I have been collecting old kitchen chairs for the last year, waiting to find just the right four for my white Tulip kitchen table. Finally, after hitting countless garage sales, rummage sales and second hand stores, I found the last chair for my collection. Now the fun can begin...
I started with four chairs that had great bones, but needed some serious TLC. I made very small repairs; like replacing a screw and adding an “L” bracket, but nothing crazy. I only select items that are structurally sound or can be made that way easily. After the repairs, I removed the seats and started sanding all of the old paint and crustiness away. It may just be in my head, but I swear I can smell the old coming off of furniture when I sand.
After wiping the chairs down and getting all of the remnants left from the sander, I cover the whole thing in primer. Not only does primer give you a clean slate to work off of, it also helps the paint adhere and can smooth over some of the imperfections in the wood that you are guaranteed to have with a vintage or used piece of furniture. I leave the chairs alone after that until the primer is good and cooked on. Depending on the weather, it can be as quickly as a couple of hours or a whole day. It's always a gamble when using spray paint in Portland.
Simple, inexpensive and now I have kitchen chairs that are exactly what I want. Upcycling is what all the cool kids are doing. Get into it.