Before & After: Plain Kitchen Chairs Get a New Look for Zero Dollars

updated Aug 25, 2020
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Before: plain wood chair with black metal legs

Refreshing your kitchen doesn’t have to mean knocking down walls or buying expensive new appliances. Little projects can make a big difference in the look and feel of your cook space — think swapping out knobs or hanging peel-and-stick wallpaper. Take inspiration from Natasha Landers of @untillemonsrsweet, who gave her existing kitchen chairs a quickie makeover that adds a kick of personality to the space. She was inspired to take on the project after seeing a set of (very expensive) chairs online. “My inspiration were some chairs that I had seen online which had different color stripes, but they cost a fortune,” Natasha says. But her existing chairs had a similar style, with a simple wood seat and curved back and metal legs — so she decided to DIY the look herself.

Natasha gathered the sample pots of paint that she already had at home, including Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green, Pink Ground, and Clunch (since discontinued) as well as Benjamin Moore’s Razzle Dazzle, and experimented with color combinations she liked on the back of a shoebox lid. “I knew I wanted three stripes using two color combinations,” Natasha says. Once she found her favorites, she got to work.

Natasha took the backs of her chairs and sanded them to get rid of the existing varnish, which helped the paint job stick. She used Frogtape to create the lines on the chairs, using the width of the tape as her guide for the width of the stripes. She started by taping off the center stripe and painting that first; once it was dry to the touch, she taped off the outer stripes and painted those in.

“The hardest part was trying to make sure the stripes on the back lined up with the stripes on the front of the chair,” Natasha says — that took a careful placement and a close eye. The actual painting was breezy, though, and her chairs were done and reassembled by the end of the weekend.

“May favorite part is how the color combinations work and how the work with the colors of the chair frames,” Natasha says. “Ultimately I wanted it to look bespoke and not amateurish. I love that they are similar but all uniquely hand painted and look good enough to be sold in a shop.” Pretty good for a project that cost $0 and only took a couple days, including drying time!

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A $0 Project Gives Plain Kitchen Chairs a New Shine