Vintage Ethan Allen Dining set re-do


October 18, 2012 by twinoaksstudio


I purchased this dining room set off of someone on craigslist.   It’s a 1960’s Ethan Allen set from their Royal Charter collection.  It’s solid oak and very, very heavy.   I love how the chairs have Jacobean and French Country influences.

It was a little sad looking when I purchased it!   Here are a couple of “before” and “after” pictures.

I love the legs!!

The caning repairs were not that difficult to do after I got the hang of it.   It just took some concentration – and me wearing reading glasses 😦   It’s all about repeating the pattern.  I don’t know if I would want to re-cane an entire chair though!  (maybe if it were an antique childs rocker….)

I stripped and sanded the oak top.   Please see my refinishing tip which was featured on Miss Mustardseed’s Furniture Feature Friday blog a couple of weeks ago.   The post features the table top from this set.   Looks different all finished, doesn’t it?   I stained the top in Zar’s Black Onyx stain and applied many layers to achieve the deep look.   The topcoat is Minwax’s wipe-on satin polyurethane.    Oak can be very grainy and that is not a popular look right now.   The dark stain softens the graininess without eliminating the warm wood feel of the top.  I love how rich looking it turned out.

Here is the set in its entirety.  My garage backdrop could not contain the entire set!   Oops!

The pedestal of the table and chairs are painted in Annie Sloan’s Old White and I created a “diluted” dark wax finish by mixing the Annie Sloan’s dark and clear waxes.  The fabric is Waverly “Williamsburg Sheraton Ikat” style in Onyx.  It adds a lot of pop, drama and character to the set.

Working on this set increased the respect I have for Ethan Allen furniture.   The only repairs I needed to make were with the caning.   The chairs didn’t need any gluing and are still as sturdy as I imagine they were 50 years ago.   Amazing!

I will link this post with Miss Mustardseed’s Furniture Feature Friday link party.   Please see for all of the fabulous details.

Thanks for stopping by!


12 thoughts on “Vintage Ethan Allen Dining set re-do

  1. Kristen says:

    I love it!

  2. Pauline deLaar says:

    Hi, Just surfing and came across this reference to Royal Charter Oak furniture. We have a complete dining rm set, bought in 1978, and have loved it. I did get a chuckle out of it being referred to as “vintage” and that you name is also Pauline. Who would have thought I’d be old enough to have aged enough to also be vintage. Too bad my joints aren’t as good as my Ethan Allen chairs!

  3. Katie says:

    Hi! I’m wondering if you can tell me what colour stain you used? I’m trying to pick a stain colour and this is what I want, but I’m overwhelmed with choices!

  4. sheilareeves says:

    I’m going to refinish a set like this. Your is gorgeous. I paid $60 at a garage sale. Can you share your selling price?

    • Hi there! Thanks for the compliment! I can’t recall what I sold it for – it was a few years ago. Selling prices vary depending on what part of the country you are in and what your market is like. Good luck with your project!

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