What is Old is New Again

Usually my posts are all about nutrition, fitness and health.  Well for a bit of a change I wanted to share one of the projects I have done for the house! I love working with my hands and it is so fun to have an real reason to get crafty.  I actually have a space to put everything when its done.

When we first moved into our house, it became painfully clear that we lacked certain essentials.  A kitchen table for instance.  Or chairs. We didn’t have a single chair.  We ended up with 4 couches (people love giving away couches) but that was the only place to sit.  Honestly, we are pretty easy going people when it comes to this stuff so we decided to take our time and buy what was right, rather than running out and spending a fortune on stuff just to fill the space.

One day I came home and Eric had bought us a BEAUTIFUL cherry dinning room table.  It had a great finish and color and he got it second hand so it was a steal. There are a couple of dings but they don’t bother us at all. The next weekend we went out and picked up 4 chairs for $10 a piece (Good Will baby!). As they were, they weren’t what we wanted exactly, so we got to work.

I forgot to take a “before” picture of the chair but the pine color is what they came as originally.

Step 1: Sand down the chairs.  They had a coat of polyurethane so we used sand paper to rough it up so new paint would stick. If you have access to an power sander, I would highly recommend it.  Getting every nook and cranny by hand took a couple hours and gets very tiring.

Step 2: Spray paint! We decided a white would look best to give the kitchen a bright, clean vibe.  It doesn’t exactly match the table but we decided that it “goes”.  And we usually have a table cloth on anyways to protect the wood.  I would recommend using a semi-gloss paint.  At first we used regular white paint that had an eggshell finish, what you would normally use for walls and it came out a little flat and dull.  We ended up doing about 2 coats per and that seems to be plenty.

Chair 2
Drying in our basement. Make sure to have some airflow to help it dry and prevent the painter from getting woozy.

Once they were dry, we decided to take this refinishing to the next level and add padded seats.  At first it seemed really intense but it was actually pretty easy.

Step 3: Remove the seats.  We were able to just unscrew them.

Step 4: Cut a piece of foam to the shape of the chair.  We used 1 inch thickness but this is variable based on how cushy you want it.  After you place your foam, take a sheet of batting and wrap it over.  Use a big peace as it is easy to trim later.

Step 5: Cover with your fabric.  Make sure to choose something that has some durability.  Fabric stores will likely have it labeled or you can always ask.  For this step, I would recommend 2 set of hands.  Have one person line everything up and keep it taught while the other uses a staple gun to secure the fabric on the bottom side of the seat.  Make sure to go far enough in so there are clean edges when you reattach the seat.  We bought furniture tacks but the stable gun was so much easier.  We went back later and used to the tacks to reinforce the fabric while the stables did the heavy lifting.

Chair 3
Finished product!

And there you have it! We did this over the course of a couple days, sanding one day and then doing the rest later on.  I am so happy we took this route.  Before we got these, we did actually go to IKEA just to check it out.  The only chairs that we were interested in that didn’t look like they belonged in a dorm were about $90 each!  I didn’t keep track of the cost of this project but I have a feeling that supplies were around, if not under $100.  We did have to make a couple trips out to get more paint and fabric.  Even if we went a bit over, we still came in way under buying new.

By doing it this way, we not only saved money, but we got to make custom furniture and now have something that is truly “us”.  We made them together which was also a fun bonding experience. We also got to re-purpose old chairs, reducing waste overall.  Now that I think of it, all of our furniture is actually used/antique.  It gives the house a bit of charm.

If you are debating whether or not to try a big project, just go for it! Definitely search for some how to’s to get tips and guidance, but you might as well give it a try.  You may just end up with something you love that you had a good time making.

What has been your favorite home improvement or craft project?