A site about our home, doing it yourself, science in schools, and the ramblings of a girl who appreciates a joy in her life.

Wednesday, March 14

Using what you have-Dinning Room Chair Make-over

The cat is asking why can't all dining rooms look this great?
So, dining room chairs are super spendy. I mean, how much can a simple chair cost? Way too much! It's just a simple chair, right? Right? Well, let’s start at the beginning. When we first moved into the house, we had a simple round dining table. It fit four people and looked a little abused, but it worked. However, my husband and I really like to play board games. No, not Monopoly, but games like Settlers of Cattan, Ticket to Ride, and my husband’s favorite-Agricola.

Me playing Ticket to Ride on the Old Table
So, after we moved, one of our first goals was to purchase a great big new table. After much searching, we found this gorgeous simple solid wood table from Ikea in the “As-Is” department. I think its Oak, and we got this great table for $100 dollars down from around $300 I think. It has a nice leaf and is really solid and simple, exactly our style. We looked at matching chairs, but were not impressed with anything that we found. So we started the chair hunt. That’s when I found that chairs are crazy spendy.


http://www.target.com/p/Windsor-Chair-Set-of-2/-/A-10639770


The husband and I really like a simple look, so we mistakenly thought that a simple chair would not be too spendy. One of the first styles that we kinda liked was this really simple Windsor Chair from Target. It’s a common style. However at $68.99 for two, we would have spent $206.97 for chairs that we only use when guest come over. We felt that for that much money we should be getting something that we liked better and looked great.
 


http://www.target.com/p/American-Simplicity-Oslo-Side-Chair-Black-Set-of-2/-/A-10099398
 I really liked the look of these Oslo Side chairs. They looked really stylish, modern yet slightly retro. However at $149.99 for two we would have spent $449.97 on chairs! Wait, what, $450 on chairs? I am way to cheap to spend that much. If I am spending almost $500 dollars I am buying myself a new camera, or a kayak, or a couple night stay at the coast. See, it’s not that I am really cheap, it’s just that my priority on spending money tends more towards great play dates and such. So spending money on the chairs was going to be a problem. 
http://www.buy.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=219163695
  
After we looked around, we took stock of the chairs we already had and came up with some solutions. We already had two of this white and oak Windsor chairs. These chairs were in really bad shape. They needed to be painted and also repaired. (Ok, we were lazy and one of these chairs is still a death trap. When our friends come over, it’s always a game of musical chairs to avoid this chair. It wiggles and wobbles and is just one step from crashing to the floor. We still have it though, because it makes life interesting right?)

Now thats what I call style!
We had two solid Oak chairs that we given to Erik when he was in college from his parents. The chairs were a great style, but not in great shape. My parents like to work with fixing up old furniture; in fact my mom has sold some furniture pieces that she and my dad fixed up. So for Christmas, we asked them to fix the old Oak chairs by doing some minor repair and stripping and restraining them.  They very kindly obliged, and did an amazing job.  The chairs look like brand new and are so sturdy. However, while those chairs were out visiting in my parents to be repaired it only left us with two chairs in the whole house.  This was not a good situation, so my parents gave us two old bar wood bar chairs they had found in the dump in John Day, Oregon. And before you go thinking anything weird, there is no trash service in John Day where they live, so they have to take their trash to the dump. While they were there they saw a couple of these solid wood chairs and rather than let them go to waste, they grabbed them in hopes that they could find a use for them. I was really glad that they did. The chairs were in great shape and did not require any repair just some paint.
Whoops, this chair needs some touch-ups
So, now we are past the back story and onto the actually what she did part. So I took our two old Windsor chairs and the two “new” black bar chairs and primed them with a spray paint primer. I primed two chairs per can of spray primer. They make primer for wood and for dark colors. It looks like this weird red/pink color. After I let them dry overnight, I painted them a dark chocolate brown.  Again, I could spray paint two chairs per can of spray paint. I even painted the undersides. I used the chocolate brown color because in the living room, the fireplace is a chocolate brown, and this helps to tie the two rooms together. I only did one coat, and as you can see in the picture, it could use some touch-ups. When we painted them originally we had guest coming over the next day and needed chairs. You can’t tell in person, but with the camera flash the spots stand out. Guess I will go do those touch-ups when I get home tonight.

 
I added matching chair seats that I got at Ikea for $5 each to make them all feel more like a matched set. Aside, from the one death chair, all the chairs look and work great and only cost us a whopping $36 dollars total ($16 for two cans of spray primer and two cans of spray paint, $20 for four chair seats).


The chairs may not all match, but they still work, and it makes a neat eclectic feel. Besides, it’s hard to beat all these chairs for only $36 dollars. We recently picked up two more oak chairs from the Salvation Army for $7 each. I am in the process of refinishing them and it really makes a new appreciation for my parents refinishing the other chairs. It’s back breaking work; however I really like the idea of reusing something and reducing consumption. (And after I am done hugging the trees, I do a happy dance because it’s cheap!)

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