Dreaming of a fresh dining room makeover? Learn how you can makeover your dining chairs with paint and stain.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire transformation process – both for painting the chairs and staining the rush seats. Say goodbye to outdated furniture, and hello to your chic and stylish dining space!
This chair makeover post has two parts. The first post is where I showed you how I changed the color of the rush seats on my set of wood ladder back chairs.
Follow the link to see How to Change the Color of the Rush Seats on the Dining Chairs
Painting the wood sections on the chairs took effort and some time trying to work through the prep and painting of all 6 chairs in a few days time.
Dining Room Chairs – Before Makeover
Making over one dining chair is exciting and can be done rather quickly, but when you have to make over 6 of the same chair over and over… it becomes a production line.
I had to put my mind to the task. To make it doable, I set up all the chairs in my family room to paint. It was very hot and humid when I painted them so I knew I couldn’t paint them outdoors or in my garage.
Instead, I laid out drop cloths in my family room and turned on the TV to entertain me as I painted.
How Long Does It Take to Paint Dining Room Chairs?
It took two days and about 6 hours each day to lighten the rush seating and paint the wood sections on the 6 chairs.
How to Paint and Stain Dining Room Chairs
- Chalk paint or latex paint (Sherwin Williams Pure White) and Calcium Carbonate Powder to make DIY Chalk paint
- 60-grit and 120-grit sandpaper
- hand sanding block
- 1″ angled Purdy paint brush
- small tip paint brush for painting detailed areas
- soft wax or paste wax
- old t-shirt for buffing
- wood screws to use as chair lifts
1. Insert a screw into the bottom of each chair leg so it can be raised off the floor for easy painting. (If I had not done this, the paint brush would touch the floor and as the leg dried it would stick to the drop cloth.) The screws are easily removed when the paint is dry.
2. I made a paper mask template using scraps of paper and foam board I had laying around to protect the chair seats as I painted the wood sections on the chairs. I only needed one template and moved it from chair to chair as I painted.
3. Use 60-grit sandpaper to rough up the surface on the chair to provide “tooth” so the paint would adhere better. A quick going-over to scratch the surface is all that is needed.
4. I used leftover white paint from my kitchen cabinets to make DIY chalk paint. The color is Pure White from Sherwin Williams.
I used calcium carbonate powder chalk paint recipe to paint the chairs.
I needed 3 light coats to cover the orange-toned wood. I used very light coats and let each one dry before adding the next coat. I used a small tipped paint brush to get into the tight area right under the rush seats.
This step is optional if you want an aged, distressed look. Chalk paint looks good on chalk painted furniture makeovers without distressing, so don’t dismiss using the paint if you think it has to be distressed.
5. Once the paint was dry, I went over the edges of the chairs with 120-grit sandpaper to distress the edges. I tried to hit all the areas where the chair would normally see wear. Once I liked how much distressing there was on each chair, I applied the wax.
Helpful Tip: Sealing Finish With Wax
There are two schools of thought on when to wax to seal a chalk painted finish… before or after distressing. I like to wax after distressing because it gives the piece a more polished look. If you want a more rustic look, wax before distressing.
6. I used Miss Mustard Seeds Furniture Wax in clear to protect the paint. I bought this at a recent workshop I went to.
You can use any soft paste wax to protect the finish or even water-based polyurethane. Fiddes and Sons or Johnson’s paste wax are the two waxes I use most.
7. I applied a thin layer with a soft cloth (old-t-shirts work well) and rubbed it all over the surface.
I used a clean cloth to buff the wax to bring up the shine and have found this fleece painting mitt (in photo above) is a very good buffing cloth. It makes buffing fast and easy especially around the legs on the chairs.
I let the chairs cure for a few days before using them.
The dining room set was a hand-me-down from my mom and dad. They are no longer living, but I know they would like what I have done with the set. The turquoise sideboard in my family room was also part of the set.
Dining Chairs – AFTER Makeover
I have been doing a happy dance the past few days when I pass by one of the doorways to the dining room :-) All white and a job I had been putting off, finally checked off my to-do list.
Consider Adding Chair Slipcovers
I like to keep the room color-scheme free so when we do entertain here the holiday colors, table setting, food and the people around the table set the color scheme.
I made White Slipcovers for these chairs many years ago. I like the fact that I can change the look of the chairs in an instant with these slipcovers.
I enjoy decorating by using what I have. I like new, but find the challenge of taking something that isn’t quite my style and making it so… very rewarding.
Everything in this room is a hand-me down or a thrift store find except the new rug and the linen drapes.
The chandelier above the table is a good example of this. You can read about how I gave it a Faux Rusted Paint Finish.
Adding a rug helped the room come together.
All cohesive now :-)
The room is finally the way I have always wanted it. Decorating, especially DIY decorating that included stripping and staining the dining table top to a Driftwood Finish, painting all the furniture and even the Rustic Chandelier, took time and effort, but all worth it.
Other Furniture Makeovers In This Dining Room
If you would like to know more about all the makeovers I have done with the hand-me-downs and thrift store finds in this room, just follow the links below to the posts about each one:
- Chalk Painted and Weathered Driftwood Finish Table
- Budget Brass Chandelier
- Turquoise Corner Cabinet
- Painted and Book-Lined Hutch
- Industrial Pipe and Doorknob Curtain Rods
- Chair Back Slipcovers
- Sewn Chair Back Runners
- No-Sew Chair Back Runner