My Craigslist Dining Chairs: Before & After

May 20, 2011 Inspiration & Ideas

It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of my home decorating projects so I thought I’d give you a before and after look at my dining room chair makeover.  I’ve been holding on to these photos for ages! I picked up these Duncan Phyfe style mahogany harp back chairs on from a friendly Craigslist seller in New Jersey about a year and a half ago. I paid $80 for all 4 chairs…an awesome deal! They were nicked, dinged, and the upholstery…let’s not even talk about it. Beyond awful. These definitely needed some TLC.

I knew I wanted to paint them because I felt the mahogany was a bit too dark and heavy. Painting them would not only lighten them up but also allow me to camouflage the imperfections in the wood.

Now, I love a good DIY project but sometimes I just don’t have the time or patience so I’d rather just pay a professional to do the work that I don’t have the time for or don’t want to risk screwing up…so for this project, I did a partial DIY and re-finished the chair frames myself while I had new cushions professionally fabricated by my upholsterer. Above are the supplies I used to tackle the chair frame: A Ryobi hand sander with various sanding pads, fine grit sand paper for smoothing, Zinsser’s 123 primer, Benjamin Moore eggshell finish paint and various paint brushes.

The first step I took was to sand off the finish and smooth out the most noticeable imperfections. It took a lot of elbow grease and energy but after about an hour and a half I had all 4 chairs all prepped and ready to go. (Note: You’ll want to do this outdoors where it’s well ventilated and you wont have to worry about dust flying everywhere.)

Next I gave each chair a good coat of primer followed by two coats of paint. The color is called Boothbay Gray which has a slight blue tone.

After the paint dried my chair frames patiently awaited their new cushions…

And finally…the finished product! I chose a striped Suzanne Rheinstein for Lee Jofa fabric called Piedmont Stripe. The leaf green color looks great against the chairs’ blue gray frame. Below are a few more shots of the

11 Comments

design elements

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wonderful transformation!

Jai

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Wow, that’s amazing…Fabulous

Tonia

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Don’t you just love craigslist? Beautiful transformation but I’m not with the sanding. The power of paint. It makes things look new again.

Shandra Ward @ Signature Style

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Chairs are my favorite furniture piece. You have done a great job reinventing those chairs. Simply Fab!

Shagreene

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Cute Nicole!! :-)

Erika Ward

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Simply gorgeous! Seems like recovering the seat would’ve been the easy part instead of sending them off. Love it when a lady isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty:-) Lovely chandy, too!

Tilton Fenwick

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So impressed! Renaissance woman!

Erik

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wow… they look amazing!!!

home decorating ideas

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Chairs are my favorite furniture piece. You have done a great job reinventing those chairs. Simply Fab!

Sharlene Yaqui

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You did an amazing job! Keep up the great work lady.

patti

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I have two of the exact chairs I will be selling if you need any more.

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