.

5. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

When it comes to your modernized dining table, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. This is especially important if the table is made of wood as the change in temperature can cause warping of the wood and other damage.

6. Don’t Place Heavy Objects on the Table

To protect your modernized dining table, try to avoid placing heavy objects on it. This could cause damage to the surface or even cause the table to become unstable. Heavy object should be placed on a separate surface.

7. Keep Away from Direct Sunlight

Away From Direct Sunlight

When possible, keep your modernized dining table away from direct sunlight as this can cause fading and discoloration over time. It might be best to keep the table in a room that doesn’t get much direct sunlight or use curtains or blinds to filter out the sun’s rays.

8. Reapply Finish Regularly

If your modernized dining table has a finish on it, consider occasionally reapplying the finish to keep it looking its best. Regular reapplication will help to keep the finish looking fresh and protect it from damage.

Following these 8 care tips for your modernized dining table can help to keep it looking great and ensure that it lasts for many years to come!


Making an old dining table look modern can be a daunting task but with the right materials, tools, and techniques, anyone can achieve this!

Whether you decide to paint it white, upgrade the legs and base, or craft a rustic-modern look with sandpaper and wax, there are plenty of options. And remember, don’t be afraid to mix different materials and styles – your personal creativity is what will ultimately determine how successfully you update an old dining table.

Lastly, this is not just an opportunity to give your furniture a new lease on life but also to upgrade the design of your home. So go ahead and tackle this project with this guide on how to make an old dining table look modern and enthusiasm, and take pride in the modernized version of your vintage dining table!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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