Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitchen Chairs On the Cheap [Before & After]

Mr. V. has a GINORMOUS family.
Did I ever tell you that?  They are wonderful, fun people, but there are A LOT of them.  So when it's time to get together, logistically creating enough space for 20+ people to sit for a meal can be a daunting task.  
This year we're up to bat in the rotation for Christmas, so it's time to start space planning 
(Yes. In July.  Don't judge me.)

Last year we found my favorite table ever.
Blue booster seat sold separately ;)

We got 6 chairs,and I've been wanting to find 2 captains chairs to add on the ends for contrast.
 I also didn't want 2 more of the same chairs.  That would be fine, but I wanted a mix of texture and colors for some depth. 
AND, I didn't really want to spend more than $100 per chair, on chairs I'd realistically only be using once or twice a year.

I found my solution on craigslist for $50 for the pair - these bad boys are from Pier 1 Imports, and as of a month ago were still selling in the stores for $145 each.
They are sturdy, the right size, in great condition and were exactly the shape and texture I was looking for.
I just wasn't crazy about the, um... LOVELY "salsa"-orangey color.
By now, you know that's not really a deterrent for me. :)

(I bought the chairs in perfect condition - the white spots are because I got excited to get started and only remembered to take "before" pictures after I'd gotten a little trigger happy with the primer :) )

I gave them two good coats of white primer.
Normally, since I chose a gray for the paint color, I'd have chosen gray primer, too.  However I know that over time the wicker may get nicks here and there in it that I may choose not to touch up, giving the chairs a little beach-worn look.  In that case, I want the color showing through to be white... not another gray or the orange.

Next up came a few coats of Rust-Oleum's Granite.  If you're spraypainting wicker, plan to use more paint than you would on something that's flat wood; the uneven texture creates all kinds of crevasses that you have to get into, and the fibers soak up paint like it's their JOB, so you have to use a lot to get a nice-looking, even coat.

When I was done painting, I sanded the legs down and restained them Minwax's Dark Walnut.

When they're not in use, one will reside in my currently-under-renovation guest room, and the other will hang out in this perfect little corner of the basement.

We'll just bring them up when needed for large parties.
I'm in love!


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  1. They came out nice! I wish I woulda thought to redo mine. I wound up buying some that I love but probably overpaid for!

  2. I love what you did with the chair! The colors are so much prettier now. You have such a cute blog!! I found you through the Vintage Wanna Bee Saturday Hop and would love it if you had the chance to stop by :)

    -Jessica (Sew In Love)

  3. Those are beautiful!!! I love them. Megan

  4. love the new color! and the cushions are perfect with them!

  5. Beautiful upgrade! Love the color, cushion and pillows too!

  6. I love the new color. It really looks great. Make a huge difference. Thanks for sharing at DIYbyDesign.

  7. WOW! So cute, I must try some of that granite paint, great color!

  8. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  9. Awesome job, the chairs look amazing and add wonderful contrast! Thanks so much for linking up to our Pretty Things Party. I hope you'll be back next week!

  10. You did such a fantastic job with the transformation. I would love for you to share it at Snips & Spice Sunday Slice.


  11. I love your color choice on these! I have a similar pair of chairs, except mine are the weirdest color of eggshell white. I’ve been thinking about scrapping them for a whole new set, until now! You just saved me money off my Dish paycheck. Hooray! Expect a thank you note from my husband. LOL! I just wish I had the vision for projects like you do. Do you have any outside sources of inspiration? I usually go to HGTV or the DIY Network when I’m looking for ways to improve my house. I record everything on these channels! Luckily, I have the Hopper DVR with heaps of recording space to accommodate my little DIY obsession. I can now add your blog as another reference!

    1. You are funny! :) Good luck with the chairs - I bet they'll turn out great, and if you don't end up loving them at least you're not out anything, right?

      As for inspiration, I'm an HGTV junkie, and I'm always flipping through catalogs and magazines for inspiration. I'd say BHG and my beloved Martha are my top two, but there will always be room for Elle Decor and Shelter Interiors in my magazine rack. ;) Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment!


  12. Oh, the gray is a great choice. I love the "after!" The pillows are a great touch as well. Love it! I'm having a Cutting Edge stencil giveaway! I'd love if you could join. Have a great night!

  13. Emily--the chairs look great! fabulous price too!
    Love big families!


  14. Love the chairs.. amazing design.. and they look Comfy ;)

  15. Very nice! I've got one woven chair and a hamper that I want to spray so I'll have your good advice to help me out! And a color probably to copy...that one looked good!