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Makeover: Thrift Store Office Chair

One of the first posts in this blog was about making over a thrift store desk. Haven’t read it? Click here to check it out! Ever since that desk makeover, I have been on the hunt for its mate – an office chair. I mean, what is a desk without a chair to sit on?

I scoured the thrift stores looking for a chair that was sturdy, didn’t look like it had been put through the ringer a few times and had all its pieces. Let me tell you, it was quite the challenge.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I found this wooden chair that seemed to be in decent shape. Of course it needed a little something, but it would do until I figured out how to snaz it up a bit.

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And for the last two months, this chair has been sitting in our half-walled office mocking me. A chair… really? Yes. This chair has been on my to-do list for two months. That is one month and three weeks too long. I am someone who likes to get things done right away and right when I say I am going to do them.

In my defense, its not like I completely ignored the chair. I have been pondering what color to paint it. And choosing a paint color is hard. My initial thought was to go with the same color as the desk. But that would be way too boring. Then I thought about going with the same color as the filing cabinet. But its dark and I didn’t want the chair to be dark as well.

So a couple weeks ago, I was looking through the paints that I had thrown in one of my craft boxes and had yet to unpack when I found this green chalk paint. I thought, “why not” and decided to try it out on the chair. After giving it a quick once-over with the sand paper I started painting. It was awful. Hideous. Disgusting. You know the green mashed up pea baby food? That’s the color. I definitely don’t want to sit on something that conjures up the thought of pea colored baby food.

So, like any other mildly frustrated DIYer, I put the paint away, kept the chair in the basement and decided I would come back to it when I had some new inspiration.

Fast forward to last Friday when I was planning what projects to get done over the weekend. I was thinking about the chair and what I could do with it when suddenly I had an epiphany. I knew I wanted green, but not baby food green. What about mixing the green with white to lighten the color? Genius!

I used the same paint as the dresser and mixed it with the green paint – thankfully it was a success!

The Process

Step one: I sanded down the seat of the chair to the original wood and lightly sanded the rest of the chair.

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Step two: I painted the legs and top of the chair green. I decided on two coats because I wanted more coverage, although I could have just left it at one. I think it depends on the look you’re wanting.

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Step three: I stained the seat of the chair – two coats. I went a little crazy on the stain too and mixed the Miniwax Dark Walnut and Miniwax Aged Gray colors together.

Step four: I distressed the chair with sandpaper, focusing on areas where natural wear and tear would occur.

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Step five: I applied a clear poly coat over the entire chair.

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Step six: Put the thrift store office chair back in the office with great satisfaction that it will no longer mock you every time you walk by.

The Takeaway

Mixing paints has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.

Don’t be afraid to mix stains too. I didn’t want the chair seat to be too dark and adding the weathered gray toned it down a bit, which was exactly what I wanted.

It’s okay if you don’t like something and have to start over. That is the beauty of furniture makeovers, a majority of the time you can just sand it down and start again.

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At the end of the day, experimenting is what it’s all about. I tend to want something to be right on the first try, but we are slowly learning that things rarely go according to plan. Yes, there is no way to go back in time. There is however a chance to just sand it down and start from scratch.

 

All our best,

 

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