Tuesday, June 19, 2012

painting my dining chairs

One of the projects on my to-do list is to redo my dining chairs.

When I first bought them off craigslist, they were the sickly color of nicotine.

 I painted them white and recovered the seats with wipeable vinyl.  First with red, which had too much of a pizzeria vibe, and then with beige, which was nicely neutral, but showed every grease stain.  

I love these chairs, they have such a retro Palm Beach vibe.  Unfortunately, my children destroy everything I own, and these chairs have not been spared.  Every single one of my chairs now looks like this:

If you come to my house, don't sit too far forward. 

If I had a million dollars and someplace to store my dining chairs until my children were older, I would buy a set of Tolix chairs--metal, wipeable, won't show stains, presumably.  Although my kids can destroy anything.

However, I have nowhere to store the other chairs, nor do I have a million dollars, so I'll just repaint the chairs I have and hope my children don't turn them into toothpicks anytime soon.

I will probably just sand them down, prime and paint them white again.  I could also recover the seats in navy blue vinyl for a fresher look.

Or I could go wayyyy crazy and paint the chairs a chartreuse or a cobalt blue.

Note that both the green and blue chairs have a white cushion.  Hahahahahaha.  No way, Jose.

I love the colors, but I think I have enough color going on in the room.  I am leaning towards simply freshening up the white, and trying to find an inexpensive blue vinyl.

Now I just have to find the time when no one will sit on these chairs for three days so I can paint them.  


  1. My kids have the same habit. Between high traffic, two kids and a new-to-us greyhound, I'm on my third area rug in 7 years in my living room. Sigh. Someday it won't be a problem, I guess, and then I'll be sad that nobody is around to ruin things.

    Your chairs will look great until you win that million. Good luck.

  2. I love the idea of keeping the chairs white, and using color on the seat....easier to change again, later. My friend has fancy chairs and keeps plastic protection on the seats, because of the children. When I sit on them, I feel like I am at "Grandma's house".

  3. I like your chairs. I actually have the green and white going on in our breakfast nook - sometimes I think they are too bright. Oh well!

    P.S. Emily Henderson used these chairs for a client and only $170 for 4! http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/White-Tabouret-Stacking-Chairs-Set-of-4/5095636/product.html?rcmndsrc=2

  4. Kids! The vinyl idea is good. Could you use an indoor/outdoor fabric or Krypton fabric for the chairs? Maybe that would give you more options.

  5. Try spraying a clear coat of varnish after you paint them.

  6. Yes- I say go with outdoor fabric, a bit nicer looking than vinyl and hopefully as durable.

  7. I second the clear coat over paint. And I also second the chairs from Overstock. They are on my "I want" list. I used some laminated cotton to recover a chair seat & it's held up well. Great patterns to choose from, and you still have the ability to wipe them down for easy cleaning.

  8. The clear coat is a good idea; I didn't do that last time around (obv). Outdoor and laminated fabric is also a lovely idea.

  9. VINYL, OMG! You've just solved my re-upholstery dilemma; Master P has begun the systematic destruction of our dining room chairs, and I've been at a loss for how to replace our now ruined white (AHAHAHA) seat fabric.

    Since the oak-colored wood chairs supporting said white seats (again, AHAHA) are also going to (Hell), maybe I'll paint them a sassy color and clear coat over that too.


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