Updating a vintage chair with paint is one more project that I can mark off my to-do list. It’s been a long time since my last furniture makeover, and I realize how much I miss the process. I also miss having that satisfying feeling of admiring a piece I’m truly happy with.
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Now for the before photo of the chair, and promise you won’t laugh. It was well over 20 years ago when I painted the oh so popular chicken watermelon design. Now it is gone for good and fresh white paint hides the red, green and blue layers on the chair back and legs.
Updating A Vintage Chair With Paint
Whenever I paint a piece of furniture there’s always this little debate going on in my mind. Should I leave it as is, or should I distress and age it to some degree?
After painting this vintage piece with two coats of chalked paint it looked perfectly boring, so I sanded areas all over. Well that was not the look I was going for either. Having a worn finish on the chair seat works fine, but on the all chair legs…way too much.
I reapplied paint to some areas and then using a putty knife racked a few spots to knock off the paint. The trick is knowing when to stop, because for my purposes it needs to appear random. In other words not manufactured.
The last step in updating the vintage chair is applying an antiquing wax with a round stiff brush. I like to work in small areas with just the smallest amount of wax on my brush, and buff with a clean cloth as I go. Waxing adds a soft sheen to the chalked paint and gives it a slightly aged patina.
Uses For A Vintage Chair
I grew up sitting in this chair at the counter watching my mom cook and bake, so we have a happy history. I’m always on the hunt to find another one to use as a plant stand or for the patio grill area.
It’s so handy to pull up to the counter as an extra horizontal surface, and as a step stool. Definitely not the safest idea, but I use it all the time to help reach high shelves.
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For me, every paint project is a process. I never know how something will turn out until I jump in and experiment with different products and techniques. The point is don’t give up, just keep working until you’re happy with it.
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