Welcome to Kelli's Olympic Nest's tale of how we are creating a home we love through thrifty DIY projects, crafty ideas, and a willingness to get dirty. In between, there's the stories reminding us to also live the life you love. 

How to give your dining chairs a fresh new look with Rust-Oleum's Chalked Paint

How to give your dining chairs a fresh new look with Rust-Oleum's Chalked Paint

Do you have tired or dated dining chairs that could use some fixin'-up? It's an affordable alternative to buying brand new chairs, is simple, and takes only two days.

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Little back story about our kitchen table situation. It's big! It's a family heirloom. We were young with two children and didn't know any better.

For fifteen years we lived in single-wide homes. We didn't complain as both were passed on to us from his parents. Well he didn't complain.  But as the family grew and age took control of the single-wide, we finally upgraded to a brand new manufactured home-- essentially doubled our living space.

We couldn't imagine a need for both a dining room and a breakfast nook. I mean we barely had enough furniture to fill our new home. So we added a wood stove to the area meant for dining and used our little round table for the nook (There's a reason it's called this but, hey, we were young and clueless).

When my dad offered this beautiful family heirloom, farm style table we gladly accepted. 

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Looks great, right? I love this table. I love that it's solid maple and was designed for a large family (can extend each end). I especially love the story behind it. This table is over 70 years old! It was a wedding gift for my grandparents. They lived a long life and this table holds so many stories. Stories I wish it could tell me.

But (yep, one of those), it's so big and the chairs weren't in good condition.

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Now there's isn't much I can do about the size. I could sell the table or even pass it down. However, as hubby pointed out, one day we may have the grand kids over. Where will they sit?

Chairs on the other hand, I could fix. I already had some chairs that could replace the originals.

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The one on the right I painted like this several years ago. The left came with a partner which I thought would work in my classroom, so I had reupholstered them using hot glue. As you can imagine, that didn't last very long.

When I saw this fabric at JoAnn's, I fell in love. I knew it would be the perfect accent to our home's blue color scheme.  

One weekend I was ready to give our mismatched dining chairs new life.

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My work space isn't the best. Since I don't have a shop to work in and the weather was ugly, I set-up the work area right in front of the wood stove. Really had room to only work on two chairs at a time. And, because I wasn't thinking about sharing this, didn't take many pictures throughout the process. Oui!

Bear with me...

The first picture shows one chair already painted with Folkart Oatmeal chalk paint. The seat is just resting as I wanted to see the fabric against the chalk color. What I love about chalk paint is there is very little prep. No sanding! Make sure you clean your surface first (I used warm soapy water) and let dry.

It took three coats of the Oatmeal chalk paint. Give your paint enough time to set otherwise when you add the wax, the brush will pull the chalk paint off leaving streaks of the original paint. This is why it took two days because I let the chalk paint cure overnight.

Folkart Clear Wax was used on all three chairs which protects the paint and provides a smooth coat for easy wash-up.

Side-by-side before and after chalk paint.

Side-by-side before and after chalk paint.

If you look closely at the chair on the right, you can see the frame needs a little adjustment. To fix I added some wood glue to the seam then pushed the sides together and clamped it for an overnight dry time.

Reupholstering is a pretty simple and affordable way to jazz up dining chairs. Check out how ugly the fabric beneath my impromptu hot-glue covering was.

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HGTV offers a step-by-step guide for how to reupholster kitchen chairs here. The only thing I didn't do was the chair lining. Also, the corner tips are helpful. I find the corners to be the hardest part.

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The black and white chair is now Rust-oleum's Chalked Aged Gray which I had leftover from fixing up our office desk here.

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And the other is Rust-oleum's Chalked Charcoal.

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Re-imagined chairs certainly add country charm to our farm style table. 

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Just in time for Easter. 

It was a lot of fun decorating the table. You will never guess what I used for the table runner...wall paper. Then I cut some wide burlap ribbon which ran down the middle of the wall paper. After that is was a lot of layering and moving things around until I found the look I was happy with.

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Since we only have three chairs, you know what I will be on the hunt for, wink.


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Materials & Expenses (*indicates what I bought)

  • Flathead screwdriver and pliers

  • Screwdriver with adaptable bits

  • Staple gun and staples

  • Wood glue & c-clamps

  • *1 yard outdoor fabric: $9.99

  • Small brush for hard to reach places

  • *Wooster 2" Vintage brush (designed for chalk paint): $8.97

  • Brush for the wax (used a synthetic flat trim brush)

  • Soft cotton or micro-fabric to help smooth the wax

  • Rust-Oleum 30 oz Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint Aged Grey: $17.83

  • *Rust-Oleum 30 oz Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint Charcoal: $17.83

  • *8 fl oz Folkart Chalk Oatmeal: 7.99

  • 16 fl oz Folkart Clear Wax: $13.99

Shop the products I used to transform these dining chairs:

Robert Simmons 1/2" flat wash Acrylic brush (used for hard to reach areas)

Zibra Paint Brush (used for the wax)

Choose your 1 yard outdoor fabric @ JoAnn's

Wooster 2 in. Vintage Effects Bristle Angled Brush

Rust-Oleum Chalked ultra matte paint Charcoal

Rust-Oleum Chalked ultra matte paint Aged Gray

Folk Art Home Decor Wax

Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Oatmeal

With lots of leftover chalk paint, I'm ready to tackle another furniture fixer-upper project. 

If ya like what ya see, be so kind and leave me a comment. Would also love a share or two. Thanks for stopping by.


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