Update Chairs w/ Spray Paint + The Best Paint News Ever!

We re-used our old dining chairs when we made our DIY iron & wood dining table. As you can see below, it’s not ideal. The chairs don’t  “match” the table, yet they’re not different enough to pair well with the table.  Why didn’t we get new chairs? Chairs are expensive!  I wanted pretty metal Navy chairs, or metal Tolix chairs. Then I remembered one of those chairs is more than our grocery budget for a whole month…eeep

Dining Room
Dining Room & Kitchen

Chair vs. Food. I choose food.

However those chairs were still driving me nuts. They have lived with us since we moved to Toronto 7 years ago. They’re well built, but they lived through our late 20’s, a lot of fun and a few exuberant parties. They are scratched, and are finished with that really dark espresso stain color that might as well be painted on. You cant even tell that there is real wood hiding under it. Combined with the dark dining table in our otherwise bright kitchen/dining room, it was making a bit of  black hole.

It was time for a change.

Now. As you may have noticed, I heart spray paint, and in particular I have a soft spot for RustOleum Universal spray paint. Their oil rubbed bronze finish may be the best spray paint finish on the market. Really. In the past we’ve made a knock off Restoration Hardware mirror with RustOleum Universal, refinished a busted rocking chair, given new life to mismatched heat registers, brought a light fixture back from the 80’s, gave a bit of glam to a plastic frame, and even saved some shabby door handles.

The choice was obvious. Chairs; meet spray paint.

I set up my DIY spray booth in the garage. Gave a light sand, and a good cleaning to the chairs, then gave them several coats of RustOleum Universal in gloss white.

DIY TIPS! When spray painting, the prep is the most important step! Ensure your surface is very clean. Use a degreasing cleaner such as TSP to remove any oil or wax from the surface. If your surface is very shiny and slippery, always rough it up a bit with some sandpaper, to ensure good adhesion. Spray painting is all about light coats. Give your piece several light coats using a sweeping motion about an arms length away from your surface. To avoid drips and runs, don’t spray too close.  For surfaces that are going to see a lot of wear, put on an extra coat. Make sure you re-coat within an hour, or after 48 hours to avoid the paint cracking or not adhering properly. Go out and paint something!

Chairs Before
Chairs Before
Chair in the paint booth
Chair in the paint booth
Newly painted chairs drying
Newly painted chairs drying
Chair After
Chair After

That’s just a sneak peek of the changes to the dining room. We have another couple projects in the works, so a full reveal in a few weeks!

Now for my super special awesome paint news!

I had the chance to meet the folks from RustOleum last week at the Home Depot DIY 101 day, and they let a super big secret drop. RustOleum is coming out with SEVEN new colors of Universal paints in Home Depot stores this week. Yep, 7! They look amazing, and I cant wait to try them all out. Check your local Home Depot Canada store in the coming weeks for these new colors:

RustOleum Universal Flat Metallic:

  • Chestnut
  • Burnished Amber
  • Soft Iron
  • Antique Nickel

RustOleum Universal Hammered Metallic:

  • Chestnut
  • Burnished Amber
  • Antique Pewter.

These paint finishes look amazing! Very Restoration Hardware-ish. Perfect for refinishing dated hardware, light fixtures, furniture and anything else you can think of.  I cant wait to try them out!

Have you spray painted anything lately? Ever used RustOleum Universal paint?

Reclaimed Chair

We’re not dumpster divers, we don’t go out LOOKING for garbage to bring home, it just so happens that we have come across some good finds on the side of the road. We dragged home the rocking chair for the office a few months ago, repaired and refinished it with a coat of glossy black spray paint.

Just before Christmas El Granto happened to come across this guy, a red bankers chair with some nicks and scratches and a large X slashed across the seat and back.

El Granto snapped this pic with his phone of the chair on the curb
El Granto snapped this pic with his phone of the chair on the curb

El Granto immediately spied the chairs potential and rolled it home and tossed it in the garage. We knew that we would not be able to refinish it untill the weather was warm enough to spray paint in the unheated garage.

Chair Before
Chair Before

I flipped it over to discover it was a Pottery Barn Kids chair. In fact it’s this $250 chair, but in red (guessing red was a seasonal colour). Have I mentioned lately how much I love my husband and his ability to spot fine craftsmanship?

We got to sanding the nicks out and prepping the surface for primer, and man the paint finish on this chair was strong. It took both of us hand sanding the first layer of finish off with a rough grit sandpaper, then using a palm sander and a oscillating multi tool with a sanding attachment to finally get the paint sanded down.

Chair Seat Sanded
Chair Seat Sanded
Chair Base Sanded
Chair Base Sanded

The X slashed in the seat of the chair was super problematic. We sanded and sanded and just couldn’t get it to disappear completely. When we had enough of sanding, we gave up and prepped for paint. We cleaned the chair of all the sanding dust with a damp cloth then a tack cloth, and masked off all the metal parts such as the wheels and the seat adjustment.

We took the legs off so that we could paint them easier, and we stuck the top of the chair into a bucket and styrofoam so that it would stand up (kinda) straight. We gave it two coats of primer in our spray booth.

Chair Primed
Chair Primed

We let it dry, then painted two coats of RustOleum Watermelon spray paint. We usually use the RustOleum Universal paint, but their colour selection is limited, and we wanted a pinky-red-coral colour, so we went with the regular RustOleum primer + paint. I forgot how terrible regular spray can nozzles are. I got paint all over my hands, the nozzle dripped like crazy, and the round spray pattern doesn’t cover as effectively as the more linear spray of the Universal paint. So RustOleum, I beg of you, make more colours in your Universal line! xxo love Kristen

Chair Sprayed
Chair Sprayed

After I swore a bit, and gave the chair two coats of paint this is what we have.

Chair After
Chair After

She will live in the guest room, and enable guests a place to sit and read, get dressed, or stash all the stupid pretty throw pillows. Not bad for trash on the side of the road!



Rustoleum Spray Paint in Watermelon – Rona
Rustoleum Spray Primer – Rona

Tools Used:

Palm Sander, Oscilating Multi Tool, tack cloth, rags, muscles, Dexter kill room paint booth

Difficulty Level (on a scale of 1-5):

three out of five

(the sanding sucked…)
Total Cost: $12

When it Rains it Pours (The Chair Hunt Part II)

I posted about my chair hunt less than a week ago.

By that point I had been scourging Craigslist & Kijiji for an antique bankers chair for weeks. I had dragged El Granto into many an antique store, and even shook my fist at the TV when I saw Sarah Richardson had found one at an antique store on queen street. I wasn’t mad at Sarah, I was mad that I hadn’t been there first!

So I wrote the post, and sent my Mom an email asking her to keep an eye out for a bankers chair (she’s even more resourceful than I am) I then forgot about putting my chair request out into the world, and got back to work.

Fast forward to Friday. My Mom comes for a visit, and shows up with not one but TWO bankers chairs. One antique that was in brilliant shape, and had the original chair mechanism and everything, and a second one that was a more modern version. I was flabbergasted. My Mom had found the vintage one on Craigslist for a steal, and the second one was found on the side of the road by my Mom & Dad’s friends.

Antique Bankers Chair that my Mom Sourced from Kijiji (unassembled)
Modern Bankers Chair that my Mom’s Friends FOUND on the road! (Mom had to take it apart to fit it in the car)

Then I go into work on Monday morning and get an email from a co-worker that says “Look what we found on the curb!”

The Chair my Awesome Co-Worker found at the Curb

SERIOUSLY?! I couldn’t find one if my life depended on it, and two people managed to find ones thrown out for garbage on the side of the road?! Hell, I should just give up my searching for things, and make a list for everyone else to find. Thank you all so much.

I am also looking for old reclaimed red bricks for a new patio, and some old picture frames…just saying.

Here’s the antique chair assembled in the office

Antique Bankers Chair

The Chair Hunt

Two years ago, El Granto & I were walking through the Junction headed for an Americano @ Crema, when we spotted a great worn black bankers chair outside the front of a reclaimed architectural salvage shop. The chair was great. It was worn in all the right places, had fabulous old castors, and was a steal for $25. Problem was, we were still living in the loft, had no place for it, and were walking about 3km from home. We decided to pass for now. El Granto sat brooding over the chair for the next day, and decided to go back to see if it was still there. Alas of course it was gone. Someone else had the same vision we did. Since that day, we have regretted that decision, and have been on a hunt for another bankers chair. Skip ahead to last spring. We were at my favourite place on earth; The Aberfoyle Antique Market when we spotted a guy selling not one, not two but THREE bankers chairs. He had stripped and refinished them all with an (ugh) honey oak finish, but they were in excellent condition. We could either live with the colour, or refinish them to something darker. Problem was, we were at Aberfoyle with El Granto’s Mum, and were driving a small car. The chair was not going to fit in the car. We visited Aberfoyle a month or so later, and (of course) all of the bankers chairs were long sold.

Now that the office is progressing, we really really need a chair. Do you think I can find one? Not a chance.

I could buy gorgeous one new at Restoration Hardware for $495. Uhhh no, that’s out of the question.

Restoration Hardware 1940′ Banker’s Chair Weathered Oak Drifted

How about Pottery Barn’s Swivel Desk Chair? Oh wait, $533? HA.

Pottery Barn Swivel Desk Chair

So I will continue to haunt Craigslist & Kijiji in hopes of finding one in my price range (aka free – $40). I know, wish me luck.

Our other temporary option, is buying a $35 Ikea Ivar chair, and giving it a paint job. Then finding another use for it once we finally find a bankers chair.

Ikea Ivar Chair

Why is it that every project always has one sticking point? One missing piece of the puzzle?! *sigh