I recently shared with you how I changed my old kitchen table from drab to fab. You can read about it in this post Cottage Farmhouse Table Redo I promised that I would share how I painted the chairs so that they would match the table. Cottage farmhouse chair redo, now the chairs have a great story to them, and it begins with once upon a time… well this may not go as you expected, but there really was a fairytale ending!
How The Chairs Came To Be Mine
Originally, we had a set of pressed back chairs, made of oak, very old-fashioned, and simply falling apart. I can’t even begin to say how much wood glue, nails, skims we had used to keep trying to shore them up, not to mention that several of the rungs had been chewed to pieces by our cocker puppy, at the time. The table was like a rock, or oak tree. steady as she goes, and she wasn’t going anywhere. Those chairs, however, were dated and cratering. they had to go!
I had been searching for a long time, making do with other chairs we had on hand. I knew what I wanted, I just didn’t want to pay the premium to buy them. I wanted something with a rush seat that would be either cottage, French country, farmhouse. I scoured every yard, garage, and estate sale there was, and one Saturday when we were about to give up, my shopping buddy and I saw a sign and decided on a whim to go check it out. There, in the back of the garage were 4 beautiful ladder back chairs in pristine condition. His wife, he told me changed her mind after she bought them. I could hardly keep my glee in check, and was afraid to ask the price, but was disheartened to hear $175. (I was figuring on each chair costing that much, and rightly so; just not in my budget.) Now that’s a great price for these chairs because I’m pretty sure they paid more than that for one chair, but I only had $50 on me, and I asked him to hold them, all the while telling him that I would be back with my husband and more cash. Long story short, when we returned, the man and my man, Mark, struck up a good conversation. The next thing I know, he invited us into his home and he’s showing us the new chairs she had ordered, they were almost identical! His wife arrived home about this time and was equally hospitable. I think they were thrilled with my enthusiasm, at their excellent taste. It really was wonderful! I turned my head, and there in the corner were two more chairs that matched the ones I was wanting. Well, guess who went home with a set of 6 very expensive ladder back chairs for $75.00! Yep, me! He decided that he liked us so much that he wanted us to have them. Can you imagine? These chairs are beautifully made with a rush seat, and a true black lacquer finish. They were the perfect chairs, and my heart was beyond happy because I knew that was a total blessing from the Lord! I loved the chairs in black and thought they looked great, and we enjoyed them for several years, I wouldn’t have considered painting them if hadn’t painted the kitchen table. The black just wasn’t going with the white and wood look, and that’s the only reason I decided to paint them.
Supplies Needed For The Farmhouse Cottage Chair Redo
- Plastic tarps
- Home Right Max Sprayer is my favorite you can find it here https://amzn.to/3xUa55N
- sandpaper different grits
- your favorite paint, brand, and color. I used Benjamin Moore mixed from Behr’s cottage white, and General Finishes Raw Silk
- https://amzn.to/3dekyRX a spray shelter if using a spray painter, this is my favorite, I wish I had gotten it sooner!
- paintbrush I like Purdy bushes you can find them here https://amzn.to/3xUWjQs
- painters tape, either blue or frog tape
- if using the Home Right Max Sprayer I recommend goggles and a face mask.
How I Sanded the Chairs
The first thing I had to do was sand the chairs. I couldn’t use a palm sander, there are too many nooks and crannies, they needed to be sanded by hand. The chair surface was slick, and I knew the paint wouldn’t stick easily so I needed to sand first by wetting the surface lightly and using a 320 grit sandpaper. Sand only in one direction, on the vertical surfaces I sanded vertical, and on the horizontal areas, I sanded horizontal. This is very time-consuming, and if I had a lot of projects with a lacquered finish then I think I would invest in a compact rotary sanding brush. I didn’t feel the need to take all the lacquer off, down to bare wood, but I knew that the surface really needed to be sanded well so the paint would adhere. I worked outdoors this time and made sure to wear protective gear on my eyes, and a dust mask. It’s not good to be breathing in lacquer particles. Make sure and use a clean dust-free tack cloth to remove any particles before you begin painting.
How I Painted the Chairs
The first thing I did was see if I could remove the fiber rush seating. A good article can be found on Popular Woodworking for more info on cane and rush seating https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=Awr9CWkJGdVghlsA4QpXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNncTEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZANDMTYxMV8xBHNlYwNzcg–/RV=2/RE=1624607113/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.popularwoodworking.com%2fprojects%2ftraditional-woven-chair-seats%2f/RK=2/RS=R5yiQ_xBFy_WvOJyGjv8v_R8aP0- I was able to do so on some of the chairs, but not all of the chairs. So I had to cover the seats with plastic tarps cut to fit and wrap with painter’s tape. I wanted to make sure and cover the wood and not the seat. I had decided to use my Spray Right Max spray painter. I have loved how easy it has been to use, and clean up when using latex paint, but this time I was going to use Annie Sloan chalk paint. I had thinned it as according to directions, but the nozzle was spurting and creating a speckled pattern on the chairs. Yikes! I had never had that happen before, and I realized that it was too hot outside, and the paint was clogging the nozzle too quickly. I knew it wasn’t the sprayer, but the paint. So I got out some latex paint I had on hand in Cottage White color by Behr, mixed by Benjamin Moore, and was able to spray better, but realized that it really was too hot to be painting outdoors, mind you it was well over 100 degrees. So I brought the chairs in and started working on them in, you guessed it, the kitchen! Again I had a change of plans, and that can happen when you are working on a project. I had to sand down all the splatters from the chalk paint, which was more work than I bargained for, would you believe I think that was the most work involved overall? The paint splatters stuck like crazy glue, and I had to use a whole lot of elbow grease to get them sanded smooth. I covered my surfaces with drop cloths and worked on one chair at a time. When I got the first chair finished with one coat of paint, I didn’t like how I could see so much of the black undertone from the lacquer still showing through. I ended up getting out my General Finishes paint in Raw Silk which was the paint and color I used on my kitchen table redo, and I went to work. I love this paint, and I’m not a paid spokesperson, these are my own opinions. I just happen to really like how it goes on and covers. It’s become my favorite in white or light furniture, because it’s also self-leveling, and coats so well. I had to put two coats on, letting each coat dry for a few hours just to be sure, because I was covering that lacquer. I also sanded lightly in between coats with 220 grit sandpaper. Wiping the sanding dust away before I painted the next coat. I did not put on any coating after painting and they have held up beautifully.
That’s a little before and after. I sure like how white, bright and light the set is now. The white and wood look is one of my favorite, so relaxing, and goes with everything. I can change up any of my accessories, and feel that it’s just timeless.
I have to laugh at Mr. Darcy’s expression, he sat on the chair not long after the 2nd coat of paint, and I wasn’t quite sure if it was completely dry! Thank you for reading along as I shared how I did the Farmhouse Cottage Chair Redo. I hope you enjoyed it my friends. So glad you are here, hugs, Dee
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