It’s been a while since I shared a furniture makeover post. It’s not that I haven’t been working my tail off in the workshop. It’s more that my workshop is so overflowing with furniture that I haven’t had the space to set up a proper photo shoot in there to show you all of the finished pieces. So today I brought a few chairs into the dining room to show them off.
Introducing the white & lemon yellow ombre dining chairs…
I fell in love with Crate & Barrel’s Folio dining chairs when they first came out, but at $250 per chair, they were well out of my budget. Then one day while shopping at Target I saw this Folio knock-off. If I remember correctly, they were only $150 per pair so I was able to get the same modern Crate & Barrel look for under $400.
That was about 2 years ago and as they say… “You get what you pay for.” Here’s what those Target chairs look like today. The first chair pictured was one my son sat in every day for the first year. The second chair was actually only sat in maybe ten times over the two years. We very rarely sit at our dining table – my kids prefer to eat at the kitchen island.
Faux leather is just not worth any price no matter how low and it was time to go with wood.
Last Fall I found these five wood chairs. They were a sidewalk find. They were basic maple chairs that I held on to knowing that one day I’d get around to painting them to use around my dining room table. My dining room isn’t a separate, formal room – it’s actually an extension of our kitchen so we didn’t need formal chairs. Casual kitchen chairs would work just fine.
The chairs themselves aren’t exactly my style. I’d prefer straight legs and a more squared-off top, but they are very solid and I’m absolutely in love with the lemon yellow ombre effect they now showcase.
The ombre effect was achieved with a lemon yellow spray paint; carefully spraying from the front of the chair. Ace Hardware spray paint is my favorite for this. The particular nozzle on the spay can makes it really easy to achieve this look.
If you plan to paint chairs, be prepared… it’s very time consuming. Each chair will take you about four hours and that’s if you choose the right products.
When I first started painting furniture, I read so many online articles that raved about Chalk Paint and how it save you time because you can skip the sanding step. That may be true, but I found that in the end, Chalk Paint will add at least two hours time to each chair. Here’s why… Chalk Paint doesn’t cover nearly as well as the right primer and latex paint. I find that if you’re trying to achieve full-coverage (vs. a distressed chalky look), then you’ll need at least three coats of the Chalk Paint to do so. In addition, you have to add a top coat (either wax or poly) to protect the Chalk Paint; otherwise it will scrape off very easily.
I’ve also tried many different latex paints on chairs. Obviously the higher the quality paint, the better the coverage.
In the end though, to date, my favorite find for painting chairs is Benjamin Moore’s Super Spec D.T.M. Acryllic paint.
DTM, direct to metal, products play a dual role as both primer and finish – which means you don’t need to apply a clear top coat. I happened to prime these chairs first and applied over a primer, I’ve found that this paint adheres really well to both wood and metal.
DTM paint has great coverage. I used the pre-mixed black on a set of stools and one coat covered really well. I applied a second coat just to be sure I didn’t miss any spots.
DTM paint can be tinted to any Benjamin Moore color, it dries in 15 minutes, and it’s rated for both interior and exterior use which tells me it’s very durable. I can let you know for sure in a few months after we put these chairs to the test!
Do you have a set of maple chairs you’d like to update with a similar ombre effect? Yellow, blue, red, green, gold, silver…. or maybe you’d like each chair in a different color. The possibilities are endless! If you’re local, I’d be happy to quote a price.
If you live in the Boston area and have solid wood furniture pieces that need an update, let’s talk about how paint or stain could transform them. See this info on my custom furniture painting & staining services…
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