Antique Child’s Chair

Antique Child’s Chair Makeover

Level of Difficulty: Medium (it takes several steps)


  • Wooden chairs
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Sanding equipment (palm sander, medium and fine grit sand paper)
  • Stain (I used leftover Dark Walnut from my floors)
  • Polyurethane (I used leftover from my floors)
  • Chalk Paint (I used Rustoleum’s Serenity Blue)
  • Chalk Paint Sealer
  • Brushes & rags
  • Frog Tape
  • Wood glue and twine (optional for chair legs)

I recently created a playroom for my 3 year old daughters. I’ve been on the hunt for some sturdy wooden chairs for quite some time! Alas, I found a great pair at a local antique shop for $14 each! Very sturdy and well-made, but in desperate need of some TLC.


  1. Clean the chairs with mineral spirits. Let it air dry then wipe off with a damp cloth.
  2. Sand with medium or coarse grit sand paper (go with the grain). Be sure to get down to the bare wood.
  3. Sand again with fine grit sand paper to smooth it. Wipe off all dust.
  4. Stain areas with brush or staining pad (go with the grain of the wood). Wait 15 minutes then wipe off excess stain.
  5. Let dry for at least 8 hours. I went over mine with another coat, but it’s not required.
  6. Once dry seal with polyurethane. Let dry at least 24 hours (I gave it a few days).
  7. Tape off sections you don’t want to drip paint (I just did corners).
  8. Paint with the grain a thin layer (it will be streaky).
  9. Let dry at least 30 minutes and then do a second coat.
  10. If you desire this is the stage you want to distress (sand) the paint. I started with usually wear spots like edges.
  11. Seal with Rustoleum finish.
  12. Lastly I added twine to the bottom of the chair legs. I wrapped around and used wood glue to hold it on. Let dry at least 24 hours.


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