Introduction: DIY Chair Restoration

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One of the best ways to give a piece of old furniture a snappy new look is to give it a colourful coat of paint. 

In this tutorial I'm taking two old, mismatched chairs and showing you how to do a complete restoration. The end result is pretty cool!

You can use these instructions for any piece of furniture that you think could do with a new look. 

You will need: 

- Furniture piece
- Sanding tool (optional)
- Sandpaper and a sanding block
- Cloth
- Paint (indoor or outdoor, depending on the piece)
- Paintbrush
- Undercoat or primer (optional)

Step 1: Preparing the Furniture

Both chairs that I’m restoring both need to be sanded back before I can paint them - one is covered in a thick layer of green paint and the other has some old varnish. The chairs will need to be stripped back to their raw wood in order for the paint to go on easily. 

For the chair that’s painted green, I’m going to use a sanding tool with a coarse grit on the sanding surface (I’m using an 80 grade grit) to make a nice, easy job of removing the paint.

For the second chair, I’m going to sand it back by hand using something a bit lighter – just a piece of 120 grade grit paper over a sanding block.

The power sander is great for getting lots of paint off quickly, but you'll need to switch to hand sanding to get into the smaller nooks of the chair. 

Once you've removed as much of the paint/varnish as possible, get a piece of light sandpaper (around a 180 grade grit) and wrap it around your sanding block. Give the chairs a thorough once-over to make sure that they are nice and smooth. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. 

Step 2: Painting

For this project, I bought a 1L tin of Taubman’s Endure pre-primed matt outdoor paint for $30, which will be more than enough for this project.

If you’re restoring a piece of indoor furniture that isn’t too big, you can probably get away with just buying a sample pot of indoor paint for around $7. I bought a full 1L tin this time because the I couldn’t buy a sample pots that had a pre-primer in it. It would have cost me more in total to buy a sample pot of paint and the primer separately. 

With a clean paintbrush, give your chair an even coat of paint. It’s easiest if you start with the underside first then turn it around to paint the top.

Once it’s dry, give it another even coat, and a third coat if it needs it. 

Note: It's important to use a good quality, outdoor paint so that it doesn't deteriorate and peel away. 

Step 3: Finishing

Once the paint is dry, wipe it down with a clean cloth. 

If you want to go for a more polished look, you can try wet sanding in between coats of paint (just try Google for some instructions!). It will give your paint a really glassy finish. 

And that's it! A super fun and relatively easy way to give your furniture a makeover. Perfect for those on a budget, who can't afford to replace their old pieces! 

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