Oak Swivel Chair Makeover

2 Materials
4 Hours

I’ve always admired the solid construction of vintage office chairs. They don’t build ’em like they used to! Every time we go to an antique market, I’d always point them out to Hubs. He knew one was on my wish list, so I was pleasantly surprised when Hubs showed up one day with one in-hand!


We wiped it down well and removed the castors. Unfortunately they were cracked beyond repair.

This chair is probably around circa 1940 – 50’s. I love the molded seat, solid oak construction and base.

We looked for the makers mark which indicated that it was manufactured by H.Krug in Kitchener Ontario. It’s so rare to find something that’s actually made in Canada these days! You really can’t beat the quality of vintage Canadiana!

As is often the case with us, I already had so many projects on the go that this chair languished in our house for over a year and a half and it seemed like we’d never have time to make it over. Although Hubs brought it home for me, even he was getting tired of moving it around the house to avoid tripping over it.

A solution came when my niece started a little woodworking business specializing in children’s toys and furniture called Knotty Momma Woodworking. As a stay at home mom with a burgeoning sideline, Melissa was so eager to learn the ropes so I asked her if she would like the chair to play with and got a resounding ‘yes’!

Select Paint

Melissa chose two colours of Fusion Mineral paint for the chair: Little Lamb for the overall colour and Picket Fence as an accent. Fusion has zero VOCs so is absolutely safe to use indoors – especially considering she has a little one!

She covered the floor with a drop cloth and gave the chair a good sanding to give it some tooth. The maker of Fusion paint professes that prep isn't necessary but I think it's always a good idea to sand and de-gloss the surface so paint will adhere better.

After priming she painted the entire chair with 2 coats of Little Lamb, brushing it on. Then out came this stencil:

The stencil set includes six different motifs. Use a very dry brush when stencilling. When you load the paint onto the brush, you can use paper towels to dab and reduce the amount of paint.

Melissa selected the largest stencil for the seat and three of the smaller ones for the back of the chair. She secured each stencil to the chair using green painters tape. She also taped over areas of the stencil she didn’t want to paint accidentally paint!

I couldn’t believe how fast Melissa transformed the chair after she got it from us. I wish I had half as much energy!

The before and after is quite the transformation. I think Melissa did an awesome job! What do YOU think?

Melissa will probably use the chair as her work chair.

However, she’s been so busy being a mom and building commissions, I don’t know when she’ll ever have the chance to sit down!

Melissa’s located in Port Perry, Ontario. If you live around that area and are looking for custom built children’s toys and furniture, check out Melissa’s  Knotty Momma Woodworking Facebook page! She'd probably love it if you dropped by to leave her a comment on how much you liked her oak chair makeover on Hometalk  .

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Suggested materials:
  • Fusion Paint   (Local paint stor)
  • Stencil   (Michaels)
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Jacquie Trundy Jacquie Trundy on Sep 10, 2019

    I love what you did. Just beautiful! My question is this; I have 6 oak chairs that I would love to re-do but I want to add permanent cushions. How would you do that if you were to do that?

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