Tag Archives: spray paint

Refinished Kitchen Chairs…finally


I did something out of character this month – I finished a project! It only took me almost 2 years. Two years of sitting on folding chairs at our kitchen table because I was refinishing the kitchen chairs. My husband was super happy about that.

Let’s take a look at what I started with, shall we?

Chairs Before

Dirty fabric, peeling paint layers, ripping plastic covering, bleh colors – in dire need of a makeover

I bought these chairs from a local yard sale site with the intention of refinishing them, but they sat around fooooooreeeeeveeerrr (as in years) before I ever started. I knew I wanted something brighter and more fun, but I never found a fabric I really liked. I had this picture sitting around on my phone as inspiration for a while:

Inspiration Pic

I love the bright colors and clean white look and the lines of the chairs. But again…what to do about fabric. I still hadn’t found any I loved at a price point I also loved. And then one day it struck me – why not forgo the fabric and have hard chairs and doodle on the seats myself? I realized that I didn’t even really want to use fabric because people live here and sit and eat and stand on these chairs, so what’s the point? I hate plastic over fabric and I hate dirty fabric and mostly I hate cleaning fabric (or anything for that matter – let’s be real). So, with my friend’s own project providing the catalyst for me, the folding chairs moved into the kitchen, the kitchen chairs moved into the garage, and I started tearing my chairs apart.


Whomever last upholstered these chairs was. not. fooling. around. The staple situation was out of control. A representative sampling of about 2-3 inches below:

Upholstery Staples

That’s after the plastic layer had already been removed. Each chair had 2 layers like this on the seat and like a million on the backs. At least I’m pretty sure it was like a million. I lost count.When I got all of the staples out, and ripped the padding off, I found seats that were in pretty decent shape and decided I’d use them for doodling instead of adding another layer of fresh wood on top. Just had to clean off the glue and do a little sanding.

Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

That glue never did cooperate. In fact, It’s still wreaking havoc on the paint job. And believe me, I tried everything I, and the home improvement store guys, and the internet could think of. I thought I had it pretty much under control until I put a base layer of paint on the seats. And by that point, I didn’t care anymore. So apparently the solution was apathy all along. But I digress.

Staples removed, seats cleaned (and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned) and cracks filled in and sanded. Next step was striping paint.

There were so many layers of paint on these chairs that I didn’t want to just add another, so I decided to strip them. Also took ages. Some layers were water based and some were oil based, and between them, the resulting sludge was…nasty and difficult. Eventually I prevailed. Or at least reached a point of “good enough, I don’t care anymore, let’s move on.”

Stripping the paint

Stripped Chair

One stripped – Five to go!

Next I worked on painting a base layer and then hand drawing the designs on the seats. I just used sharpies and it was enjoyable, though time consuming. You can’t really tell in the pic, but the designs fade where the glue was still causing problems through the paint.

I hate that glue.

Seats Done

I got a little OCD and … well, can YOU see how I got OCD?

I put a few finishing coats of sealant on the chairs – first a spray sealant to keep brush strokes from smearing the design, and then a more durable brush on sealant. They’ve probably got 8-12 layers of sealant of some kind. And I bet my kids will still ruin them.

With the seats done, I had to figure out the chair backs. I had made some mock-ups with cardboard.

Chair Backs

Part of the trouble was knowing how to get the slight bend of the existing back frame into the new pieces. Also, I didn’t have any means or know-how for cutting them out myself. After several failed attempts at getting someone else to do it for me, I decided to just buy a scroll saw and do it myself. And I did. (And now I have a scroll saw – mwahahahaha!)

I cut them out and sanded them down and turned my kids’ bathroom into a steam room to get them all steamy and moist and then clamped them onto the frames, hoping they’d form to the very slight bend. And they did. Mostly. I mean, in a good-enough-for-who-it’s-for kind of way.

New Backs Clamped

Used some Gorilla Glue epoxy and a nail gun to attach them and we were (FINALLY) ready to paint.

Watching Paint Dry

After all the time I had spent, waiting for the paint to dry was much harder than it should have been. You can see here that I should have put some kind of filler in the cracks where the new backs attached, but I didn’t. So there’s that. Also, the paint was kind enough to point out all of the places where I didn’t sand well enough. So there’s also that. But if you just pretend not to notice, then we can still be friends.

Put new feet protector thingies on, re-attached the seats (seriously should have been the easiest part and was a PAIN), and voila – Finished Chairs!


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They’re certainly not perfect, but they’re good enough if you don’t look too closely. (Do you sense a theme here?) We were sure happy to retire the folding chairs, and now I get to spend the day getting mad at my kids for spilling on them and stuff. It’s super fun.

One last look:

Chair Makeover Less Pinning More Doing

Next step – the table.

Check back in a couple of years on that.


Chalkboard Confessional


Okay, let me be clear about this. I have never been a fan of the whole put-chalkboard-paint-on-everything-that-will-hold-still-for-30-seconds trend. Can you say chalk dust overload?! Seeing as how I hate housework in the first place, I just can’t fathom why anyone would willingly add even MORE dust to their home.


I am a big lover of words. Especially words arranged in a powerful way. You know…like quotes…good poetry…inspiring scripture…the good stuff.

I also really love the look of brightly painted picture frames.

And at some point I kind of fell in love with the idea of having one really big chalkboard with a brightly colored frame where I could subliminally infuse my family’s minds with this good word stuff. ONE. And ONLY one.

So I set out on my journey to find a suitable big ol’ frame, which I found at a local thrift store. I cut an extra piece of particle board that we had to fit in the frame. {And by I, I mean my husband.}

I prepared the particle board by spraying it with some Rustoleum spray primer. I think I did 2 coats. Then I did about 3-4 coats of Rustoleum’s spray chalkboard paint in black. At this point, I swallowed my pride and admitted I was stupid for not sanding the particle board first. That stuff ain’t smooth, folks! I kind of thought the chalkboard paint would be thicker and kind of smooth things out a bit, but it’s not thicker than regular spray paint. Lesson learned.

So I let the paint dry for a couple of days until I could get back to it and pulled out my handy dandy sander and went to work. I think I was using 120 grit sandpaper on it. I went over it a few times until it was smooth *enough* for who it’s for {me} and called it good. It wasn’t perfect. As particle board, I don’t think it could be, but it would do.

Then back to painting I went. This time I didn’t prime it because it still had some paint/primer sticking to it and I’m lazy. I lightly layered on 4ish coats of chalkboard paint, alternating directions each time.

For the frame, I had to fill in one big gash with nail hole filler stuff and then I sprayed it with one light coat of primer. Then I put on 2 or 3 light layers of a Valspar spraypaint in a turquoise color. I’ve never used Valspar before, but I really liked it for the sprayer! My finger was not numb/sore afterward, which it usually is with the standard sprayers on Rustoleum’s cans. Overall, I was pretty impressed with it!

To attach the chalkboard to the frame, I used an epoxy that I found at Walmart. I don’t remember what it was called, but it seems to have done the job. Used a picture hanging kit to attach hanging wire to the back and put it up on the wall! Overall, it was a pretty simple and rewarding project.


Next to go will be those black plates. I definitely need something brighter and more smile inducing there, don’t you think?

*This was my inspiration for the Where The Wild Things Are quote shown on my chalkboard.

~So what trendy bandwagon have you jumped on that you swore you wouldn’t? Share in the comments! I LOVE comments!~