Spray Painting Old Chairs

Grey Chair

I didn’t think there would be much upcycling of furniture, having moved into a new-build flat recently, but I realised that new decor doesn’t have to mean new furniture.

A perfectly serviceable Ikea Jokkmokk table and chairs set came from the old house and fits neatly into this gap, but the room needed something more to bring the living area and kitchen area together.


The accent colour for the room is bright red (with a grey main base, as with every room in the flat), so it seemed like a good idea to spray paint 2 chairs red and the other 2 grey. Except that I couldn’t quite commit – the chairs aren’t very attractive, nor are they particularly sturdy or comfortable. Whilst spraying them was cheaper than buying new ones, it didn’t seem worth paying for the materials for chairs that clearly aren’t for the long-term.

That’s when I found these chairs in a charity shop down the road from work and knew they were just what the room needed. They’re solid wood, with elegant spindle backs and generous bases, yet they’re small enough to fit under the Jokkmokk table – result! Plus, I got all 4 for £50 and all the money went to charity.

Wooden Chair


PVA glue (if you have any wobbly legs)
Wood filler and pallet knife (if you have any holes to fill)
Wet and dry paper/sandpaper
Top coat

Having done some Googling, Valspar came highly recommended, so we tracked some down (it’s stocked at some B&Q stores) and bought a can of ‘Midnight Serenade’. We already had some red paint left from a small repair to a very bright red car (mixed by Halfords). We also had other spray paints knocking around from various projects, which we decided to use as undercoat, to keep the costs down.

We started by gluing on a slightly wobbly leg with decorator’s PVA:


Then filled in a couple of holes with wood filler:

Wood filler chair

We then sanded the chairs lightly, to help the paint to adhere:

Sanding chairs

Then it was time for priming (this is best done outdoors as the paint fumes are pretty potent):


And finally top coat:

Chair top coat

The Valspar went on best, but took a really long time to dry (as in 5 or so days), which was really frustrating between coats. The Halfords paint went on more thickly, which made for a couple of runs in the paint, but dried far more quickly than the Valspar.

I’m really pleased with the results, which really lift the room and bring the living room and kitchen together:

Painting Chairs Spray Painted Chairs

I now think I need to do something with the table though – so a double-edged sword! Whilst I decide what to do with the table, I’m going to enjoy these beauties:

Sprayed Chairs

Chair Grey Paint

The materials were not the thriftiest as we ended up going through 3 cans of grey and 3 cans of red (each at around £7/8, although a although a buy-one-get-one-half-price helped bring this down), plus the primer we already had, but I think the results are well worth it!

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