How I Refinished My Kitchen Chairs

Did you see how I resized my kitchen table? Well, I finally got around to refinishing my kitchen chairs to match and I am so, so happy with how they turned out!

These chairs have taken a serious BEATING over the last several years but have held up surprisingly well structurally. So, being the beautician that I am I gave them a little makeover, and it was actually pretty easy.

black chair

First, you’re going to disassemble the seat from the chair. Most chairs have seats that are held on by being screwed in from below.

underside of chair

Now that you’ve got your chair ready, go ahead and start with the painting.

I use this method as pretty much the standard for how I repaint furniture that is heavily used because I know that it will hold up well. Wanna know my secret? Well here it is.


This stuff is GOLD. Wanna know why? It’s because I don’t have to worry about whether I’m putting it on a water based top coat or an oil based top coat. It’s shellac, so it’ll stick to pretty much any surface. It’s also relatively self-leveling which helps when you’re trying to get a smooth surface. So go ahead, just slap it on.

two clack chairs

I learned to put this stuff on with my handy dandy 4″ foam paint roller instead of the paint brush because it’ll give it a smooth finish, which is the kind of finish I like. And you’ll want to do it quickly because this stuff dries fast.

two white painted chair

And now for the painting! The best way to get that super smooth, super sleek finish is spray paint. I LOVE SPRAY PAINT! I will shout it from the rooftops if I have to. I would spray paint everything if I could, I love it that much. It does get tricky, though. I’m always tempted to keep spraying until I see a nice thick layer all over everything but that will inevitably lead to drips. Restrain yourself! I know it’s hard, but if I can do it, you can most certainly do it. I’m not exactly the most patient person that I know. So make sure you spray thinner coats and then go back over them after a few minutes. The stuff dries really fast anyway, so it doesn’t have to be long in between coats. I used this spray paint.

white painted chair

While your paint is drying, you can start with refinishing seats by sanding them down.

sander on top of wood

Then, the stain. My favorite go-to stain is to start with Minwax Classic Gray and then over the top with Minwax Special Walnut. I love how the gray cools down the warmth of the special walnut and gives it a slight weathered look.

black seat of a chair

Pretty, huh? To make it a little more weathered-looking you can go over the stain with a fine grit sand paper just lightly enough to give it a little more wear and to show just a little more of the wood grain.

stained seat of a chair

And lastly, the sealer. You’re going to want to make sure you put a water-based sealer over any water based or latex paint (most spray paint is water based). My go-to is the Varathane brand Crystal Clear Polyurethane because it doesn’t tint your white paint yellow like I’ve found the Minwax brand does. Or Minwax does have a water-based Polycrylic that I like as well.

But for the oil-based stained parts of the chair I really like to go over it with the Minwax clear satin polyurethane. You can even go for a gloss finish if you like it a little more shiny but it’s up to you. I usually put a couple of coats of each on just for good measure.

two cans of poly

Finito!! Well, almost. This is before I did all the coats of poly on the seat, but you get the gist.

two kitchen chairs

Let me know what you think! I really love the glossy sheen of the finish on these chairs. And I’m not worried at all about them chipping or scratching!



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