How to refinish furniture

Nov 22nd, 2009

When I saw this picture from Pottery barn a few months back, it caught my eye immediately. As you all might remember, my kitchen color pallet is quite unique. The main colors are: orange, turquoise, and brown, well, and a little green and a smidgen of red. I thought it would be fun to incorporate the color scheme by using this concept of different colored chairs around my table. So, ever since, I’ve been on the look out for sets of chairs.
I finally found two that I loved. This set will be turquoise, and I will be looking for sets to paint orange, green, and maybe red. I buckled down today and began refinishing them.

There are several ways how to refinish furniture. You can strip them, sand them, and re-stain them if you choose, and I really like the results when you do this, but since I have a love affair with turquoise lately, I decided to opt out of the staining project for these beauties. I found them at the local D.I./Goodwill store for a GREAT price.
Yes, that tag says $4.00.
I was instantly in love with the intricate details.
The first thing I did was take off the upholstered back. It took quite awhile to get all the staples out. I used a small flat head screw driver, and a pare of needle nose pliers.
Then I spray painted the chairs turquoise. I got the spray paint at Wal-Mart. I had to paint 3 coats on each chair to make sure the coverage was complete. I let the paint dry completely between coats. After the chairs dried, I sanded down the edges a bit to rough them up.
Then I brushed on a thin coat of black glaze.
And I carefully wiped off the excess with a damp rag. I repeated the process until I had as much glaze onto the chair as I wanted.
Here is what she looked like when I finished. I am loving the results. I wanted it to look antiqued.
Next, I reupholstered the seat. If you don’t remember how to do this process, click HERE for a reminder.
Isn’t she a beauty!?!?


  1. Sarah Bogh says:

    wow, I really like how this turned out! i have a friend who did this with her bar stool chairs, she had four and each of them was a different color. i think that is a way fun idea. I cant believe the visions you and kallie can come up with, i am pretty sure i would never have thought to re-vamp those chairs, the fabric on the back would have thrown me off! Great job!

  2. I LOVE them! And I say they look GREAT without the fabric on the back. But maybe they would look even better if it were there… I am no expert. Great job!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow! I love how the chairs turned out. So beautiful!

    ~Jessica Womble

  4. Ridiculous!!! I want to be like you when I grow up! Love. Your. Chair.

  5. ::David and Erin:: says:

    Where did you get the black glaze? I went to the craft store yesterday and they said that nobody carries black glaze anymore. I went to Lowe's and they said it only comes in a quart size. Did you get yours in a small bottle somewhere? What kind of glaze was it?

    Thank you SO much! I love this blog…SO many fun ideas!!! These chairs are fabulous!!!

  6. Brooke @ says:

    I found out the same thing (that craft stores don't sell little containers of glaze anymore). So, I suggest going in on a quart of glaze with a friend, or maybe trying to buy a small container online.

    A little glaze will go a LONG ways so if you know of anyone who has some, you can tint it with paint. That is what I did. I got brown glaze at a yard sale and then I mixed in black paint.

    You can also try to just water down paint to make it extremely thin and try to use it as a glaze. I've never done it, but it would probably work.

    Oh an the glaze I used was Ralph Lauren brand.

    Good luck…REMEMBER to send pictures!

  7. What a great transformation! Love it!


  8. I love, love LOVE what you did with this chair!! I found some old antique chairs at a used furniture store last year and painted and reupholstered them too (now I'm wanting to try a more vibrant color combination!)

    Love your blog!

  9. They look great…I love the color

  10. Very pretty! Those would look right at home in my kitchen-that fabric is great too.

  11. !!!! amazing…..

  12. It looks great! I love the fabric and the paint color, so cheerful.

  13. I'm just wondering what color you used for the chair. I have a hard time getting the right color when I try to do turquoise. The chair looks so cute!

  14. great job! I love the chairs! thanks for explaining in the comment above about the glaze. I've never used it, never seem to be able to find what I'm looking for!

  15. I'm not sure how this is the first time I'm over here on your blog, but it is and I'm loving it! These chairs are fabulous. LOVE them.

  16. I just discovered this site and I'm loooovvvvviiinnnngggg it! I'm just getting into decorative painting and I have a table and chairs I want to refinish – I was thinking I would have to take a short upholstery class just to change the cushions in the chairs. You just saved me $300.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll be visiting this site frequently.

  17. Hey girls, I see you already saw your feature before I could get home to tell you about it. :)
    Please email me so I can send you your featured button.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, not crazy about the finish or fabric selection. Yuck.

  19. What brand of paint did you use and what was the sheen? Also on the sand paper, what was the grit? Thanks, I am so excited to try this!! It is amazing.

  20. I'm sorry to bug you with this as I'm sure you've answered this before but I've been looking around your site to try to find out what brand and colour paint you use to do your turquoise chairs?

    By the way thanks for the wonderful ideas and tutorials…you're beyond talented!

  21. I happen to have inherited 1970's vintage dining room set. I also bought some fresh Marimekko floral fabric in greens, turquoise, orange, aubergine, deep red and burnt orange for the chair upholstery. It's called Kierto. So I was thinking of perhaps painting the set white, but seeing how nice the turquoise color you did on a similar chair here inspires me to perhaps go with that color. I would love to send you a photo and get your input…thanks.

  22. There is a time that I refinished one of my furniture but it ended a mess. It's not beautiful as I have expected. Thank you for sharing this at least I'll have a clue on where and how to start furniture refinishing.

  23. The chairs made a swan transformation. I am inspired and impressed! B

  24. I am refinishing/painting my first piece of furniture ever and your blog has been so helpful and inspirational! I have a question for you…. After you glaze a piece of furniture, do you use any outter coats like polycrylic? Or is that not necessary? Thanks so much!

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