Refinishing Kitchen Chairs and Stools

A little time and elbow grease will help give tired chairs a fresh look.

White Transitional Kitchen With Blue and Green Accents

White Kitchen With Blue, Green and Floral Accents

Using three different colors to separate three different elements of the kitchen layers the room, and makes a plate of oranges jump out even more.

So you've got some kitchen chairs that are sturdy and made in a style you like, but the finish leaves a little to be desired? No worries. Refinishing kitchen chairs and stools can transform them into furniture pieces you'll be proud to have in your home.

Kitchen Seating Options: Ideas for Chairs and Stools

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Peter Rymwid

Emilee Ramsier

Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) Photo Credit: Edward Addeo View original photo.

2013 Gibbs Smith, Allure of French & Italian Decor, Betty Lou Phillips Photo Courtesy: Dan Piassick View original photo.

Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) Photo Credit: Edward Addeo View original photo.

Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) Photo Credit: Edward Addeo View original photo.

Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) Photo Credit: Edward Addeo View original photo.

Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer) Photo Credit: Edward Addeo View original photo.

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2013 Gibbs Smith, Rustic Elegance, Ralph Kylloe Photo Credit: Ralph Kylloe

2013 Gibbs Smith, Rustic Elegance, Ralph Kylloe Photo Credit: Ralph Kylloe

Denver Parade of Homes Photo Credit: Jay Simon, Jay Simon Photography

Denver Parade of Homes Photo Credit: HDR Homes View original photo.

Denver Parade of Homes Courtesy of Denver Parade of Homes; Photo by Jeffrey Aron Photography View original photo.

Denver Parade of Homes Courtesy of Denver Parade of Homes; Photo by Jeffrey Aron Photography View original photo.

From

Amy Bubier

Robert Stolarik

Wood, metal, even plastic chairs can be refinished, if you know the proper tool and paints to use. The most common type of chair to refinish, and perhaps the easiest, is wood. If your chairs are sturdy but just need a fresh look, you can strip them to the bare wood and either paint them or stain and seal them to allow the natural beauty of the wood to show. You'll need to clean and sand the wood, then apply a stripping agent to dissolve the remaining paint or stain. Then, after cleaning off the stripping chemicals, you'll apply stain and sealer, according to the package directions. If you've decided to paint your chairs, apply a primer then 2-3 coats of paint in your chosen color.

If you're refinishing a metal chair, you may have rust that needs to be removed. This will often be the case with cast iron chairs, as these are more likely to rust than aluminum or steel. To clean the chairs, use a metal polish such as Noxon, which is available at most hardware stores. You can wipe down your chair with this ammonia-based polish, and gently scrape where the rust is easy to remove. Avoid scrubbing the pieces with steel wool, as that can leave tiny scratches in the metal and invite further oxidation. You can use bronze or brass wool, which is softer than steel wool.

If you want to paint your newly clean metal chairs, you'll need to prepare them first by giving them a good washing to remove any oily residue that has accumulated, then roughing up the metal so that the paint will adhere to the surface. If your chairs are assembled with screws, you'll need to take the pieces apart and remove the cushions, so the spray paint will cover all of the nooks and crannies. Spray with a primer first, even if the paint you'll be using has primer. This will keep you from having to use several cans of paint. Expect to apply at least two coats, letting the paint dry completely between treatments.

You can also paint plastic chairs. Clean the chairs first, then use a fine-grit sand paper to rough up the glossy surface. After wiping away the grit, use an enamel spray paint that has been formulated for use on plastic. Apply two to three thin coats of the paint, allowing about an hour to dry between each coat, following instructions on the can.

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