When I picked this dining set up I seriously considered just leaving it with the original dark stain. The surface was in fairly good condition, just a few nicks and scratches. Once I refinished the table top, I decided that I really wanted to see this set in an elegant black. For whatever reason, these chairs were super fun and relaxing to paint- maybe it was all the curves. I recovered the super comfy chair seats in a taupe microfiber suede. It's very soft and compliments the black nicely. I forgot to take 'before' pictures- but here's a whole bunch of 'afters'