Upcycle an old chair with paint

Years ago, I was given a couple of old pine chairs by my Aunt who was throwing them out.  I hadn’t been in my house long and was grateful for any furniture, back then I painted the chairs an off-white colour from Farrow & Ball, and they served me well. However, I decided I wanted to give them a facelift, so I set about looking for some furniture paint so I could refresh the  chair by painting it. I decided to try out a paint I had never used before from Frenchic which is an environmentally friendly chalk and mineral decorating paint.

According to Frenchic themselves,

‘It is an all natural, chalk and mineral paint that requires no stirring, shaking or the addition of water. We don’t add VOC’s, toxins or solvents and it has virtually no smell’.

Painting any furniture, especially chairs is relatively easy, but it takes time and patience, but the end result makes it worthwhile.

What you need:

Paint:  I used Frenchic Furniture paint – Colour: Nougat
An old chair
Some lint free rags (I used an old sheet cut up)
Furniture Finishing wax (I used Rust-Oleum furniture wax as I had it already)
Sanding paper
White spirit
Paint brushes
Mini roller and tray

I chose the colour Nougat from their range, which is a kind of dusky pink colour and set about doing the prep work. Prepping before painting is really important, there’s no point in doing a half job if you want the item to look nice.

I didn’t bother removing the paint that was already on the chair, I thought that could be like an undercoat. First off, I sanded the whole chair with coarse sandpaper to remove any bumps and to give the paint a surface to adhere to.

After I finished sanding, I hoovered the chair and all around it so there wouldn’t be any tiny bits of sand dust flying about. I then used a rag and cleaned the chair with white spirit.  Others use sugar soap and I have too in the past, but as it was a first coat I wanted to make sure all grease and sand particles were gone

Once, the chair was dry, I started painting it, using even strokes and not putting the paint on too heavy handed.  I used a mini roller for the big parts of the chair, it was much quicker and a small paint brush for the awkward bits.  The paint was lovely to use and went on smoothly.  It was true, there was no overpowering smell either.  It was creamy and the coverage was really good.   I left the paint to dry overnight, I prefer to leave the paint to dry as long as possible, if you paint too soon after the first coat the paint won’t stick as well and may come off.  The next day, I gave it another sanding, this time with fine sandpaper, just to make sure it was smooth, you don’t have to do this step, I don’t all the time, but for this item I wanted to make sure I had a nice smooth surface. I hoovered the dust up and again used a little white spirit on an old rag.  The white spirit may have thinned out the first coat a bit, but I didn’t notice if it did.  I applied the second coat and again left it to dry overnight.

To decorate the chair, I bought a rose resin mould from  shabby.ie which I painted and stuck to the chair with ‘no nails glue’.

The place I wanted to put the rose on had a bit of a curve to it, so I used a clamp to press it down a little and keep it in place to ensure it attached to the chair and left the clamp on overnight.



I didn’t need to give it any more coats, two were enough and the next day I cleaned the chair with a damp cloth, dried it with another cloth then applied Rust-Oleum Furniture Finishing wax. I have used this before on another painting project which I will share in another post and find it good, it both protects and enhances your painted furniture.  I put a small bit of wax on an old rag, the cloth/rag must be lint free. I gently rubbed the wax on the chair and left it to work its magic.  After about 15 minutes I used a different rag and buffed the chair up.  I did this twice and the wax left a lovely sheen on the painted chair.  From a 750ml tin of paint, I used just over half of it  for the chair.

I was so pleased with the way the chair turned out,  as I had some paint left over I painted a wooden magazine rack I have. The original colour was black and after painting the rack I distressed the edges and other small areas by sanding lightly with fine sandpaper which allowed the black original paint to come through which gives it a distressed look and as you can see the result is lovely, if I do say so myself! I’d give Frenchic paint the thumbs up and they have lovely colours in their range.  Frenchic Furniture Paint has endured rigorous testing and has been EN:71-3 certified, meaning it is safe to paint children’s toys and nursery furniture.

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