Revamping your wooden chairs

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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My friend, Grace, recently commented on how much she liked our wooden dining chairs. They are nothing fancy, but they are sturdy and classic. I eagerly told her all about how I purchased them at an estate sale for $20 per chair and painted them to give them new life.

It was an easy project that I would highly recommend to anyone who is in need of new chairs. It is something I have done before with thrift store finds as well. When I went shopping for new chairs, I was surprised to see how much they can cost. I literally saved hundreds of dollars by tackling this project. If you want to revamp wooden dining chairs of your own, follow these steps:

Prep them first. Start by putting down a drop cloth in a well-ventilated space. I used my backyard. Then, make sure you start with a good surface. Use medium grit sandpaper (I chose a sandpaper block) to smooth the surface and prepare it for the paint. The sanded surface will allow the paint to adhere better.

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After sanding, wash the chair with mild detergent, rinse, and allow it to dry completely. You may want to rinse away from the drop cloth so that the cloth does not get saturated.

Place the dried chair back on the drop cloth. If you want to leave the seats intact, cover them with newspaper and painter’s tape. Make sure there are no open seams in the paper. Cover open seams with new layers of paper to be sure, and use the tape to get into trickier places like in between the rungs.

For paint, opt for spray, rather than a paint-and-paintbrush combo. Make sure to choose one that is suitable for wood and that contains paint and primer in one.

If it does not, then purchase a primer, prime the chair, and let it dry before proceeding.

Wear safety goggles and plastic gloves, and follow manufacturer instructions. Many require that you shake the cans for a certain amount of time and spray for a bit before moving on. I would also test by spraying an inconspicuous spot on the chair before moving on to the larger surface area.

Hold the can upright and keep it about 12 inches from the surface. Use a steady motion and keep the can moving as you go. Follow the manufacturer instructions. Most likely, you will need two or more coats with some time to dry in between. Once the chair is completely dry, go over it with a clear sealer.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.