For the last year I’ve been using mismatched folding chairs for my home-office conference table. I decided to step up my game. But when I entered the chair market I was shocked by how expensive things are. And if you want any sort of customization ie. color, forget it.
$200 will get you a generic uncomfortable chair that a big man, like myself, sits upon and feels like it’s already breaking. I needed four chairs that would make my room happy, tie in with the colors of my logo, and hold up under some serious weight.
This is what I did.
Finding chairs that work well enough
First I shopped around on craigslist with no luck. Then I visited the nearby Pottery Barn Outlet store. I found some low-back and sturdy kitchen table chairs for $90 a piece. But they were the wrong color–still more than I was hoping to spend, but not so expensive that I felt guilty painting them.
Here is my process:
- Matching and purchasing paint:
- I lightly sanded all surfaces of the chair
- Wiped it down with a damp rag.
- Setup the sprayer.
This type of paint sprayer requires an air compressor. A paint brush works too.
- Started with the least visible surface (a secret to DIY)
- Finished painting all the chairs.
- Immediately rinsed tools in water.
- Let them dry over night and did a second coat the following day on high traffic areas
- Done. Happy office!
Items I used:
- Drop cloth
- Sand paper (180 plus grit)
- Paint: Latex, Semi gloss with primer added (Adding primer is particularly important when painting over an existing color.)
- Spray gun, or paint brush.
- Bucket of water
When Polly saw me out there sanding like mad it inspired her to join in. She pulled out an old funky chest-of-drawers and began her own beautifying project.
These kinds of projects make me feel more connected to my home.
If you’re new to these kinds of projects, painting furniture is a great place to start. And if you’re worried about making mistakes fear not–it’s just paint! Besides, it’s the imperfections of our handy work that gives us a deeper sense of ownership—part of me is now part of this “thing” and we have a shared memory.
Participating in the design of your own living space is a powerful way to make it come alive. Christopher Alexander’s talks in depth about this in his book “A Pattern Language,” which I highly recommend.
I hope you take the plunge into your own house projects this year. Happy DIYing!