My First DIY Chair Makeover

Dec 31, 2016

When I was given an opportunity to attend to a DIY workshop with Amy Howard and Ace Hardware, I was so excited to attend, and then so bummed that I couldn’t make it work with my schedule.


I was familiar with Amy as a luxury home furnishings designer and a furniture restoration expert with an artisan-quality paint products line available at Ace, so I knew I’d be missing out. When Ace Hardware was kind enough to offer me Amy Howard at Home products to try my own DIY makeover, I was intimidated. I’d never done a DIY furniture makeover before!  So I did a quick search on craigslist, replied to a few listings, secured a pair of chairs (😍), and said yes to my first DIY chair refurbish. Amazing news, you guys: I’m thrilled by how easy, affordable, and confidence-building a DIY chair makeover can be.

These Neoclassical lyre-back chairs in the style of 18th Century American furniture maker Duncan Phyfe had me at hello. This is what they looked like before. Their mahogany wood stain finish was partially sanded off, and they were clean and ready for a coat of AH One Step Paint in Ballet White. As the paint’s name suggests, One Step Paint doesn’t require primer or anything other than clean furniture. Using AH’s 1-1/2in Flat Paint Brush, I painted one coat on both chairs in 30 minutes. I let the chairs dry for 30 minutes, and then applied a second coat (optional). Once the second coat was dry, I spot-painted parts of the chairs where the dark mahogany stain remained visible. When those spots were dry, using the AH 2 in 1 brush and
AH Dark Antique Wax, I brushed the wax on the edges of the chair legs, seat, and back. The wax needed an hour to dry, and then I used a micro-fiber cloth to buff off excess wax, until the chair felt smooth. I’m telling you, painting and distressing this chair with wax was easy.

The cost of my DIY chair makeover was also very affordable. The items followed by (c/o) were courtesy of Ace Hardware. As you all well know, it’s a challenge to find a pair of chairs for less than $200. Here’s the project cost breakdown:

$31.98 Amy Howard at Home One Step Paint in Ballet White, (2) 8 oz bottles (c/o)
$03.99 Amy Howard At Home 1-1/2in Flat Paint Brush (c/o)
$15.99 Amy Howard at Home Dark Antique Wax, (1) 4 oz can (c/o)
$31.99 Amy Howard at Home 2 in 1 Paint Brush (2) (c/o)
$45.00 Pair of Lyre Back Chairs in the style of Duncan Phyfe
$10.09 1/2″ Birch Wood pieces for Chair Seats (2) + (3) packs of Screws
$32.83 Foam (2) 22SQ x 2″ + Batting 46×60
$27.00 Fabric, (1) Yard
$198.87 Total

Pretty incredible, right? My husband is the one who picked up the chairs from a woman’s basement who lives fairly close by. He could understand neither why I wanted them, nor why I would pay money for them. Fast-forward to when he saw the completed chairs in our Foyer, he was shocked that they were the same chairs! The feeling of satisfaction and confidence that this first foray into DIY chair territory has given me is immeasurable. I love how plausibly 18th Century they look, and the patina and provenance that these now beautiful chairs add to our home.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Ace Hardware. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Sarah Baynes [dot] com going!

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