Coastal Inspired Chair Makeover

The same day my mom and I worked to complete the neutral inspired chair transformation for Loblolly Manor,

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we started working on a set of chairs for one of my sisters.   She bought these chairs at a recent yard sale for a whopping $10 and while I was at her house a few weeks ago she asked me to give them a coastal inspired makeover.  I knew they would be a little more involved because of the red paint and the lines of the back of the chair.  My sister had already bought the fabric she wanted to use and I already had the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg so it seemed like the perfect match.

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It’s widely understood that you can paint chalk paint over most any surface.  Most of the time that is true.  But to be perfectly honest, if you’re buying a piece where the paint is already flaking off or the old paint job was not that great the imperfections or painting mistakes will show through the new paint job unless you sand the imperfections off first.  These chairs had flaking red latex paint and some portions of the chairs had previous paint drips too.  For this reason, we had to sand each chair down.  We started out sanding with 80-grit sandpaper and sanded all the way down to the bare wood because underneath the red paint was a mahogany stain.  I mistakenly thought the sanding process would take a few hours but it took almost 10 hours, an orbital sander and a Dremmel tool over 2 days.

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Once the wood was ready for painting I applied Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg.  I started out using a 2 in brush but I quickly learned for the back of the chair I would have to use a ½ inch brush in order to get to paint in all the nooks.

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While the paint was drying, we cut the fabric for the seat upholstery.  My sister’s home has a coastal vibe and the fabric she chose couldn’t be more perfect.

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We pulled the fabric taut and stapled in place with a staple gun.  We stapled the sides first and then stapled the corners.

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We secured the cushion to the chair with screws using a screwdriver.

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Finally, I sanded the entire chair with 320-grit sandpaper.  I would normally use a 220-grit sandpaper but my sister doesn’t like a lot of distressing so the 320-grit was a better match. I sealed each chair with a clear coat of furniture paste wax.

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Even though this chair upholstery project was a lot more work than I had anticipated I’m glad we were able to work it out for my sister.  She was super excited about how they turned out.  She hasn’t decided where they’ll go yet because there are two different places she’s trying them out. I’ll show you a picture as soon as they’re settled.

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See you guys back here tomorrow.  I’ve given an industrial shelving unit a whole new look.

Many blessings,



  1. says

    CoCo, WOW I love the color and the style of those chairs backs are fantastic!! The color and map print is just beautiful and perfect for any coastal home. hugs, Lisa

  2. says

    I just came across your blog and am so glad I did. I can’t wait to browse through your archives!

    This chair makeover turned out wonderfully. The detail on the chair backs is lovely and with the light blue color you used, it really stands out! And those chairs were just $10? What a steal!

    • says

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, Jamie! I know it – $10 was such a great deal for the chairs. They were in great shape, they just needed an update. Hope your day is awesome, Coco

  3. says

    CoCo, I love how these chairs turned out. Sanding them down is SO much work!!!! Definitely a labor of love. Love the fabric you used for the seats. I hope your sister continues to love them:). Thanks so much for linking up to Dream. Create. Inspire. Link. I love seeing the projects you have been up to! Hope you are having a great week, Tara