Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Traditional Ethan Allen Dining Set

I picked this dining set up a couple weeks ago at a tagsale across the street from the flea market. The lady who sold it to me was skeptical at my excitement. To be sure, the set was a bit grimy, and dusty, and most of the finish had worn off- but it was structurally sound, and so handsome. I was pleased when I got the set home to see that the table and chairs were marked Ethan Allen. The set is quintessential New England design. In fact, the chairs are not that different from those constructed in the shop of Ebenezer Tracy of Lisbon, CT in the late 18th century. We have a set of six of those in the shop where I work. I included a pic for comparison sake.
      This Ethan Allen set is solid cherry- both the table and chairs. When I refinished it, I made the most of the gorgeous wood, sanding and staining the chair seats as well as the table top. I'd say the set probably dates to the 1960s. Before and After shots below!
Before- but freshly sanded

Chairs before


So here's one of the c. 1960 Ethan Allen Chairs

And here's a c. 1795 Tracy chair. Isn't the resemblance uncanny!

yummy solid cherry top. Not veneer. SOLID. 


  1. Anonymous10/03/2013

    I love your vintage Ethan Allen find. What a score !!!
    I had my circa 1970's Ethan Allen tuxedo sofa reupholstered by a professional who told me that anything made by Ethan Allen prior to 1975 was made of solid wood and far superior to any furniture that is being produced today. After seeing how beautiful your dining room table and chairs are, I know he's right.
    Keep up the quality work,

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments Vanessa!

  2. It turned out beautifully! I love the rich stain with the glossy black paint. You did a great job. :)

    Have a good weekend!

  3. Oh my goodness! Just beautiful. It gives me hope for the vintage Ethan Allen maple set that was given to me by my parents. Thankfully my mom doesn't have a problem with me painting it and I am also planning on stripping the top and slapping on a darker, more rich looking stain to get away from the ugly maple!! Just love what you have done with this set!!

    1. Maple can be so beautiful when it's refinished! Best of luck with your project!

  4. i have the harvest table and the farmhouse chairs in Ethan Allen that I purchased in 1972. The furniture is solid and heavy to move. You did an awesome job of refinishing them. You truly have a unique dining room suite. I wouldn't be able to touch their prices today. LOL
    Thanks your sharing with us.
    Connie, IN

    1. Hi Connie, thanks for your comment! Yes the early Ethan Allen furniture is of the highest quality. You can find stuff like it on the market today for any sort of reasonable price!

  5. Anonymous10/11/2013

    What paint did you use to get that glossy black? Reminds me of patent leather!

  6. What you did with the vintage Ethan Allen dining set gives me the courage to refinish my mother's solid maple dining room set. On the underside of the furniture I found the names "John Alden" and "Nichols & Stone." I know she purchased this set and other house furniture in the early 60's and they are all solid maple or birch. Thanks again for showing us the before and after.