Taking Twenty Years Off | Bower Power
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Taking Twenty Years Off

2011 August 29
by Katie

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.”

221 Responses leave one →
  1. Briel K. permalink
    August 29, 2011

    Wow, those look SO much better! I like the red!

  2. Jess permalink
    August 29, 2011

    Woo!! LOVE the red; the fabric pops just right! :)

  3. August 29, 2011

    I LOVE these chairs! I totally want them!

  4. candy permalink
    August 29, 2011

    I totally didn’t think you could make those chairs look good, but I love the red!

  5. August 29, 2011

    The chairs look great!

  6. August 29, 2011

    The red looks fabulous with that kitchen table! It’s amazing how those colors are really livening up your kitchen (same in the living room)- and you haven’t even painted yet!

  7. August 29, 2011

    PS Do you have plans to re-do the chairs in the dining room? Some fun punchy color would probably look good in there too! :)

    • August 29, 2011

      Maybe one day…but we hardly use it so for now it’s pretty low on the priority list.
      xo – kb

  8. August 29, 2011

    The chairs look AMAZING! I love the fabric… It adds such personality to your dining space. Painting furniture is not the most fun thing to do, but the end result can make such an impact… Great Job!

  9. shannon permalink
    August 29, 2011

    Love them Katie! They look amazing. So inspiring, maybe it will get me out of my un-creative rut:-(
    thanks for sharing.

  10. Jamie permalink
    August 29, 2011

    My heart is going pitter-patter for those chairs! okay really the whole dining room table set-up. Must.have.red.chairs. now.

  11. August 29, 2011

    They really turned out great! I am impressed. I had some OLD chairs and a table and finally bought new ones, now I’m wishing I’d given them a second life. Great job.

  12. Jess permalink
    August 29, 2011

    ooh katie, those are so pretty!! that’s probably one of my favorite projects of yours ever. love it! :)

  13. August 29, 2011

    Gorgeous! I absolutely love the color and fabric – and they look amazing with your wall color!

  14. Destiny permalink
    August 29, 2011

    I love the way they coordinate with the paint on the wall. It’s all just so pretty!

  15. August 29, 2011

    AHHHH THOSE ARE GORGEOUS! Come and redo our kitchen when you are done with yours?

  16. Holly permalink
    August 29, 2011

    Thats what I’m talking about – a fabulous makeover by Katie Bower! I know you’ve been super busy with other stuff, but I just LOVE seeing makeovers like these :) The red is perfect and I LOVE that fabric!!

  17. Lindsey permalink
    August 29, 2011

    love love love the RED…I am currently looking at my drab table thinking I now need to have red chairs. I am sure if I looked SUPER hard I would find the color of your kitchen – but what color is that anyway? I am IN LOVE!

  18. Suzanne permalink
    August 29, 2011

    Oh my goodness! SO cute! Love the way they look with your table!

  19. August 29, 2011

    LOVE the red chairs with the color of your walls…beautiful!

  20. Cordia permalink
    August 29, 2011

    I’m in love with these chairs! Love the colors and fabric. It reminds me of a vacation too, which I really need.

  21. August 29, 2011

    Oh wow, the chairs look great! That fabric is really cute!

    By the way, be sure to enter my Shabby Apple dress giveaway!


    Have a great week! :)

  22. August 29, 2011

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. i love love LOVE the red. seriously, that was a genius decision. and Johnny Depp would love them. they’re as spicy and fun as he is! and kid-friendly! he LOVES kids. :)

  23. spenser permalink
    August 29, 2011

    love love love the red!!

  24. August 29, 2011

    Seriously DARLING! Just when I thought my old hand-me-down chairs had no hope, I’ve been inspired!!

  25. August 29, 2011

    So amazing! It looks really good!!

  26. August 29, 2011

    Katie…we painted some kitchen chairs we found at a thrift store…did you paint anything on top of the paint? We did not, but now, after living with them for quite a few months wish that we had, as all the little fingers that touch them leave quite the sticky, nasty, icky mess that is hard to clean off from just the spray paint. Any idea of a good product to put on top of the paint?

    • August 29, 2011

      It seems that you might have a layer of grime…in which case, you will need to do a deep cleaning before protecting your paint job. I recommend using a clear polycrylic spray…it’s a poly but in the spraypaint form so it’s much easier to apply. Hope this helps!
      xo – kb

      • Amie permalink
        September 6, 2011

        Hi Katie,

        Did you use a polycrylic spray on your chairs as well or did you just use the spraypaint listed on your post?

        Thanks again..


        • September 6, 2011

          Just the spray paint listed…but that is mostly because I want to distress them later.
          xo – kb

  27. Susan permalink
    August 29, 2011

    When my older daughter was little and just coming out of her highchair, I got a clear shower curtain liner and covered the fabric seat at just her seat at the table to protect the fabric until she was less messy. That way the four chairs looked the same but hers was better protected – even the scotch guard wouldn’t do the trick w/ yogurt! Just a tip for when Will gets a bit older!

  28. August 29, 2011

    I’m glad there’s someone else who keeps a store of paintbrushes in the fridge. I’ve got at least three in there right now since I’m in the middle of a few projects. :-)

    P.S. Love the chairs!! They’re gorgeous!

  29. Reenie permalink
    August 29, 2011

    LOVE them….love the fabric too! Very cute.

  30. August 29, 2011

    REALLY wanted to know how you guys fared through Irene. Love the chairs! But any post I suppose is a good sign that your family is safe and sound. Prayers to you and yours just the same. :-)

    • August 29, 2011

      We didn’t even get rain. I was kinda bummed since we live in constant drought. Although after Sherry texted me photos on Sunday, I was thankful that nothing came close and was just in my little prayer closet hoping that everyone stayed safe.
      xo – kb

  31. Joy permalink
    August 29, 2011

    Love the chairs, it looks great! I love red! My father in law made a bench for our hallway and I painted it red. I also have 2 doors in my house that are red, plus my kitchen is red. The fabric is great too!!

  32. Audrey permalink
    August 29, 2011

    I think the chairs would look great painted black…and with the same fabric in a bright YELLOW! But that’s the beauty of blogging; you get to see inside other people’s lives and understand their perspectives compared to yours. I definitely see Katie Bower in these chairs. :)

  33. Audrey permalink
    August 29, 2011

    Also could you pretty pretty please try to colormatch that “toothpaste” color? I love it so terribly much. Thanks!

    • August 30, 2011

      Do you mean the color in our kitchen? Or the living room? The LR is toothpaste, the kitchen is turquoise…but I plan on color matching both one day :)
      xo – kb

  34. Kelsey permalink
    August 29, 2011

    To be honest I was skeptical of you reviving those chairs, but they look amazing!

  35. August 29, 2011

    Shut up! Holy freakin’ batman those look incredible! Good job!

  36. Mary permalink
    August 30, 2011


  37. Jamie permalink
    August 30, 2011

    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, those chairs! It makes me want to find some old chairs and spraypaint them. You did a great job. Oh, did I mention I love the chairs?

  38. luckyjayne permalink
    August 30, 2011

    They look great!

  39. Christie permalink
    August 30, 2011

    Paint seems to make everything better. I love the makeover! I wasn’t sure about those chairs at first but they look fantastic. Great job! :-)

  40. August 30, 2011

    Perfect! Red and light blue is one of my favorite color combinations, and this does it perfectly. The dark wooden bench warms it up some too. Love it!

  41. JoDi permalink
    August 30, 2011

    That is an awesome makeover! The color…fabric… everything about them is perfect! Love it!

  42. August 30, 2011

    Ooh! This is awesome. I’m really loving fun colorful chairs right now. I need to get my butt in gear b/c we have lived here over a year and still have no dining table or chairs. I’ve been a bit distracted, though. here’s why: http://goo.gl/zujRO :)

  43. Danielle permalink
    August 30, 2011

    Love the red! I’m forever suggesting painting furniture to my husband. I’m bookmarking this project to continue the brainwashing! :D

  44. Alissa permalink
    August 30, 2011

    So many wood chairs I have seen / known have a thin layer of sticky grime on them – probably from skin oils where people touch them. You know, the kind you can scratch away with a fingernail and the wood is a lighter color underneath?

    Any recommendations for products to clean this off, or is it safe to go straight to primer and paint?

  45. August 30, 2011

    I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I saw the pics at the beginning of the post, but … Wow. Those. Chairs. Rock.

  46. August 30, 2011

    Absolutely love them! That breakfast nook has taken on a whole new life!

  47. August 30, 2011

    Love that cherry red!!! Especially with the blue walls, can’t deny that color combo! Great job!

  48. Jen permalink
    August 30, 2011

    The chairs look great!! At least 20 years younger, except it always bothers me when DIYers suggest spray painting stuff because it’s expensive! Five cans of spray paint x 2 (primer + color) almost negates the cost of the update to me…. Thanks for being honest with how much paint it took.

    • August 31, 2011

      Oh – heck yeah spraypaint can be pricey. You could always cut the cost by priming it with a brush and then only spraying the topcoats. But seeing as how the chairs were free, I doubt I could get them for the cost of my 10 cans, ya know?
      xo – kb

  49. Cari permalink
    August 31, 2011

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! they look terrific!

  50. August 31, 2011

    I LOOVE THESE! Red is an amazing colour. AND THAT FABRIC. Yum :)

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