This is the fun part – dumpster diving! Well, not quite, but the sky's the limit when it comes to deciding which chairs you'll use for this project. Upcycled furniture is very on-trend, so it doesn't matter if all your chairs look different – it all adds interest to your room. Social media sales sites are great places to find interesting pieces, but keep an eye out at council pickup – you'll be amazed what people throw out.
Once you've picked out which chairs you'd like to upcycle, it's time to suit up in some protective gear. We're going to be sanding and using power tools, so ear protection and safety glasses are recommended. A dust mask is also good, and will protect your lungs from any old dust or toxic old paint that's being removed.
Before we get into painting the wooden chairs, we need to make sure they're nice and clean. Give them a good wipe down first. But be warned – you need to wait until they're completely dry before sanding otherwise you'll mess up your sandpaper.
We used both an electric hand sander (these are great) and separate sandpaper squares to get into those tricky-to-reach areas. You don't need to get carried away taking it all the way back to the wood, you just need to make sure the surface is nice and smooth. If your chair is really old, it might have some gaps or major dents in it. If it does, grab some gap filler or wood putty and plug the holes – this will smooth everything out. Allow it to dry and sand away the excess putty and you're ready for the next step.
After everything's wiped down clean, you're ready to paint. Pour your paint into a tray first and roll your roller out in it to make sure you get a nice, even paint distribution – you don't want any blobby bits. We used a Dulux Sample Pot – there's enough paint in one of these to do two chairs, so it's extremely economical. If you've got a detail – like the wrought iron back plate we had on ours – make sure you take that off while you're painting. You can add it back once it's done, or leave it off if you'd prefer. Give your chair two coats of paint, using both a roller and a paint brush for tricky-to-reach spots.
How good do your new chairs look? If you want to achieve different looks, feel free to use different paints. Chalk paint is great for a designer, ‘country' look, or go high-gloss for maximum impact. Feel free to use the same process on other pieces of furniture!