DIning Room Makeover Layer 2 – Chairs!


I want to start this by saying thank you to everyone who responded to my last post with such sweet, heartfelt condolences. I am grateful for every single one, whether over WordPress or Facebook or email or text. We are very blessed by your sentiments.

Right now I am in Idaho Falls with my family visiting Phil’s parents. We come every year and it’s a very magical vacation for us. Grandparents to watch the boys while we sleep in, a perfectly flat, grassy, fenced in backyard for the boys, someone to make us food, and cable. Phil and I might just overdose on ESPN and HGTV, respectively. It is a much needed break for us.

With all of this extra leisure time, I thought it might be a good opportunity to put up a very overdue post about my dining room. The last time you saw it, I had just painted it blue. And I still love the color. My next job was refinishing the dining chairs. Let it be known that eventually I want to get these from World Market:


Costplus World Market Ella chair

It is the perfect color blue and I just love, love, love round French chairs. I originally wanted the ones that matched our table from Restoration Hardware, but the blue is winning me over. So maybe I will get the RH armchairs for the end, and use the blue ones for sidechairs. Phil, let me know when we have an extra $1200 to spend, okay?


For now, I have some quite beautiful hand-me-down chairs from a family friend. The wood is not a bad color, but it looks kind of yucky against our gray dining table. And the fabric is old and boring. Since they were free, I wasn’t too afraid of messing them up.


Cute hand-me-down chairs


Chairs with our table before we painted


I love the turned legs!


Carving detail on the top

I love painted furniture, so I knew I would paint these. The next question was, what color? Go crazy with the paint and add a muted fabric? Stay classic with the paint and put on a crazy fabric? I opted for the latter, just because if I ever do get new dining chairs, these ones will go in our kitchen eating area and who knows what colors I will like at that time? I figured changing fabric is easier than changing paint, so I decided to paint them good ol’ white. Really, who doesn’t like white?

Because of all the small pieces and spindles, sanding these sounded like a nightmare. So instead I wiped them down with a deglosser. This product not only cleans the wood, but also takes off some of the gloss so that paint sticks better. I also knew that I was going to use primer, so I wasn’t too worried about the wood’s finish. It says to use gloves for this…I didn’t, out of laziness, and my fingers peeled for days. Nothing painful, but something worth noting.


Next I just used spraypaint. My dad has a big compression sprayer but it was about as big as our lawn mower and I just didn’t want to deal with it. (I would also love a handheld paint sprayer when you get the chance, babe.) I ended up using about one can of primer and one can of white paint per chair. The primer was about $3 a can and the paint about $5. It was a pretty expensive way to do it, for sure, but it made up for it with convenience. Finding a sunny afternoon in Atlanta was pretty hard back in March when I did this, so it was nice to have something I could clean up and put away easily.

I actually originally thought I would hate the carving in the top, so I filled ALL of the chairs with wood filler, sanded them all down, and even painted a whole chair before I decided I did like the carving. So I found some chemical in our garage that softened the wood filler and scraped it out with a bbq skewer. Moral of that story is – know what you want before you start.


Started with primer


Little helper shaking the spray paint


First layer of primer

I wanted a glossy finish, but most of the glossy white spray paints are a really bright white. I didn’t want to go as yellow as ivory, but I did want the white to be creamier. After looking at a few stores, I found this paint in gloss. Not too bright and not too ivory. Perfect!


Next was fabric. As I mentioned when I started this dining room project, this is my fun room where I get to do what I want without regards to Phil’s masculinity. And right now I love persimmon (see an old post of mine here from a few years ago – I was so ahead of the curve:). And I love damask. So I was thrilled when I found this fabric on fabric.com.

Coral damask fabric

Coral damask fabric

With a sale, I got it for $6 a yard and only needed 3 (with a lot left over!) There are lots of good posts on how to recover chair seats, so I’ll just throw up some pictures.


First pull off the old fabric


Cut fabric to size


Staple around the edges

Here is the final project. Honestly, for how much I liked the chairs before I refinished them, I’m surprisingly not in love with them. I think they are just a little too country for the room, and the paint almost camouflages some of the details I liked so much. As Phil said, “I feel like you would have walked right by these in a store.” But they are comfortable, and sturdy, and they give the room lots of personality. I hope one day they will get moved to our kitchen, which can definitely handle some country flair.

Here’s the final before and after. What do you think?

Dining Chair Before and Afte

Dining Chair Before and After


3 thoughts on “DIning Room Makeover Layer 2 – Chairs!

  1. I think they’re beautiful! Love the white and persimmon, and I love damask, too. And I think you’re amazing! : )

  2. Always love hearing the process….Its like being with you. I like the finished product. I will take note of the lessons learned. I see what you mean about loosing some of the originall details. But the final result is fresh and inviting. A difinate win!

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