Old Chair Makeover

6 Materials
4 Hours

We got given this little chair from my in-laws and my husband used to sit on it when he was little. It had been stored in their garage for a few years so I gladly took it off their hands as a little project. That was some years ago and thankfully I took in process photos while I worked on it. Little did I know that this would open the door to many more projects in the future; it was the first furniture makeover that I ever attempted and I caught the upcyling bug that day!

Prepare surface

This is the before. It had a really solid red paint on the topcoat and underneath revealed an older blue coat.


The paint was so hard that I actually ended up scraping a lot off and also sanded by hand. Ideally I would have used a electric sander for this but at the time I did not own one and was living in an apartment and this was not possible! I prepped it as best as I could and just made sure there was a smooth finish to apply the new paint.


There was also some damage to the top of the seat and on the leg.

Prep for paint

I took some wood filler and applied this on the damaged areas and left to dry. I then sanded the wood filler to smooth the finish and blend in with the wood prior to painting.

I repeated this on the other areas of the chair until the surface was smooth and ready to paint.

Apply paint

I then applied two coats of Annie Sloan duck egg blue chalk paint.

Once I had applied the chalk paint I decided that I wanted a distressed look with white paint showing underneath. Obviously this was an afterthought and it was too late by then for an undercoat of white so I decided to fake it!

Add detailing

I took some white chalk paint and lightly painted onto the chair on areas that would be naturally distressed.

In addition to this step I also lightly sanded the edges and parts that would naturally be worn but only did this a little since I had created an illusion of more wear with the white paint.

Seal and buff

Once I was happy with the look I applied a coat of clear wax, allowed to dry and buffed with a lint free cloth before applying a second coat. I applied the wax using a baby sponge and buffed well with the lint free cloth again after the second coat.


The finished look! Today this chair sits in our hallway and adds a great feature in the small space we have for an entryway. It’s a great substitute for a bench that we don’t have space for and perfect for people to sit and put their shoes on if they need to. I’m so glad I did this little project as not only has the finish lasted well but it opened the door to many more projects today!

To see more of this and other projects follow along on Instagram!

~ Rachel ♡

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