It is best to take the table and chair set outside to your garage or workshop. The table and chairs will need to be sanding. Sanding will create a lot of dust. You do not want to dust or the mess it will make inside of your home.
Use painters tape to cover any metal hardware on the table. Use the tape and some plastic to cover upholstery or vinyl on the chairs. Do this to prevent damage from sanding and to protect the surfaces from getting stain or paint on them.
Use an electric handheld sander for the larger main surfaces. The first sanding should be done with rough grit sandpaper. Metal surfaces can be sanded just like wood. Use a single sheet for small or detailed areas to avoid damaging them. Completely remove all of the new finish. After you have sanded with the rough grit switch to fine grit to give the wood a soft smooth surface. This will help the new finish to adhere and will make the wood flawless.
Once all of the old finish has been removed from both the table and chair set remove all remaining dust using a dry cloth. No dust can remain on the wood or metal. It will become trapped under the new finish. This will cause blemishes, bumps and imperfections.
Decide whether you want to paint or stain the table and chair set. You can opt to stain some parts and paint others. If you’re doing both use painters tape and plastic to protect the areas you will stain when you’re painting and the areas you will paint when you’re staining.
If you are choosing to paint a wood surface choose any color latex paint. For metal surfaces use spray paint made for metal. Pour latex paint into a clean paint tray. To apply the paint use a small roller and a paint brush. Wait 25 minutes between coats. Apply two to three coats for full and even coverage. Allow the final coat of paint to dry for 12 hours before applying the final clear coat of poly.
For metal surfaces hold the can 10 to 12 inches away from the surface. Spray in a back and forth motion. Apply three coats of spray paint waiting 10 minutes between each coat. Allow the final coat 30 minutes to dry before applying the poly.
To apply stain use a soft dry cloth. Rub the stain on in a circular motion then quickly wipe it back off. Do not allow the stain to puddle or sit on the wood because it will create dark spots. If after the first application of stain you are not satisfied with the deepness and richness of the color apply another coat. Once you are pleased with the shade you can immediately move on to the next step.
Polyurethane is a clear coat that will protect your newly painted or stained wood. Poly is water resistant when dry. The table and chairs will be washable. Slowly pour polyeurthane into a clean paint tray. Do not shake or stir the poly. Apply an even coat of the polyurethane to the table and chairs using a large foam paint brush. Allow the first coat to dry for half an hour then apply a second. Let the second coat dry for another half an hour and then apply a third. A fourth coat can be applied if desired for maximum shine and protection.
Let the final coat dry for 12 hours, or over night. Remove all tape and plastic and wipe the table and chair set down well using a damp cloth. Once they’ve been wiped down bring them back into your home. Enjoy your newly refinished breakfast table and chair set. The new finish will give the set a whole new look and will last for years.