Old Wooden Baby High Chair- What to Do?

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we found this baby high chair out for the trash and it's in excellent shape. I don't know what to do with it ? Sand or paint? When not being used as a high chair at the dinning room ,I plan to put a plant on it. So I want it to be practical and fun. I'm open to anything , any ideas and thoughts very much appreciated:)
q old wooden baby high chair what to do, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
q old wooden baby high chair what to do, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
  37 answers
  • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Nov 01, 2013
    I must have its cousin! I saved mine from the chopping block but have no idea what to do either! The one I have had wheels or could just be folded. May I join in your search for ideas?

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    • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Nov 03, 2013
      @Colleen P Oh I will google right now...maybe we can collaborate...one country to the other :)

  • Beverly Alley Beverly Alley on Nov 01, 2013
    I crackle painted mine and I have a doll sitting in it in the corner of the kitchen

  • Colleen P Colleen P on Nov 01, 2013
    what colors did you paint it? Was there a lot of prep work? Love a photo of the end results:)

  • MRHallinan MRHallinan on Nov 01, 2013
    Sand stain and shellac, wood is a beautiful thing. don't cover it up

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    • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Nov 03, 2013
      @Colleen P If you contact the company they may have a copy of the decal to send you. If they don't have it as a real decal perhaps a photo of the decal. All you have to do is a photo transfer after you have re-finished it. I think it would be very cool to restore the chair. Be sure to keep us updated on what you do.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 02, 2013
    I am one for the wood. I too would put a doll or teddy bear in the chair...would not take a chance a flowerpot would leak on my project!

  • Colleen P Colleen P on Nov 02, 2013
    thank you Jeanette S , after knowing a bit more about the age and history it would be a shame to have the restoration ruined by water. I'm sure a china doll would be perfect.

  • Ebbytwin2572 Ebbytwin2572 on Nov 02, 2013
    I have one as well sitting in my barn and don't know what to do with it either. Looking forward to seeing what everyone does with theirs.

  • Debra K. Debra K. on Nov 02, 2013
    I wonder if you could take a picture and try to find somewhere to replicate it??? (The decal...I like to!! Brings back memories)

  • Patricia W Patricia W on Nov 02, 2013
    I would sand it, repair any damage with wood glue or putty. Then I would stain it and get one of the vintage decals that our moms used on our baby furniture in the 60's.

  • Debbie Debbie on Nov 03, 2013
    I also have my husbands highchair (born in 1954). It is sitting in storage right now, so I too am looking forward to ideas that come through!

  • Dan Rodowsky Dan Rodowsky on Nov 03, 2013
    after refinishing the wood you may be able to redo the decal yourself. Find some old vintage childrens books, clip art or even gift wrap with vintage images ( nice gift and art stores have great wraps with vintage patterns) You can make a color copy and cut out as close to edge as you can. Cover the art with a good coat of Mod-Podge and press it down on the wood. Smooth it out making sure to remove all air pockets. Let dry at least over night. After dry mist with water and get paper very wet than carefully rub with your fingers. Paper will roll off leaving just the image you want. Be careful that you don't rub to hard as you can pull up the image with the paper. this is a very easy project and would be much more easy than trying to find vintage decals to replace what is gone. After just finish with poly and wax as you would on any wood project. You can also try this on a scrap piece of wood to get the feel and see how you like the transfer as copies are cheap! Good luck.

  • Joni Madou Joni Madou on Nov 03, 2013
    I just redid the highchair I had from my daughters. I took off the arms and painted it, then added this cushion. It is now a youth chair for my granddaughter when she comes to visit. My husband cut the legs down a little so it would fit under neath our table.

  • Jos250523 Jos250523 on Nov 03, 2013
    I would put it in a small flower garden as a plant holder... After I painted it a bright color of course. And in my other flower garden... a wooden step ladder with plants.

  • Carol Carol on Nov 03, 2013
    sand, stain and refinish. You can cut a circle from a plastic place mat and use a glass pie plate fur a saucer under your plant.

  • Sandy Lueker Sandy Lueker on Nov 03, 2013
    There must be a ton of these out there....I have one too!...I haven't got around to doing anything with mine yet but I was going to paint it white, seal it and put it out in my garden with a potted plant in it....

  • Karen Worlock Karen Worlock on Nov 03, 2013
    I have a very old antique high chair. I just cleaned it up and left it as is. Placed a trailing plant on an old kitchen plate then put in the high chair. The plate protects the wood against any damage. Looks good sitting in a corner.

  • Sandy Sandy on Nov 03, 2013
    Here is my idea. Do not touch the finish as it devalues the antique price of the piece. Instead I would make a back fabric cover with pockets lay across the seat to fit under the arms to put things I needed when I came in and out the door. Make the back rest a one coat hanger, purse in the seat. attach clips from the legs for note pads, Put love note, happy signs or photos on clips. Put by door for all to see when they enter and leave. You could also use in bathroom if there is room to stack towel, washcloth, soaps, etc like the hotels do, but on your chair and chair rungs. Maybe even use baby bowl to hold items

  • Pat Pat on Nov 03, 2013
    I want to refinish an old highchair too. I have my first great granddaughter arriving soon and I want to make it nice for her.

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    • Art Art on Nov 07, 2020

      2 point, 3 point and 5 point are avalible on line




  • Colleen P Colleen P on Nov 03, 2013
    i would just leave it as is, but I plan on using it with the grandchildren at the holidays when we are busting at the seams for extra seats around the table. Thanks for your input:)

    • Diann Diann on Nov 03, 2013
      @Colleen P I still have the high chair my oldest son used and it has lasted through 3 great grandchildren. I haven't refinished it and it shows the wear. I have a porcelain doll I keep sitting in mine in the corner of the dining room. I love it. It holds many memories and is very nostalgic.

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Nov 03, 2013
    Smooth out the rough edges. Maybe paint it a bright color for children's appeal. Put a coat or two of polyurethane for spills and such. You now have a chair for the children to spill things on without worry of water stains. Enjoy.

  • Lynn Lynn on Nov 03, 2013
    You should see what Restore Decor (on Facebook) in Edwardsville IL did with a pair I donated. They coupled them with a child's table and painted everything the same color. So cute!

    • Colleen P Colleen P on Nov 04, 2013
      @Lynn fantastic work and very creative and generous of you to make that donation.

  • B.J. B B.J. B on Nov 03, 2013
    I know many are against painting any vintage item but if you really what some color with very little effort there is nothing like chalk paint. I use the Webster's powder that you can add to any type of latex paint. It covers amazingly well without any prep to the surface whatsoever. I redid a dark oak table with a light taupe. I used 2 coats of paint. It dries very fast so I did it all in one day. I finished it with a coat of paste wax and it looked great.

    • Colleen P Colleen P on Nov 03, 2013
      @B.J. B I've never work with calk paint. I'll talk to my paint store folks about it. It sounds like a great product. Thanks for your suggestion:)

  • MKay MKay on Nov 03, 2013
    I have the wooden hi-chair that me and my 4 siblings all used. I also used it for my son, now in his 20"s. My husband said use it for a plant stand. Love the little chair, but no little ones to use it. Any other ideas?

    • Colleen P Colleen P on Nov 03, 2013
      @MKay See Sandys post. I love the idea of a " Front Hall Catch All"

  • Bill Johnson Bill Johnson on Nov 03, 2013
    I would sand and paint it, then distress it and use to display large dolls or, plants for that matter.

  • CC CC on Nov 03, 2013
    I don't think I would refinish it but might make a cover for it with a little padding so it might be a little softer for little ones using it and you could just pull it off and throw it in the washer.

  • Charlene Grounds Charlene Grounds on Nov 03, 2013
    I had one. I painted it..sanded the edges off to make it look distressed. sat it in my flower garden with a flower pot in the seat....

  • Denise Psik Denise Psik on Nov 03, 2013
    wash very well (mix of lite bleach and water) take the metal pieces off the arms, and reseal cause you dont know what the finish on it is. (Possible lead?). When the babies arent using put a baby doll in it and sit in kitchen corner.

  • Beryl Parker Beryl Parker on Nov 03, 2013
    thanks@Colleen P I saw an idea on pinterest where they used a painted highchair as a plant stand in a garden...it was so cute.

  • Jan Jan on Nov 03, 2013
    Do not use an old high chair for babies unless it has a secure modern harness retrofitted. Many children have been injured by falling. Also, old cribs and play pens have rails spaced too far apart, and babies' heads may become trapped. Better safe than sorry.

    • Colleen P Colleen P on Nov 03, 2013
      @Jan a very good point you bring up about baby safety. Yes, to be clear this " high chair" practical use is for children not quite big enough to sit high enough at the dinner table with out a couple of phone books under him( old school folks will get the reference ;)about 3-5 years of age.think of it as a small tall chair.

  • June Boughton June Boughton on Nov 03, 2013
    This is what I do with old high chairs, can't get enough of them. I make new harness and paint them.

  • Julie Moyna Julie Moyna on Nov 03, 2013
    I am chuckling about not using for children these days! We didn't have car seats, rode on the wheel wells of my dads 40 ford truck (not even seatbelt)! Somehow we survived. I would NEVER put my child in one but it's funny how many of us survived growing up! :)

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    • Jan Jan on Nov 05, 2013
      My concerns stem from an accident to a lady from my hometown. As a baby she slid under the tray on her high chair and lived the rest of her life with severe brain damage. I used my childhood high chair for my own daughter, but attached a new harness to it-- a belt plus a strap that fits between the legs, so no sliding out. I admit I am a worrier, and I would use a harness on my now 34 year old daughter if she would let me!

  • Kathy C Kathy C on Nov 03, 2013
    I have one and I use it as an indoor plant stand, lots of compliments.

  • Cathy Cottrell Cathy Cottrell on Nov 04, 2013
    I also have the high chair that was used for me and 4 other siblings and then I used it for my 3 grandchildren. I just cleaned it up and the best thing to do is use tongue oil 3 or 4 coats to preserve the decal and finish if you don't mind lowering the value of an antique. Mine will be passed down to my oldest grandchild.

  • Moonchild627 Moonchild627 on Nov 09, 2013
    It looks like the decal is beyond saving. If you want to try to reinvent that look, I have seen vintage decals on eBay. Lambs, Bunnies etc.

  • Debra Carol Norris Debra Carol Norris on Mar 18, 2018
    .. Hi....You can also store cookbooks on it.

  • Linda Rankin Linda Rankin on Mar 18, 2018
    You could have it sand blasted or sand it yourself, use it as a plant stand by cutting a hole in the seat for the pot.

  • Meggin Dail Meggin Dail on Apr 10, 2019

    Here's mine!