I purchased an oval dining table with four side chairs and one arm chair on Craigslist for $50. They were a mahogany finish with (what used to be) white cushions. Since there was only one arm chair I decided to reupholster the cushion in a funky fabric and use it as an occasional chair in my guest room.
This is what it looked like after I removed the disgusting cushion (Minus the wood board that sits on the fame. It was is good condition so I reused it).
I started to sand the wood but it was taking forever and I couldn't seem to reach every square inch with all those curves. I finally decided to use a primer instead. I just painted the entire surface with the primer and once that dried I painted the chair black with a regular water based paint I picked up at Walmart. I had to buy a new cushion which I picked up at my local art store (Joanns or Michaels). The cushion was a 3" thick square that I had to trim a little to make it the same size as my frame. I put the fabric (face down) on the floor and put the new foam cushion and wood board on top. I used a staple gun to attached the fabric to the bottom of the board. Once I placed the new cushion on the frame I used the old screws to reattach it.
Here is the finished product.
I chose a suede fabric that I found online ($9/yd) for the four side chairs. When it came to repainting the dining table I sanded the legs since they were "real" wood and primed the "particle board" (top and frame) before painting.
I did the same thing to a pair of barstools I found on Craigslist for $13.