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Colorful Kitchen Chair Makeover

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After painting my whole house white, I really needed to add some color ASAP. So I decided to do a colorful kitchen chair makeover.

pin image: 'colorful kitchen chair makeover' Top brown chairs around table, bottom orange, blue, green and yellow chairs around table

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I bought these kitchen chairs at IKEA a few months ago and I thought I liked the raw wood. It’s not awful, but they weren’t sealed.

wood chairs around table with cabinets and living area in the background

So over the past 6 months, all the spills and grease have really done a number on these chairs. I’ve been wanting some colorful chairs anyway so I thought I would just paint them.

2 wood chairs

But if you decide to buy these chairs and just like the raw wood, just polyurethane them a few times and you can keep the raw wood finish.

I tried to clean the chairs really well before I started, but I did not clean them well enough. In retrospect, I should have sanded the seats lightly and put a primer on at least the seats because a couple of the stains still show through. But I’m still really happy with how they turned out.

close up of a yellow chair seat with minimal staining showing

Colorful Kitchen Chair Makeover

First thing I did was head to Michaels and pick out the paint I wanted for my chairs. Each chair needed to be a different fun, bright color, but all the chairs needed to coordinate.

5 paints, green, pink, blue, yellow, orange

I chose 6 colors. The rug in my living room is the inspiration for a lot of my color choices. So I wanted to be able to look at the colors with the rug.

After getting home, I narrowed in down to one color for each of the 4 chairs and a color for the table. I chose a green, blue, orange, yellow, and pink.

wood chairs around table with cabinets in the background

Before painting, I cleaned the chairs as best as I could and then let them dry. Then, mixed up some of my DIY chalk paint.

This is my favorite recipe for chalk paint. 2 ounces of acrylic paint was enough for one coat on each chair. And any extra paint can be stored in the same bottle the paint came in.

foreground paint cup with green paint and a wood chair in the background

I did one light coat on each chair and loved the way it looked. The wood grain was still visible through the paint and I thought it looked really good.

close up of wood grain showing through orange paint on the back of a wood chair

The only problem was that there were some stains coming through on the seat. I didn’t have any primer, so I just decided to do multiple coats on the seat and light coats anywhere else there was staining.

yellow chair seat after one coat showing lots of stains
One coat
yellow chair seat after 3 coats, showing minimal stains
3 coats

I ended up doing 5 light coats on the seats. For coats 3-5, I watered down the chalk paint a little to make it more of a wash than a paint. This seamed to cover nicely.

colorful chairs around a table with plastic on the floor

After letting the chairs dry for a day, I them polyurethane them. I was worried that the poly would be too shiny, but I actually love the way it changed the color and sheen of the chairs.

blue, yellow, orange, and green chairs around table with cabinets in the background

They look amazing and now I’m really excited to paint the table as well. It was such an easy and inexpensive way to update this space.

Do I have to use chalk paint?

No, I just hate sanding and so chalk paint is the paint that I normally use for any furniture.

When using chalk paint do I have to seal it?

Yes. Either using a polyurethane or a wax.

pin image: 'colorful kitchen chair makeover' multi pictures of colorful chairs around table and wood chairs around table