DIY Thrift Store Dining Chair Chalk Paint

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Here is how I made my DIY Thrift Store Dining Chairs with Chalk Paint!  I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I am to have insanely handy parents. My Mom was actually a roofer before she retired.  I’m 99% sure my Mom loathes Pinterest because I’m constantly finding awesome DIY projects and showing it to her excitedly, which means she has another project on her hands.  I ALWAYS have full intentions of tackling the project myself, but inevitably my parents usually end up taking over.  I’m not sure if its because they are cringing watching me make rookie DIY mistakes or because they secretly want to get their hands dirty as much as I do… maybe a mix of both.  Getting anything done has been more difficult after having my son.  He is into EVERYTHING!!!!  So one of us is usually corralling the little tornado while the rest of us do work.

After moving to our new house, we were in need of a dining room table and chairs.  I suckered my parents into “helping” me build a beautiful harvest table (I’ll add another post later on how we built the table, but unfortunately I didn’t take as many pictures since I hadn’t decided to start at blog yet).  Once the table was done, it was lonely and missing some chairs.  I started to look online and quickly realized another DIY project would be in our near future after seeing how much chairs cost!  Yowser, even the “cheap” chairs were $50 or more each!  I started looking at antique stores first.  Every chair set I found was really uncomfortable and at least $400 for the set.  Still too expensive.  So off to the thrift store I went…. I found these very comfortable solid wood chairs for $79 for the entire set of six!!!!  They were actually quite nice as is, but the color of the wood didn’t match anything in our dining room. 

DIY Thrift Store Dining Chair Steps:

I brought them home and the DIY’ing commenced.  I decided to paint them gray.  I didn’t want to bother sanding them so I used Chalk paint.  I did a quick test on one of them to make sure the wood tannin’s wouldn’t bleed through the paint.  Purely based on convenience, I used Miss Lillian’s Chock paint.  There is a cute little antique store right down the street from me that sells that brand of paint.  The lightest gray color they had was “Sterling”.  The paint was a little pricey, but I saved so much on the chairs and anything to avoid sanding… 

Miss Lillian's NO-Wax Chock PaintMiss Lillian's NO-Wax Chock Paint












My parents recently purchased a paint sprayer since they had a lot of furniture they were planning on painting.  They did some research and decided to buy an automotive paint sprayer to get a really smooth finish.  Like this one: 

We already had an air compressor, so off we went.  We started spraying the chairs upside down

Thrift Store Chair PainingThrift Store Chair Paining

The chalk paint dried really fast.  By the time we were done with the last chair, the first chair was dry.  So then we flipped them over.


Thrift Store Chair PainingThrift Store Chair PainingThrift Store Chair Paining

As you can see, my Step Dad is the one painting the chairs… I promise you I started to paint them myself, but he was chomping at the bit to snatch that gun out of my hand.  I think he was actually having fun.  The chairs took two coats.

I had purchased a stencil online from StencilsLabNY

I wanted to paint the stencil on the “butt” of the seat to give them a little style.  However, I had never stenciled before and the first chair came out awful.  I used way too much paint.  I opened up the good old interweb and watched some videos on stenciling and took a second stab at it.  The second one came out much much better.  The trick was to put paint on the stencil brush and then blot the brush on a paper towel to get the excess paint off. 

My husband and I have two totally different styles.  He prefers more clean lines and modern while I love earthy, woodsy, cottage.  We usually find a happy medium with modern rustic or modern industrial design elements.  Since these chairs are more “folksy”, needless to say he isn’t the biggest fan.  But I will win him over once the entire room is finished, muahahaha.


Thrift Store Chair Paining

The paint I chose specifically says it doesn’t need to be waxed, but I put a coat of Miss Lillian’s Satin Luster on each chair to help keep the paint from chipping and to lock in the stencil.  The finish was perfect, not shiny but had a slight sheen to it. 

Here is the finished chair!  I’m so happy with how they came out!  Now I’m off to find an affordable rug to put under the table and our next project will be a buffet for the dinning room.



Thrift Store Chair PainingThrift Store Chair PainingThrift Store Chair Painingsome notes:

    • Probably a good idea to do all the spraying in one sitting because you have to clean the spray gun out really good with paint thinner and that is a pain in the ‘arse.
    • We did NOT thin the paint at all.  We were planning to, but realized it was not needed after doing a test spray.
    • We used a 1.7mm tip on the spray gun
    • I brushed and rolled on the satin luster
    • Make sure to clean the chairs off really good first.  I got a lot of grime and dust off of them with a wet cloth.














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