Painting and Re-upholstering our Mismatched Kitchen Chairs… long last!


This project has been on our list for nearly as long as I can remember. Or at least for a long time.

Back when we made the farmhouse table for the kitchen, almost exactly a year ago, I starting rounding up mismatched chairs from thrift stores, withΒ the plan that eventually they’d all be painted the same color.

And, look, now they finally are!

mismatched chairs around kitchen table

The color is Martha Stewart’s “Hosta.” I think I’m happy with it. It’s not one of those colors that I fall in love with immediately (i.e. it’s no Newburg Green!) It’s a little more vibrant than I was really expecting, but, then again, that was sort of the point. The kitchen is all wood tones and beige and gray, in ways that are tricky to change… I wanted to add some color with the chairs. I also like that it’s nearly impossible to decide if they’re more green or more blue, in the same way it’s nearly impossible to decide if the Revere Pewter on the walls is gray or beige. Oh, and the other day Dave put one of our Ikea plates up against a chair and, upon seeing that they’re almost the same color, asked excitedly, “did we do this on purpose?!”

No. We didn’t. I hadn’t even thought about it at all until that moment.

So the chairs started out like this:


All of them are from thrift stores except for the white metal one from Overstock (we have a set of 4, kind of spread all over the house right now. One in the kitchen, one in Ari’s room, and two in the sunroom). We sanded them down lightly, then used the paint sprayer to prime them and put several light coats of paint on them. Then two coats of polyacrylic (one with the sprayer, and then Dave was kind of over the sprayer, so I brushed on the last coat).


That makes it all sound quick and easy, but this was a big and kind of frustrating job. This was our second time using our HomeRight Paint Sprayer; I talked about the first time, painting Milo and Gus’ beds, awhile back. Everything went really smoothly that time, so I’m not sure why we ran into more trouble with it this time around. It was drippier this time than last time, and the finish also came out kind of…..bumpy. Interestingly, before we painted these, I talked to the HomeRight rep at Haven, and she told me that the medium duty sprayer we bought is actually not the best one for small projects like painting furniture. She recommended their fine finish sprayer instead for such things. And I was all, “well, the beds turned out great!” But I guess we just got lucky. I think I might save the medium duty one for some exterior projects we need to do like sealing our fence and the swing set, and try out the fine finish sprayer next time we have furniture or cabinets to do (which is always).

So, anyway, while all this endless painting was going on, I was really worried the chairs were going to look just terrible when we finished. But they don’t! They’re not perfect, but once we got them back inside, out of the glaring, every-flaw-accentuating sunlight, they looked pretty decent. I’m hoping they’ll be here relatively temporarily anyway and that within a couple of years we’ll be able to make some bigger changes in here.

But for now I’m just happy we finally have matching chairs!

Oh! I nearly forgot! Two of the chairs were upholstered and needed to be redone. This made me very nervous, because the only other time we’d reupholstered chairs they didn’t turn out so hot. But that was with oilcloth, which I think was just kind of hard to work with. Or maybe we just did a terrible job. But, at any rate, things went swimmingly this time.

I followed this tutorial from The Chronicles of Home, and it was super quick and easy. I bought this fabric; I wanted something fun, but I felt like too colorful might be too much with the chair color, so I went for fun pattern in neutral colors. Birds are SUPER fun.

chairs01 chairs02

Important staple gun safety tip: when your (borrowed) staple gun tries to indicate to you with prominent arrows and markings in about three different places which end the staples come out of… attention! Otherwise a staple might shoot across the room and land perilously close to your eight year old. Sorry, Gus.





Painting and Re-upholstering Mismatched Kitchen Chairs

Read About More of our Furniture Makeovers:

Cabinet in “Plumage” with Gold Dipped Legs

Vintage Dresser with Whale Pulls

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Linking with:

The Inspiration Gallery

Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday

Link Party Palooza at I Heart Naptime

Thrifty Decor Chick’s August Before and After


Painting and Re-upholstering our Mismatched Kitchen Chairs… long last! — 41 Comments

    • We were tempted to go that route this time, too–but it’s just SO FAST to use the sprayer (plus by the time we started having trouble with it, it already had paint in it and would have to be cleaned anyway!)

  1. I’m a sucker for having mismatched chairs all painted in one and the same color. Too bad all my chairs are the same πŸ™ Maybe I should replace one or two with my garden chairs and paint them!

      • Yeah … No. That’s not really a style I’d like, I think. I’m all over white furniture. Colored furniture makes me (mostly) crazy. I just buy two or three more and paint the so they fit my white ones! πŸ™‚

  2. Perfect and beautiful!! You could not have picked a better color as it contrasts and makes them a wonderful focal point! But unifies the different shapes of the chairs! Well done pal!! Nicole xo

  3. These look great! I know how much work it is to paint a chair. These kinds of projects always look so fun and easy (and may be the source of my chair addiction), but they aren’t! Love the color and fabric. Now, can you come over to my house and do some for me? πŸ™‚

  4. Your chairs look fanstastic, Gretchen! The color and the fabric are awesome. I’m so glad to hear about the sprayer, because I have some chairs I was going to spray. I want to make sure I get the right one!

    • Thanks, Gwen! I think I’ll be trying out the fine finish sprayer soon, so I’ll report back about that one πŸ™‚

  5. Wow, what a transformation! I love the color you chose for the chairs and that black and white fabric is beautiful. I had a few mishaps with my staple gun this weekend too! Maybe they all called in sick and we didn’t get the memo? πŸ˜‰

    • Staple guns are one tool you really want to function correctly! In my case, it was totally not the staple gun’s fault, though πŸ™‚

    • ha–I don’t know if it’s a thing, but I like it! You know, I’m looking at the chairs right now, and I think I like the color in the pictures better than in real life….which I think means, since it’s nighttime, that I like them better in natural light. I guess that’s how most things are, really….so, yeah, overall I’m happy with it πŸ™‚

  6. Ah that color is perfect!! If the fabric could talk, it would scream Gretchen. I think it’s safe to say you nailed this one!

  7. Hey Gal..Good job! But…haven’t you heard of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint??? No Sanding, No Priming, Just Paint & Soft Wax & Done!! Virtually NO MESS! You can even do Inside! Greatest & Easiest Refinishing Product EVER!

    • Thanks, Cookie :). I have used chalk paint before, and I’m sure I’ll use it again on some projects….but it wasn’t really the finish I wanted for these chairs (plus I kind of hate using wax! I think every painting method has it’s own pain-in-the-butt factor ;))

    • Ha! I don’t know whether to say you’re welcome or I’m sorry about inspiring you to work on chairs ;). Worth it once you’re finished, though πŸ™‚

  8. Pingback: DIY Kitchen Chairs Painting And Reupholstering | Shelterness

    • Thanks, Carrie! I think way back when I was assembling chairs, I knew I wanted either the same chairs but different colors or different chairs all the same color….just had to decide which KIND of mismatched πŸ™‚

  9. Pingback: Great Ideas -- 22 DIY Design Ideas!

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