Chair Makeover: The Queen’s New Clothes

I have a confession: I am in love… with my newly made-over chairs.

I like a lot of classic furniture, but I never was interested in traditional ornate wooden chairs. The curves and details just didn’t do it for me… until I saw how fabulous they can look when painted in a fresh color! Here are some of the inspirations that made my heart go pitter-patter.

A fresh-looking chair in grey with a white and green seat by Molly at the Nesting Game. Click the picture to see the details on her blog.

Go to The Nesting Game

Gold leaf and blue chair

Kate at Centsational Girl has so many great ideas for furniture makeovers, including this sweet desk chair in blue with gold leaf.

Go to Centsational Girl

When I saw these chairs, I desperately and urgently wanted to make my own! And I could not believe my luck when, on the first day I looked, I found someone giving away two Queen Anne chairs for free on Craigslist. The chairs are not vintage, but all the better, so I needn’t feel guilty about painting them. The guy who was giving them away had several other pieces of furniture for free that had all been victims of his cat, as you can see in the “before” picture.

Queen Anne Before After

From worn and boring to fresh and elegant!

I wish I had the space and a use for ten of these chairs, because I’d love to paint some in apple green, light blue or white. The upholstery options are endless, too. For this project, I decided on grey. Grey is the popular “new neutral,” and I agree that it is beautiful and timeless.

Painting furniture can be broken down into just a few simple steps:

1) Prep: sand and wipe down your surface.
2) Prime: it’s worth the time and money to use a coat of primer, as this will seal the existing wood or paint and help the new paint adhere.
3) Paint: I used a grey spray enamel from the hardware store.

  • Tip: chairs like these have lots of of angles and curves, and it’s easy to miss areas, so I try to work my way around systematically. I stand on each of the four sides and spray anything that is facing me, working my way around the chair. Then, I work my way around again, standing at each of the four corners and again spraying anything that is facing me. By doing this, you shouldn’t miss any spots.

4) Clear topcoat: this step is also worth the time and money, as the paint will wear and could rub off on walls or other furniture.

queen anne after

Another look at the new chair. I love the feminine and elegant look! have a secret about that beautiful fabric that I’ll share soon!

I love home decorating ideas that don’t have to cost a lot of money to get a one-of-a kind beautiful result.  I definitely have my eye out for the next great find!  These chairs are for my sewing and craft room, which is also our guest room. In a house full of boys, it’s the one place where I have fun adding some flowers and curves.

UPDATE: I followed up with a post about the upholstery, including my new favorite choice for durable and beautiful fabric.


This project is shared at:

13 thoughts on “Chair Makeover: The Queen’s New Clothes

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