Taking Twenty Years Off

Let’s chat about my chair makeovers.  It’s not quite as much drama as some recent posts but it is something that most of us could agree on.  Kinda like how we all agree Johnny Depp is a jalepano of a man…SPICY! 

You may remember that I have these old chairs…twenty-plus years old…they actually were in my mom’s kitchen when I was growing up.  And they have surely seen better days.  The whole set had six chairs – two with arms…but we only needed four.   

I needed to update these for our new eat-in kitchen…but more than anything, they needed a quick makeover.  Especially the fabric had to go…it was horrid.  Sorry mom. 

Jeremy took off the arms off the two that actually had arms…

A little wood filler later, we have four chairs ready to be primed.

I decided to use Zinsser’s oil-based primer because they had so many various surfaces.  The round rungs would have been a terror to paint by hand.  And then I would be required to clean the paintbrush or stick it in the fridge with the ten other paint brushes…and frankly, I would run out of room for the eggs.

True Value was the one that we can thank for this project.  They provided the spraypaint (thank goodness they have a huge section dedicated to all things spraypaint!)  One can did only a chair and a half.

Two cans. 

Five cans later, they were finally ready.  When it came to color, I went with red.  Call me crazy.  I’ll probably change it one day when we tackle making over the kitchen…but for now, I wanted a little spice in that room.

I also recovered the chair cushion with some discount fabric I found at Joann’s.  Surprisingly, two yards was plenty to do all four cushions…and make a pillow cover for the couch.

What do you think?!

I love the fabric.  I scotchguarded the cushions and so far, so good.  The design reminds me of vacation.  Like a day on the beach.  I need one of those.

And you can also see that we removed the chandelier to give it an update too.  More on that later.

So what have you been up to lately?  Any spraypainted goodness?  Anything red?  Anything that reminds you of vacation?  Anything you took twenty years off?  Do tell…

“I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”



  1. Stacey says

    I LOVE the red and the cushion fabric!!! I have a dark cherry colored table and have been trying to decide if red chairs would look good. Your chairs are giving me inspiration to go for it. Now I just have to find some chairs to spray paint. I also love your fabric choice. I have decided however until my children are older I need a wipeable surface:( You should see the damage they can do with a plate of spaghetti!!!

  2. says

    Color me amazed! I REALLY was not sure where you were going with those chairs. I absolutely did not see the fabulousness coming. They look great! I love the red and I really love the fabric.

  3. Paula says

    I just have to repeat what everyone else is saying….LOVE the red chairs and the fabric, is awesome. Glad your not afraid to add pops of color it looks great, and it inspires me to be more gutsy with decorating and color!!

  4. Ashley says

    LOVE them! My mother-in-law (who we call Martha- as in Martha Stewart) always says everything looks great with a little read spray paint. :)

  5. Amie says

    Hi Katie, I just came across your blog as I sat and did my research about distressing my kitchen table (which I am doing this coming weekend while my husband is out of town ;) ). We need a makeover BADLY on our table. Originally, I wanted to go with the black distressed look but I have to say…your blog inspired me to the core. We have a rectangle table with 4 chairs and a bench. I looked thru your blog regarding your bench…did you use the same dark walnut stain on it as you did to the table top? Did you also make it to where it is glossy? As for the legs of the table..did you ever do anything to those from when you bought the table? Did you repaint and distress them yourself? You are so very talented…love your blog! Thanks for the great idea…I think I am going to try this over the weekend. How long did it take you from start to finish on the table as well as the chairs? Is the paint holding up on the chairs? Thanks again!

    • says

      Whew Amie – I think I just had a seizure reading all those questions! I’ll try my best to answer them all without seizing again…
      1. I haven’t posted the bench makeover yet but soon you’ll see the post about the bench makeover….in which we did restain the top to the dark walnut and we painted the base.
      2. Yes we added poly on top for protection.
      3. We didn’t yet but we plan on just painting them white for a cleaner look.
      4. Nope – we actually haven’t touched the legs yet except to clean them.
      5. It took me to redo the table from start to finish about six days (waiting a day in between coats to make sure it was nice and dry).
      6. the chairs took me about three days
      7. Yup the paint is holding up fine!
      WHEW! did it! gotta go lay down :)
      xo – kb

  6. Amie says

    LOL! Thanks so much Kate for answering my million and one questions. I appreciate it. One more question…I swear! what color did you paint the base of the bench? (see, you should have just lied and said you stained it… :) )

    Thanks again,


  7. Jennifer says

    I didn’t have much time to look through every comment, but can you tell me what color red you used? And what color wall paint (and brand) did you use? As well as the trim? I love this entire look. You did a fantastic job! (Sorry if I’m making you repeat yourself)

    • says

      Hi Jennifer,
      The red was a spraypaint – Krylon’s cherry red and the wall color & trim color is unknown (it was here when we bought the house!).
      xo – kb

  8. Heidi says

    Love the chairs! I too am decorating with red. Not sure what color we wanted for our walls until I saw yours. Could you tell me what the name of the color and paint is? Thanks

  9. Paige says

    I’d love to do that to my own oak dining chairs- but they are of a glossy wood finish. Do you think I would need to sand it down before priming?

    • says

      Probably. The glossier the more work they take for a proper finish. I would normally say for most things just skip the sanding – but chairs get a lot of use, so better to do the little extra work and not have to redo it in six months :)
      xo – kb

  10. Rachel says

    I LOVE your chairs! I am having my husband custom build me a table with 2 benches but love the idea of the red chairs at the end. Are you still happy with the way this turned out? Have they held up well? We have twin two year old boys so I need something that will withstand the craziness of my boys. Also, did you sand them? And if not, would you recommend it? Thanks!

    • says

      Still love them. I think I might do another coat of red on them because some corners have worn off…and then I would definitely do a top clear coat over everything…and yes, I sanded them.
      xo – kb

  11. says

    Hi Katie!

    I think those chairs look awesome. I did a similar project with my kitchen chairs, but I’m discovering that I probably should have sprayed some poly (does spray poly exists? time to google…) on them afterward, because with all the use and banging around, the paint gets scuffed off pretty easily. Did you have any problem with this?

    Just curious! =)

  12. says

    I can’t wait to try this on my kitchen chairs and I’m so stoked that you were able to do this with all spray products! I am not a patient person, so spray-painting is my thang :)

  13. Amy says

    I love the chairs. I too have chairs with spindles and would like to add a cushion for a different look other than just the wood. I was thinking the only way to achieve this is to cut out a section in the middle…just like yours have. I noticed that your cushion is bigger than the opening. Could you explain how that works? Is there a larger piece of material (wood?) that your fabric is pulled tight around? How did you attach the cushion to the cut out opening? If that makes sense?

    anxiously waiting to hear…amy

    • says

      Yes – the seat is wood and it has a layer of foam and then batting. You simply wrap the fabric over the cushion, staple it tight and then attach it to the seat of the chair by a couple screws.
      xo – kb

  14. Carol says

    Revisiting some furniture painting posts, when I realized the red print fabric on the chairs is also hanging up (as no sew curtains) in my dining room. Lol! What a co-winkie-dink!

  15. Rachel says

    so unexpected but LOVE the color. I’m redoing my chairs this week and wanted to know how many cans of paint it took you to spray paint your 4 chairs? (I have 6 to paint..) how long do you wait between layering primer and paint? how many coats?

    • says

      It’s been a while…so I don’t recall how many cans exactly (maybe I left it in a previous comment?)…but I usually do about one to two primer layers (the second one is more for hitting the spots I missed the first time) and then I think I did 2-3 thin and quick coats of paint. I wait the allotted time it says on the can for it to dry.
      xo – kb

  16. Megan says

    I am in love with your wall color in there! What is it?!?! I have a red kitchen table and cream chairs, and i would love to paint my walls that color.

  17. says

    How have the chairs held up to your kids now after some time has passed? I’d love to paint ours, but I’m concerned I’ll be repainting every few months with my rowdy bunch.

  18. anuska says

    Lovely chairs.
    I have bought 4 similar chairs and I have been several days looking for any idea on the web. I will take yours!!!!!
    thank you very much for that great idea

  19. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the chairs!! Im just wondering how they are holding up since no polyurethane was used? I was going to use chalk paint on my chairs but spraying them looks soo much easier!!

    • says

      The paint job is fine (except for where it was banged into the wall and left a red mark on my white trim) but for the most part the problem with these chairs isn’t the paint. These are just old and now falling apart after four years with my boys.
      xo – kb

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