Crafty CFriday: Refinished furniture

Friday, September 16, 2011

I say it all the time, there’s nothing you can’t fix with spray paint {Or just paint paint}! So I was salivating when my friend Cora called to ask if I wanted these dining chairs she found on the side of the road during our neighborhood’s monthly Dump Day {also known as my favorite day of the month}.  The seats were a little gross, but the chairs were solid wood, sturdy, and in good shape so they were prime candidates for a quick makeover.

To jog your memory, here they are before {there are two of them}:


I’ve had these for about a month, so I’d been looking for the perfect fabric for awhile.  My original perfect fabric was this serafina multi, featured in Pottery Barn’s fall collection a few years ago.

I loved the primary colors and the floral-but-not-floral, paisley-but-not-paisley look to it.  After much searching, I finally found it online and FREAKED OUT with excitement and ordered it, only to get a “Psych. We’re out of the fabric and we’re not getting anymore” email the next day.  So I started the search all over and finally settled on this fabric from Calico Corners {among several other places its sold}:

I thought I was all cool for finding this fabric {which I kinda love} until I saw it here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.  I apparently, I’m super late jumping on the Wilmington Multi gravy train. {But if Emily A. Clarke used it in her own house, I think it affirms I’m on the right track…}

Get it?  Train…track…

Anyway.  I ordered one yard of the fabric for $17.  It’s a thin linen, which isn’t perfect for reupholstering, so I bought some iron-on batting at Michael’s for $4.  I wanted to provide more structure to the fabric and also block the color from the seat cushion from showing through the white background of the fabric.

So, step 1, I wiped the chairs down with 409 to get rid of the dust and cob webs.

Step 2, I took the seat off the chair.  When I shared my stool project awhile back, someone complained I didn’t explain this step thoroughly enough.  I won’t say who it was, but her name rhymes with Smashley Glass.  So, Smashley, here’s a picture and a few more details… Smile


Four screws hold the seat bottom on—they’re in those holes in the four pieces of diagonal wood.  Just stick your screwdriver in there, unscrew, and the seat bottom comes right off!

IMG_0336Like so…

Step 3, I primed the chairs with white interior Kilz primer.  I didn’t worry about it being thick or even, it just has to be enough for the next layer of paint to adhere to.


Step 4, I painted the chairs with a $3 sample of Behr interior paint from Home Depot.  The color is Thyme.  It took two coats to get an even, covered look with a few touch ups here and there. I lurve it.



Step 5, I sanded down the chairs along the edges to beat it up and distress it a bit.  The chair on the left is pre-distressing, the right one is post-distressing—you can see how much it lightened it up.

Step 6, I removed the fabric from the seat covers.  The chairs were clearly old and the fabric was a little rotten which made for easy removal, but it was kind of a gross process.  The fabric ripped right off without removing the staples and I didn’t take any of them out unless they were already coming out {for that I used needle nose pliers.}


Step 7, 8, and 9 were re-covering the seats.  I cut pieces of the iron-on batting big enough to wrap around the seats.  I positioned the portion of the fabric I wanted on the seat and cut it accordingly.  Then I carefully moved the fabric and batting as one to the ironing board and ironed them, so they were now one piece of thick, fluffy fabric. I tightly wrapped the fabric and stapled it to the underside of the seat one side at a time.


Step 10, I coated the chairs with Minwax polyurethane to shine them up a a bit {you just pour it on a rag and wipe it down} and let it dry.  Then I screwed the seats back on and…

Are you ready for it…


I kinda love them, I’m just not 100% what I’m going to do with them!  I’m considering putting them at the ends of the kitchen table or just keeping them around the house as extra seating.  Or maybe I’ll just keep them in the middle of the living room just to sit and stare at them.  At the end of the day, this project took three hours and cost $25 so I’m not too worried about it!


Those took awhile to share so I’m going to make this next one quick.  I’m just too in love with it to save it any longer!

Remember a million years ago, when my boss gave me her kitchen table for free?  And I didn’t love the color of the stain so I asked for your opinion on how I should refinish it?  And then nine months went by and I didn’t do anything with it?


Yeah, me neither.  So while I was in project mode with the chairs and a beautiful weekend was finally in the forecast, I decided to refinish the table on Saturday.  I didn’t want to deal with re-staining so I found the perfect Rustoleum spray paint from Home Depot—Dark Walnut in a satin finish.  It’s a very dark brown that almost looks black—just what I’ve been looking for foreeeever.   Here’s the fast forwarded version of how we got it done… {Yes, I said we.  Tyler made his Crafty Cfriday debut in this one.}

Step 1, took the table apart and quickly sanded it just enough to rough it up so the paint would stick.  It was really a five minute step that I did by hand—nothing lengthy like removing the varnish down to the original wood.

Step 2, I slowly, carefully, and patiently took different pieces of the table at a time outside and spray painted it in 3 coats, waiting 20-30 minutes between each coat.  My MO is to be inpatient and do everything as fast a possible, mess it up, and then get really mad at myself, so it took a bit of self-control to get this done right.

IMG_0377IMG_0380This is what it looked like after they were painted.  I let them sit inside for a few hours before distressing {Step 3} to make sure the paint was really dry.  I hate it when you start to sand and you find out the paint is still gummy. Aren’t the legs beautiful?


Pre and post-distressing

Step 4, after putting the table back together, I wiped it down with the Minwax polyurethane.  I did three coats to get the shine I wanted {there were a few uneven spots, so I sanded it with 220 grain sandpaper to even it out but still protect the paint}.  Then I let it dry for 24 hours before putting anything on top of it.



You ready for it?

You’re going to love it…

IMG_0401IMG_0416Eventually, the wooden chairs will be gone and there will be four seagrass chairs with something different on the ends. 

At the end of the day, I spent $18 on spray paint, $10 on the Minwax, and $6 on sandpaper.  I LOVE the table—the only thing I hate is that I didn’t do this sooner!  Seriously, I’ve had this table since January.  And it only took 24 hours to go from this…


To this…


Happy Friday y’all!  Go get crafty, just don’t spend a lot of money….

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