Do you have a room in your house that needs to be functional but you are also longing for it to be smashingly beautiful? This is exactly the project I tackled this holiday season. And, thanks to the Salvation Army and Valu Home Centers, I was able to make this idea a reality.

IMG_1902I decided on tackling a dining room this time and I found my inspiration while shopping at the Salvation Army. Not only was I able to find furniture items in this sea of goodness, but I also stumbled upon Christmas items that took this transformation to the next level.

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This particular dining room gets a lot of traffic from family, friends, kiddos and their lego toy friends too. I recognized the fact that meshing adult style with kid functionality would be a challenge, but I knew it would all come back to staple furniture pieces. Luckily, the homeowners already had a nice solid wood table and a fantastic sideboard, so I didn’t have to fret about those.


So the question is, how can a family-of-five dining room still be a functioning dining room while not being consumed by kid central? Read on my friends. Read on.

First up: Dining room chairs

What I used for this project:

  • Wood chairs
  • Sand paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Small paint roller
  • Painters tape
  • Paper/newspaper

These chairs looked pretty decent beforehand, but they needed a new fresh coat of paint for some sprucing up.


I started by taking sand paper to them to rough up the wood on the chairs. A nice sand all over will always ensure that the paint not only sticks, but finishes with a nice smooth coat. If you have a sander, it’s always quicker, but this is absolutely something you could do by hand!


After I had completed the sanding, I wiped down the chairs so they are nice and clean and free of dust from sanding. For this project, I really liked the color of the wood seat and they matched the color of the table and sideboard (bonus!) so I left them be. To make sure paint didn’t get everywhere, I used painters tape and some paper to cover the seats.


Then I took a can of Rust-oleum Ultra Cover black glossy paint and did a nice thin first coat.

I got into all the tricky places with a paint brush and smoothed it all over with the roller. Once that was completely dry (I would recommend at least a day) I went ahead and applied another thin coat. The other key to successful painting is thin coats. It takes patience but it is so worth it!

Going from flat to glossy paint took the chairs up a notch in the design realm. But let’s be honest, it was for the kids too. Wood chairs are the best choice with kids around. Spaghetti sauce? No problem! Just wipe them down. The glossy finish is always best for clean-up and it looks super swanky too. Just wait to see them in their new space!

Next up: Upcycled Chandelier

Now, if you or someone you know lives in a house in a development built in the 80’s or 90’s, you know that there are mirrors, glass and gold everywhere! The ultimate decor trifecta. Fortunately, I scored myself a chandelier with all three of these qualities. 🙂

light before

What I used for this project:

  • Chandelier
  • Rust-oleum Spray paint
  • 4 Embroidery hoops
  • Fabric
  • Clothes pins
  • Floral wire
  • Fabric glue
  • Ribbon/trim
  • Painters tape
  • Screw driver
  • Electrical tape
  • Measuring tape

The first step to take on this beauty was actually taking it down. I shut off the power and used my screw driver to loosen the chandelier from the ceiling. Note: if you can have a buddy help you with this part it makes life a lot easier!

Make sure when you are detaching the wires from one another you take note as to which ones were hooked up to each other. Also, put the wire caps back onto the wires hanging from the ceiling.


Once I had the chandelier down, I cleaned it off and prepped it for painting.


Then I gave it a nice thin coat of spray paint. After a bit, I rotated it to make sure I had covered all the various sides. Once it was completely dry, I reattached it to the ceiling. It looks better already, right?!


Now as lovely as those mirror and glass attachments were, I knew I wanted to modernize the finish a bit.   So, instead of individual covers, I opted to make two drums by using four embroidery hoops, fabric and wire.

First, I disassembled the hoops and used the wood circles as the base of my drums.


After measuring the distance between each drum on the chandelier, I began using wire to attach the top hoop to the bottom hoop. There was no exact science to this, I just kept trying to measure it out correctly and evenly space the wire as best as possible. I also attached wire to the top for later to secure the drums to the chandelier.

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After I had both drums assembled, I gave them the same color of paint so they would camouflage with the chandelier base. Once it was dry, it was time to attach the fabric. Using fabric glue on the inside of the drum on the top and bottom, I attached the fabric. Clothes pins came in handy to hold everything in place while it dried.


If you want to give the fabric a nice clean edge, you can attach ribbon or trim too.  Once the glue had set, it was time to attach the drums to the chandelier. Using the metal crossbars, I attached the wires to the chandelier using black electrical tape.

Viola! A beautiful upcycled chandelier!

finished light

Last up: Sideboard meets lego storage

What I used for this project:

  • Dresser
  • Sand paper
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Wood for shelving
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • Measuring tape

I promised that I would show you how kiddo land met adult world in this room and this was the quintessential example.

This was my favorite Salvation Army find from the project. The dresser was in perfect shape! It did come with drawers but I knew I wouldn’t be needing them.


To start off, took out the drawers, gave it a nice sanding and removed the old cardboard that was just kind of hanging there.

Once the sanding was completed, I wiped everything down so it was free of dust. I started to give it a nice coat of paint and since the paint was paint and primer in one, I was able to skip a step! Again, nice thin coats are key to a smooth finish.

While the paint dried, I worked on making shelves for where the drawers used to be. Measure twice and cut once! Note: I used a circular saw for this, but the wood is thin and you could do this with a hand saw, it will just take longer.


After I made my cuts, using sand paper I took care of the jagged edges. We don’t need those tiny kiddo fingers getting splinters! Then using wood glue, I went ahead and attached the wood inside the dresser and used some clamps to hold everything in place while it dried.

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To finish it up, I added another coat of the paint to the entire thing and the new shelves.


Now it is living in its new space in all its lego glory!

lego storage lego storage 2

After spray painting some pine cones, adding a hand painted “Merry Christmas” sign, upcycling a photo frame into a wine cork chalkboard display, and some other festive decorations, the room was ready for the big reveal!

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Before: IMG_2091


I hope I’ve given you ideas and hope that you CAN make your dining room kid friendly while still maintaining the style and functionality that adults need.

Merry Christmas everyone and remember, life is more fun when your reclaiming, reusing and upcycling!


Posted by:Jackie Hausler of haus2home

Jackie Hausler seeks to inspire creativity in the name of reclaiming, reusing and upcycling. With each project, she walks followers through do-it-yourself projects, shows how to give old items a new chance at life, and teaches ways to be eco-friendly and live a green lifestyle. She believes making your house a home doesn't have to be expensive to be beautiful, and is passionate about accomplishing that while being kind to our earth. Jackie is the founder of the home and lifestyle blog

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