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How To: Paint a Wooden Chair

How To: Paint a Wooden Chair 1

One of the first furniture items Vicki and I decided to tackle was a cute little wooden chair we acquired from an online auction. It was very plain and definitely needed some TLC.

 Wooden Chair

Like I said, very plain. It didn’t look like much at all, but Vicki had a definite vision for this piece. We started by removing the seat and sanding the entire chair to get it ready for painting.

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But we felt like it needed a little bit of dressing up so we decided to add a wooden appliqué to the top dip of the chair back. (To learn more about applying appliqués to tricky spots click here.)We used Elmer’s wood glue and clamped the appliqué to the chair for a couple hours, then left the chair overnight to adhere even better before painting.


For some furniture items it is acceptable to spray paint them, but since we don’t have the fancy equipment and regular spray paint cans don’t cover well and tend to drip we used an old fashioned brush! Vicki happened to have a can of cream paint left over from her kitchen so we grabbed that to give the chair a much needed lift. I never recommend globbing the paint on because it tends to drip, so plan on 2 to 3 coats to cover entirely. In between coats we got our staple gun out to recover the seat! (Click here for an easy tutorial on seat recovering)


After the chair was completely painted we decided to step it up a notch and glaze the chair with Rust-oleum, Decorative Glaze in “Java Brown”.


With glaze you can either brush it on over the paint or wipe it on with a clean cotton rag. Either way works just fine. Just make sure you have another rag ready to wipe it off. The timing varies on how dark of a look you are going for, you can wait 30 seconds or a couple minutes. Just remember if you are glazing in a hot or humid environment (outside or in a garage) the glaze will dry faster so that means you can’t wait as long to wipe it off.


After the glaze is wiped off let it set overnight and then you can finish the project off with your sealant. We used Minwax Polycrylic in a semi-gloss finish to give it a nice sheen, but poly also helps so the paint won’t chip or scuff as easy. You will need at least two coats if not more.

And then all you need to do is put your recovered seat back on and Voila!

A completely new chair!


And here is a closer view of the added appliqué


We love glaze for that added touch because it really brings the wood grain out in the piece and gives it a vintage feel.


This is now the perfect desk chair or accent piece in a bedroom or entryway!

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How to Recover a Chair Seat

Painted Chair: Fabric choice

Adding an Applique

Attaching the appliqué

French Style Chair Makeover


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