Introduction: Distressed Wood Chairs ....... IKEA Upgrade

Since we got married my wife and I have been using the same old IKEA chairs ever since. They have taken some abuse and we really never upgraded. So in order to fit into our scheme I gave them a new life. The "Stefan" standard black chair got French Countried.

The cost is low:

1) 1/4 pint sample paint can $3.99 (used three different cans)
2) Miniwax dark walnut 1/4 pint can $4.99
3) Pack of dollar store paint brushes $1.25
3) Sand paper $1.59 for 3 sheets

Total for all four chairs about $20 ... And I used three different colours.

Step 1:

Step 2: Tools

Tools are simple namely:

Hammer;
Saw;
Sanding Block with 60 grit paper;
Draw knife (optional);
IKEA tool for chairs (if you still have it...... I have mine 8 years later..... Don't ask);
Screw driver and bits;
Rasp file;
Assorted Paints;
Miniwax Dark Walnut Stain;
Paint Brushes;
Paper Towel.

Step 3: Prepare Chair

Instructions are simple the process is as follows:

1) Disassemble chair;
2) Use rasp file to damage edges, rasp in the same direction on each length of wood, the file can even be used to dent the wood;
3) Use hammer to lightly dent chair, this will prevent the dented part from being sanded and gives it some character and contrast;
4) Use saw to cut fake looking rough sawn wood blade marks;
5) Use draw knife to trim edges;
6) Sand the parts once you've made all of your defining characteristics to the wood;
7) Reassemble chair, I recommend with carpenters glue.

The above instructions are simple because the tasks are simple. The most difficult part is to envision which parts of the chair you want the character of the distressed wood to show. My reasoning for marking the wood where I do is as follows:

1) Rasp file the edges of the wood all in the same direction (45 degrees) to the edge. This gives the illusion that the wood was rough sawn;
2) Denting or "slapping" the chair with the rasp file before sanding will indent the black from the chair into the wood and will give a worm wood illusion;
3) Denting the wood before sanding with a hammer gives the illusion of hard use and abuse such as buttons from jeans on the seat;
4) Cutting saw marks gives the look of a piece of wood that was damaged due to the blade cutting to deep from the previous cut, again emulating rough sawn wood;
5) Using the draw knife or any sharp blade to cut some of the corners of the wood is a pre step to sanding to give the feel of localized wear due to friction.
6) Finally a note on sanding sand as you wish to a depth that brings out the character of the flaws you have put on the wood but not to completely remove them or make them seem dull.
7) Wipe down with paper towel to remove excess dust.

If this seems all confusing and not explicit is because the way you distress the wood will play on its character it is subjective.

Step 4:

Comments

author
gizmology (author)2016-05-13

I can't figure out when you painted them – there's only one picture that has a paintbrush with green paint on it on the floor, but the chair is still white in the next picture. You don't say anything about painting either, that I can see

author

You're right, not sure what happened there. But basically after you've distressed the chair (i.e. Sanding denting ..... etc) paint all the parts you want coloured, for some chairs I did just the frame and others the seat only. The painting doesn't need to be pretty just avoid and heavy drips. Let the paint dry the sand down the edges and/or features you want exposed with 120gr paper to expose wood. Then stain the exposed wood. Use a cloth or paper towel, watch out the stain will stick to paint so you may have to wipe it off the painted area before it dries. Takes about 48 hours for stain to fully cure and not smell.

author
Penolopy Bulnick (author)2016-02-24

Love the makeover and I love that you did the chairs all a bit different :)

author
frenchcountryviking (author)2016-02-07

Sorry step #4 pics out of order. Can't seem to fix them... Need any clarity ask

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-02-07

Nice reworking. That looks much better.

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