I’ve had this chair since I was a kid. My sister has a matching one. Somewhere along in my teenage years, I decided to paint my room and some dripped on the chair. So I painted…part of it.
Why? No idea.
When Pete and I had kids, my parents brought it to us. We used it as a timeout chair and, in my case, standing on to get something off a too-tall shelf. But it was still an ugly eyesore. Then one of the kids put a temporary tattoo on it, and made it even worse!
Point is, the chair was the perfect makeover candidate.
I started out by sanding the chair slats (seat and back) with my orbital sander. The rounded sides and pieces along the bottom required hand sanding.
The goal was just to remove the icky paint and tattoo, not strip it to bare wood. I did want to get any gloss off, though, so that the paint would stick.
I wanted the chair to be true white, so I used the same paint as my interior trim: Untinted Sherwin Williams semi-gloss.
I used a foam craft brush to paint every surface. It took several coats – I think I did 4 on some parts, and only 3 coats on others. Between each coat, I let the paint dry and then lightly sanded once it was dry. Rinse, repeat. (Don’t really rinse; that’s just an expression!)
Once the final coat was painted and had dried, I gave it a final coat of polycrylic to just seal everything off. I had originally planned to distress the wood, but after I was done painting I changed my mind.
Isn’t it so pretty now? It’s got such simply country lines that the white paint accentuates.
The stuffed owl really likes it. The cat isn’t too sure. I couldn’t get her to sit on it. Dumb cat. 😉
I think the chair will probably stay in the entryway. I’m in the process of designing a bench and welcoming vignette for that wall. We’ll see… the plans could change. But now that it isn’t an eyesore, I really like it.
Would you like to try your hand at painting old furniture? If so, here’s how to do it!
What You’ll Need
- A piece of furniture to refinish
- Old rags for cleaning
- Mild soap, like dishwashing detergent
- An orbital sander with sanding discs in a variety of grits, OR sanding blocks/sandpaper if you want to sand it by hand
- Latex paint in a color and finish of your choice
- Minwax Polycrylic® Protective Finish
- Foam Brushes or small paint brushes
- Dust mask or respirator (optional, see note in bold below)
- Tack cloth
- Start by cleaning your piece of furniture, if needed. You can use mild soap and water, with old rags, to clean off any dirt or gunk. Skipping this step leaves you without a nice finish, and can even prevent the paint from sticking, so make sure to clean thoroughly.
- Allow furniture to dry after cleaning
- Use a random orbital sander and/or sanding blocks and sandpaper to remove old paint or any glossy finish. You don’t have to take it down to bare wood, but you do want a rough enough finish for the paint to stick too. Start with a rough finish, like 60 grit, then go back over the piece with something finer, like 120-grit paper.
- If there’s any chance your furniture has paint on it from before 1978, wear a dust mask or even a respirator while sanding. Older paint can contain lead and you don’t want to inhale that!
- Apply your first coat of paint with a foam brush or paintbrush. (I used a foam brush for the main parts, and a small paintbrush to get between the slats of the seat.) Allow paint to dry completely.
- Lightly sand furniture with 220-grit sandpaper or sander, then wipe down with a dry rag or a tack cloth.
- Repeat steps 4-5 until the desired coverage is achieved.
- Apply one coat of polycrylic finish with a foam brush or paintbrush, and allow to dry.
That’s it! If you try it, please post a photo below. I’d love to see your creations!