Updating Dining Chairs

Updating Dining Chairs
Updating Dining Chairs

Did you read my post about my first Dining Table Makeover?  As promised there, this is the follow on post for the chairs to complete this dining set.

My friend Christie finally found a set of chairs that she liked and wanted them updated to match her dining table, the style was perfect, unfortunately the finish wasn’t so this is where I come in.  As you can see in the picture below, they are really nice chairs but the beige finish and the green tones in the fabric just didn’t match her decor.

I started by taking the cushions off each chair ready for new upholstery, and then washed and primed each chair.  I would usually skip priming if I am using chalk paint as it’s not usually necessary, but these chairs had a very glossy finish and I wanted the best possible paint adhesion and just one coat of primer will sort that problem out.  Once the primer had dried, I put on the first coat of chalk paint, this is where I ran into some issues, the weather here this week has had a heat index of 188°f!  I quickly came to realise that it was just too hot in my garage to paint, especially with chalk paint that dries fast anyway, as I was applying it, the paint was turning tacky, leaving drag marks from the brush and just generally looking a right mess, as you can imagine that was super frustrating.  I decided I needed a break from this and turned to upholstering the chairs, which is far more relaxing than painting chairs anyway, in fact, visiting the dentist is more relaxing than painting chairs in my opinion ;).

I started by removing the staples holding on the original fabric, it turned out that these had two layers on, I removed one and left the other for extra padding and to hold the shape of the cushion.  I then laid the cushion on my fabric and cut around it, leaving enough extra to be able to pull over and staple onto the other side. I did try taking a picture of this process but failed miserably, however, there are a ton of excellent tutorials on Pinterest detailing how to do this, and its easy once you get going.

With all six cushions completed it was time to turn my newly relaxed self back to the chairs.  Have I ever mentioned that I now HATE redoing chairs, in fact this might be my last ever chair makeover! (Hubby’s sat here making ‘yeah right’ faces at me and rolling his eyes :))  The weather was still ridiculously hot with no sign of this changing soon I decided I had to change tack with this project, so I headed off to Lowes to see if there were any other paints I could use without the heat having such an adverse effect, and I found it!  I nearly did a happy dance in Lowes when I found that they now sell chalk paint in a spray can! After reading the label and noting that it can be used in hotter temperatures than normal spray paint I quickly grabbed a few cans and headed home to conquer the project that had nearly bought me to tears.  Oh, I did stop long enough to pay for them of course.

At home, I lay a plastic dust sheet out in my back yard, put a few pieces of cardboard down (or else the legs indent the plastic and the paint sticks, as I found out on another project), I lined up the chairs and got spraying, this stuff is amazing! It’s really thick and still has the texture of chalk paint, but especially for chairs, its super easy to apply, two coats later and it was all done.

*Note:  I will continue to use chalk spray paint for chairs, but each chair took just over 1 can of paint and at $9 each it soon adds up to be an expensive option.  For bigger items I will stick to the old can of paint and brush technique.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, the painting was finished, happy dance! I gave them a quick coat of clear varnish, again available in a spray, and let them dry fully.  The following day I reattached the cushions and they were good to go, I am so pleased with how they look in Christie’s dining room, what do you think of the set? I’d love to get some feedback on this, let me know in the comments below 🙂

Updating Dining Chairs
TaDa!! The finished set!


4 Thoughts to “Updating Dining Chairs”

  1. […] Update on this, several months later Christie finally found a set of chairs that she wanted painted to complete the set, check out the end result here. […]

  2. I need to do this to one of my tables but the sanding is daunting for me! Perhaps you will inspire me!!

    1. If its a flat table top, Citristrip works great to remove varnish and stain and then just needs a light sand down to smooth it out, its my new favorite product 🙂

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