How To Give A Sad Old Chair A Happy New Life

Have you ever had something that’s been waiting for its makeover for what seems like forever?

Spray painted vintage chair makeover

Something that you just stopped noticing… even though you walk past it umpteen times every single day, and you actually even sit on it to put on your shoes and to take them off?

how to give an old chair a new life wooden chair makeover

At some point you stopped seeing it, and then you stopped thinking about it, and then slowly you stopped loving it… without even realizing it.

It just became another ho hum piece of forgotten furniture, sadly sitting there doing its job… and nothing more.


how to give an old chair a new life

That was this old chair to a tee.

I found it at an auction years ago, at least 20 but maybe more. You know how the time goes. I fell in love with it and brought it home for $10.

I’ve been a polka dot girl for as long as I can remember, and when I saw this chair I had to have it. I’ve always called it my polka dot chair.


how to give an old chair a new life

It had some age issues, but that made me love it even more. It was definitely hand made by someone who took great care and time to drill in all those holes to make such a pretty pattern on the back….


how to give an old chair a new life

… and on the seat.

When I brought it home all those years ago the plan was to give it a makeover to bring out the holey polka dot patterns. Unless the light is hitting the chair just right those lovely patterns really get lost in all that dark wood.

Well, somehow the makeover plan got lost in that dark wood too, and it just never happened.

And now it’s time to finally get this old wooden chair makeover done. Time to happify it with some spray paint love.

Doesn’t every piece of old un-loved furniture deserve to be loved again? I certainly think so.

Spray paint is such an easy way to give almost anything a quick makeover.

I took the chair outside on a relatively calm day and gave it three light coats of white spray paint. And then I gave the same treatment to the second chair.


how to give an old chair a new life

Yep, there are two of these awesome chairs!!!

And the funny thing is I never saw chairs like this before I found them and I’ve never seen any since. Makes me doubly glad I brought them home when I did.


how to give an old chair a new life

Each chair took the paint in its own way because the dark tones of their finish differed slightly from the other.

And when you look closely you can see that the holey patterns are not exactly the same. There’s just enough difference to be able to say that they’re not identical twins.


Here are a few before and afters.

how to give an old chair a new life

spray painted wooden chair makeover

Even this colour loving gal loves white when it comes to making details pop. Originally the white was just going to be the undercoat.


how to give an old chair a new life

spray painted wooden chair makeover

I had plans of using about seven different colours on these chairs in a funky kind of way, but when the white was done that was it.

Sometimes a piece will tell you when it’s right.

For me the holey patterns and the tacks are the stars of the show here, and I don’t want anything to compete with that.


how to give an old chair a new life

This was a very easy makeover. I didn’t sand, I didn’t fill holes, I didn’t do any cosmetic repairs.

There are people out there who are beating up furniture to make it look old. So whenever I find something that already has the dents and dings of history I’m all about keeping those lovely signs of age.

I just gave the chairs a little pick me up, and now I’ve totally fallen in love with them again.


spray painted wooden chair makeover

This one chair has a new life sitting beside my china cabinet in my aqua and red kitchen. You’ll see the other chair when I share my final kitchen reveal. I think both chairs are much happier now.

Sometimes makeovers don’t have to be over complicated. There are times when simple is best.

Wait, did I just say that? lol.

Yep, that was me… even I sometimes know when to say when.

So if you have something in your house that you’ve stopped noticing, maybe it could use a little spray paint love with whatever colour works for your home decor. Whether or not you’ve had it forever it’s a great way to give it a new life.

You might just fall in love again too. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!



Don’t forget to pin it!


Spray painted vintage chair makeover


I’m sharing this project at Vintage Charm


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  1. Barbara M says:

    Wow you were right. Never saw the pattern until you painted the chairs white. Great call— just leave them white. Love them!!

    1. Looks fantastic…I love spray paint. …just finished spraying a bistro table and chairs to turquoise. thanks as always for great ideas.

      1. Thanks so much Pam! Spray paint is the best when it comes to quick and easy transformations. Love turquoise! I’m sure your table and chairs look amazing.

    2. Thanks Barbara! I surprised even myself by leaving them white, but it just felt right and sometimes you just have to go with your gut. 🙂

  2. I really love these chairs. What a good eye you have for finding wonderful gems. Yes, you are right simple is best to let those polka dots shine.

    1. Thanks so much Vickie! Sometimes white paint is the best answer to a makeover problem. It certainly was in this case.

  3. Mother Deer says:

    Wow! The chairs look great. Have you held up something in a solid red behind the polka dots to see what that would look like? That’s what I expected that you’d be doing, so now I’m curious about how that would look 🙂

    1. Thanks Mother Deer! I did actually try that with some red tape just to see, and it did show through a bit but not much on those smaller dots. Because these chairs are used as extra seating at the table when we have guests anything solid would cover the backs so I decided against it. I find the backs just too pretty to cover up.

  4. Great find! I’m betting those chairs just blended in all these years, but now that your kitchen has changed to bright colors, they stuck out like sore thumbs and started screaming at you! lol Love the white…they are happy chairs now!!!!

    1. Thanks Linda! I think you’re right about that. Now that my kitchen is so bright and happy they wanted to be too. 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness, I just love them! I’m so glad you decided to make them over finally! My mom has a chair (I think she still has it) with the holey star pattern on the seat too.


    1. Thanks Tania! They are the coolest chairs. I wish I could find more. 🙂

  6. Beautiful chairs! I love them now. White is a miracle worker. I love the details of the old chars. I’ve never seen any like them either. Think of all the laborious work that went into those!

    1. Thanks Florence! I totally agree, white is most definitely a miracle worker. I can’t even imagine someone making these chairs, but I’m so glad that they did. I love then again, and I’m grateful to have them.

    1. Thanks so much Julia! Auctions around here used to be so awesome back in the day. We could find great things for great prices. Not so much anymore though, so I’m happy to have found these when I did.

  7. I love these chairs! Very unique and unusual!! Great makeover!

    1. Thanks Candice! I wish I knew more about these chairs because they are so unique. I’ve never seen any others like them.

    1. Thanks very much Mary!

    1. Thanks so much Kris! I wish you a Happy New Week too. 🙂

  8. What you did was perfect for those chairs….any other color or painting combination would have competed with the details that made you buy the chairs! Sometimes the simplest solution is the best!

    1. Thanks Colleen! I couldn’t agree with you more. I love the white, and I can really see the polka dot patterns now and they make me smile.

  9. Wow! I’m late for this party! Absolutely perfect! You could barely see the pattern on the seats and now they really stand out! But I must say, I’m interested in what Mother Deer said about holding red up behind them to see how it looks! If they are in your kitchen, that is. Dona

    1. Thanks Dona! Mother Deer’s suggestion is a fabulous idea, and I did try that with red tape just to see before I decided to just leave the chairs with the white paint. If the chairs were always staying against a wall I might have decided to go with that, but they are used at the table for extra seating and I love the backs so much that I just can’t cover them up.

  10. I really was expecting to see red and/or aqua on your chair! The white is perfect and a nice compliment to all that you have done in your kitchen. LOVE it!

    1. Thanks AnnMarie! It’s crazy right? Me doing white, but it feels right. 🙂

  11. ColleenB.~ Tx. says:

    Oh, my goodness ; absolutely love them chairs; the Before as well as the After. Yes, sometimes simple is best, plus who would want to cover up that beautiful seat ( Texas star ) :}design
    What a perfect addition to your kitchen

    1. Thanks so much Colleen! I never thought of that as being a Texas star, but I guess it is. I do love it, and couldn’t cover it up.

    1. Thanks very much Cecilia! I think white paint can pretty much transform anything.

      1. I agree! Thank you for sharing your pretty upcycle @Vintage Charm!

        1. Thanks Cecilia! It’s always fun to join the party. 🙂

  12. WOW! The paint brought out the pattern so much more than when it was stained. I love the chairs now but wouldn’t have even noticed the pattern before their makeover.

    1. Thanks so much Sharon! White always does such a great job at showing off the details. Even for this colour-loving gal.

  13. Oh I love this makeover! I can’t believe how well you can see the pattern now! I am pinning this pretty makeover! Those chairs are so cool! I am glad I found your site through the linky party!

    1. Hey Kathleen! White paint is a real miracle worker when it comes to bringing out the details. Thanks so much for pinning, and for popping in from the party.

  14. Really love these chairs! Just that white paint really made a statement!
    Amazing and surprising that it just took a coat of paint to totally transform these.