Dining Chair Re-deux

Today’s post was several weeks in the making, and I am so thrilled to share it with you!  This is my first attempt at full-on refurbishment of a piece of furniture.  I even got to buy my first personal power tool, a Ryobi 5 in. Random Orbit Sander!   I think I’m in love.  🙂

I found these two, slightly sad dining room arm chairs on Craigslist for $50 for the pair, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring them new life, plus we were in desparate need of additional seating in our home for when family came to visit.  So I got right to work on my vision: Sand, Prime, Paint & Distress!

Things You’ll Need:

Furniture piece you wish to re-do

Orbital sander w/ 120 grit 5″ discs

Tac clothes

Primer (I used Zinsser 1 2 3 water-based primer)


Paint color of choice (I used Behr antique white 1823)

Wood conditioner (I used a butcher block solvent)

Fabric for recovering (I used my own from a previous post: https://miymaven.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/the-whole-9-yards/)

Staple gun/staples

So first off I removed the cushion seats and set aside, then cleaned both chairs in case they were dusty.  I then busted out my new sander and got down to work.  Initially I sanded indoors because I didn’t have a long enough extension cord to work outside, but I did lay down a plastic sheet to catch all the debris from sanding.  It wasn’t a perfect setup, and I had to dust a bit when I was finished, but it worked for a first attempt.  Later I worked outdoors, and it was much nicer 🙂

I made sure not to strip the wood too much, but I did want a very distressed, country-fied end result so I went to town with the sanding.  This picture below shows the progress, bottom half done. 

After sanding was complete I needed to prime my chairs so that the light antique white paint I chose would adhere nicely and not leave too much wood grain showing.  Next, I applied one coat of primer, and two coats of paint, waiting several days in between coats so ensure application.  

As you can see, I attempted to see what level of distressing I could achieve with a hand sanding block…not much.  I finished both chairs with 120 grit sanding discs, working heavily on sections that would get the most wear naturally, ie. armrests and feet.  After I wiped down the pieces with my tac clothe to collect bits of saning, I rubbed them down with my butcher block cleaner, to give the underlying wood grain a bit of a pick-me-up.


Using my very own fabric patchwork creation from a previous post, I redressed the sad seat cushions with a muted yellow theme.  I saved the existing cambric to finish to job. 

From start to finish…







There you go, my very first furniture refurbishment!  I think they turned out pretty great, how ’bout you!?


3 thoughts on “Dining Chair Re-deux

  1. You’re a total badass. Love. You have inspired me to do something I’ve wanted to for a VERY long time…learn how to sew! AND do awesome projects like these two beautiful chairs. Your daily posts are totally one of my daily indulgences when I need a break from work. Keep goin’ girl!

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