Distressed Duck Egg Dining Chairs Makeover

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Remember that post the other week when I poured my brains out to share the ideas I had floating around for our breakfast area? And remember how I polled y’all on Facebook and Instagram with paint brush in hand as I struggled to swipe on that first drop of paint onto our kitchen chairs? I kid you not, even after all of that, I still stood in our kitchen for an embarrassingly frequent number of times just staring at those blasted manufactured “weathered” wood chairs teetering on the question, “to paint or not to paint?”

Until you know what I did? Flipped a coin to make my decision. I wish I was making this up. I literally left this decision to chance because I could not for the life of me land on my choice on my own. But I’m so glad it landed on tails (what I assigned to “paint” in the coin flip).

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I mean, hello? What was I so afraid of?

I knocked out painting three chairs before remembering that I should take a before shot, so here they were before. They were great the way they were, but I wanted some contrast from the table. (Super matchy furniture makes me antsy for some reason.)

And, yes, I tested chance even more by not using a dropcloth. Just paper plates under the legs.

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These chairs take a beating regularly. Cute little toddlers can make the biggest messes, and this chair still had remnants of Olivia’s oatmeal from breakfast. Lovely.

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I realized that I’ve never really written a post with a basic step-by-step for painting with chalk paint, so why not today? There are tons of chalk paint tutorials out there, but if you’re a newbie to it and you’re afraid to take that first step, I promise you have nothing to be afraid of. So consider this my beginner’s guide I guess.

I gave them a quick wipe down of soapy water, wiped again with a damp rag, let dry, and they were ready to be beautified. (Do you spy my little helper hiding under our table there?)

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I happened to have nearly an entire quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg leftover from my coffee table makeover. It is my absolute favorite color for injecting a little life and interest into an otherwise neutral room. Great for all of us color-fearing gals.

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I use a 1.5″ angled Purdy’s brush. This thing has seen its share of projects for sure.

I work straight from the can and just place the top on between dipping my brush so I don’t waste any.

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And paint away!

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Side note:  It’s moments like these when I wonder why I ever decorated with anything but this color. I like this shade so much that it was the main color in our wedding.

Exhibit A-  (I love these beautiful ladies to the moon and back.)

(c) Brandywine Photography and Cassie Leigh Photography

If you wear the color all the time, are drawn to it like a magnet when you go shopping, and put it on your own bridesmaids, decorate with it for goodness sake! No idea why it took me 3 years to figure that out.

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If you’ve never painted with chalk paint before, don’t freak when you see this (above). Streaks are normal.

This paint dries lightning fast, and was already dry in some places before I even finished the rest of the chair. After an hour, I used 100 grit sandpaper to distress.

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I concentrated on all of the edges where natural wear and tear would occur. Then roughed it up all over to have the weathered wood underneath show through.

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Well hello, pretty distressed duck eggy weathered woody finish.

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Once I was done having way too much fun with the 100 grit, I went back over it with a 220 grit to blend away the scratches. Then wiped everthing down with a damp cloth to remove dust.

When I first attempted painting furniture a year ago, I had bought a can of Minwax Clear Paste Finishing Wax, and it has been used on so many pieces. I still have a lot leftover. I like to use an old sock and wear it like a mitten to apply the wax.

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This stuff makes the painted piece silky smooth, and I won’t have to worry so much about Olivia’s messes discoloring the paint as it protects the chairs.

It took no time at all to rub on the wax and buff it.

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And since I chose the distressed finish, Olivia can distress them even further and it won’t bother me a bit.

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Do you see a sneaky peek of our breakfast nook changes already? Those curtains are getting a hem job tomorrow, and then it’ll be finished!

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What do you think? Are you as obsessed with this color as I am? Or had a total “duh” moment in your decorating? Or maybe had to flip a coin to make a decision? Sometimes the hardest part of making over furniture is the deciding part.

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  1. Love how they turned out! I have tried two projects with AS chalk paint, and I am still getting used to the wax step. I think on the dresser I painted I used way too much, and on the old window I didn’t use enough. Guess I’ll just have to start painting more! ๐Ÿ™‚ Never knew you could use the Minwax brand over AS. Guess I’ll have to try that next time.

    1. Thanks, Shelby! Gee darn…it’s such a punishment to have to paint more, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha The more I paint, the more I get hooked on it. I actually haven’t even used AS clear wax yet since I still had the Minwax for the past year. I’ve only used the AS dark wax. But you can mix all kinds of brands really. Annie Sloan, Miss Mustard Seed, Maison Blanche, Minwax, Briwax, any of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Love this! You made the right decision with painting! I’m about to paint 8 raw wood farmhouse chairs with A LOT of spindles. Trying to decide if I should just rent a sprayer…

    1. Thanks, Tara! And wow that’s a lot of chairs. It took about an hour per chair with mine. Hope yours turn out well!

  3. They look great! And by the way… After seeing your upholstered chair I’ve decided I HAVE to do the same thing. I found some cane backs at a store for $50/each and think they would be perfect. Can’t wait to share them with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks, Jill! And oh my gosh those upholstered chairs took lots of patience, but it was SO worth it. I’d love to see yours when you finish them!

  4. Hey Lauren,
    I LOVE how your kitchen chairs turned out!! I have to say, I am not one to generally paint furniture, and if I do, I haven’t really been “into” the distressed look, but you have definitely changed my mind with this makeover…..they turned out wonderful!! I love that you left the seat the stained wood – the contrast is beautiful! Thanks for sharing…..
    Blessings to you,

    1. Yay! Glad I could convince you. ๐Ÿ™‚ I started not to distress these but then realized if I didn’t, my 2 year-old would. Might as well make it look intentional. Haha Thanks for your sweet comment, Lanita. You’re always a little ray of sunshine in my day.

  5. Looks great, and yes much better than the red accents you had before. Can’t wait to see the whole room!!

    And thanks so much for the how to… I just realized I was omitting last step!

    1. Thanks, Mary! I used to omit that last step too, but it helps so much to protect from destructive kids. ๐Ÿ˜‰