Ladies and Gentleman after over 7 years together and 4 months of marriage LEGO-Man and I officially moved into a home all by ourselves. We lived very close to each other in dorms in college, and then we lived with a roommate for awhile. For the last year since we moved to Texas we have lived with my dad. It was great and all, but the time had finally come for us to get a place just for the two of us as we start our marriage!
We went back and forth for months about whether we should buy a house, or rent. It ended up coming down to how long we would plan to stay in the house we could afford right now, which was only a few years while LEGO-Man finishes school. So we rented! We found the perfect townhouse only 6 minutes from my work, and 10 minutes from LEGO-Man’s school. We LOVE it!
Moving into a new home means that we needed a few furniture pieces. We had our bedrooms and living room covered, but we needed a table and chairs for the dining room. I have loved the idea of having an incredibly brightly colored dining set for awhile. But without a dining room of my own, I had nowhere to put one. So once our rental application was approved I started a mission to find a dining set.
I found this nice solid set on the Facebook marketplace for $50! It had been loved by a family with kids, and by that I mean it was a little beat up. But I was looking for a project and I sure found one!
I got started as soon as we had unpacked everything in the house. I was so excited to finally have my brightly colored dining set! The project centered around the fabric I found to recover the chair seats. If you follow me on Instagram you have seen that we used my Fiestaware dishes to decide what 4 colors to make the chairs. We swapped out different colored dishes until we picked the 4 that looked the best. (You might notice in the final line-up that there was no orange chair. Oh goodness the orange chair.)
I went to Lowes first because it is closer to our house and bought some plain Rustoleum spray paint primer. We were pretty limited on colors so the teen ended up and little darker, and blue a little brighter and the orange…. well it was the bane of my existence (more to come….).
Here’s what painting your chairs should look like:
You start with a chair.
You flip it over and remove the screw on the bottom so the seat will come off.
I used my orbital sander to smooth out a couple of dings in the wood, but didn’t get crazy with the sanding. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and let dry.
Find a nice spot somewhere in the shade (more on this later). Then you use a spray paint primer on the whole chair, following the can’s directions on dry and redcoat times. (that nifty handle on the can is like $5 and is a MUST for a project like this)
The primer should go on the whole project evenly. If you have streaky primer, you’re going to have streaky chairs.
Then you go at it with the spray paint. follow the direction on the can that says “slightly overlapping each stroke” over wise…. streaky.
This red paint covered so well and evenly it was the only chair that didn’t require two coats! but for most of the chairs I did at least 2 (I think I did a total of 10 coats of paint of that darn orange chair!)
While your paint is drying you can recover the old icky seats! you need a seat, home decor weight fabric, scissors, and a nail gun with nails. I bought 3 yards of fabric and had more than enough for my 4 chairs and a window valance!
Place the seat face down on the fabric.
Cut so you have about 4 inches longer than it takes to cover the sides.
Fold the fabric over one side and staple. (I left the old fabric, I knew my new stuff was thick enough to cover the old seats well enough.)
Then do the opposite side, pulling tight.
Then do the other half. Stapling and stapling and stapling.
(I probably used waaaaay more than I needed but I wanted to be sure they would stay put!)
I stapled everywhere except the corners. The four sides were well secured up to about and inch away for the corner on each side.
Then I gathered the fabric very careful around the corners and pulled super tight so that there were no creases on the top of the chair that you will see. Well this was the intention, there are totally still some creases. Corners are HARD!
Your underside of you cushion will look something like this.
Trim the excess closer so the staples, but leaving a little bit of extra.
I cut to about half an inch from the staples.
Voila a bright colorful clean seat cushion!
You can hardly tell they were once the same chair! Definite “Drab to Fab” situation. It all looks so easy when I pick the pictures of the parts of the story that went so smooth!
But I promised the drama of the orange chair. There it is in the back of all the other chairs looking particularly orange. Like “deer can’t see me in the woods but no humans are going to shoot me” orange. Bright blinding orange. All of those chairs are streaky because they were waiting for their second coat. This is where the orange chair turned particularly ugly.
You see for the second coat I had moved my spray location from under the tree into the sunlight. The sun was coming through the tree spotty and I felt like it was making it hard for me to see what I was doing. BIG MISTAKE!
See this awful cracking it was all over the chair. Everywhere!
This is after I continued to make the same mistake and re-primed the darn chair after sanding off the cracks in the second coat of orange… in the sun still. You see, spray paint apparently doesn’t play nicely with heat. my research on the internet said that when you spray paint in the sun, the outer layer of the paint dries before the underside causing these patches of wrinkles…
Since I hated the orange color anyway, and had to do some major reconstruction I sanded off ALL of the wrinkly spots. Notice how much of this chair is sanded… NO MORE SPRAY PAINTING IN THE SUN! Ok so it wasn’t that dramatic, but I was able to get a different color paint at that point and chose a softer more yellow color.
Without further dramatics, here is the finished product!