Wood and Linen Spare Chair Makeover

A thrifted spare chair gets a Restoration Hardware style makeover using just chalk paint and wax.

There are some people who have stray puppies and kittens that follow them home.

For me, it’s furniture. And this time, it was a random spare chair that somehow hopped into my car in the thrift store parking lot.

I couldn’t help it though. Look how cuuuuuute!

It was $25 and sturdy and comfy and clean, which is not easy to come by in the thrift store furniture world. It might as well have puppy dog eyes.

But the orange vinyl upholstery wasn’t really going to work. So I gave it a quick facelift for this month’s Trash to Treasure Transformation Tuesday. (You can see my blogger friends’ thrifty before and afters at the bottom of this post and my months’ past makeovers here.)

I painted and waxed the wood frame first using my go-to DIY weathered wood finish.

You can see the full tutorial for that here:

For dealing with the orange vinyl, I just painted it with a coat of Annie Sloan French Linen, sanded well with ultra fine 500 grit sandpaper, and waxed with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

It’s smooth as butt-ah! And it still feels like vinyl or leather, except less orange-y.

Robert is convinced it’s going in his office once we get around to giving his space a makeover. But for now I’m enjoying it in the corner of our dining room.

Apparently, this is a popular corner since last month’s Trash to Treasure involved that French wall sconce that was once a piece of thrifted 80s brass.

I’m thinking this French Linen / weathered wood combination needs to happen again on another piece one day though because it is gorgeous! Very Restoration Hardware-esque.

Okay, I’ll stop. How many pictures of a chair does one person really need?

You can check out the rest of the Trash to Treasure Tuesday crew’s makeovers below:

Clockwise from top left:

Prodigal Pieces | Confessions of a Serial DIYer | Girl in the Garage | Artsy Chicks Rule

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  1. Beautiful makeover! It looks so much better to me. I especially love the way the wood looks now. I really need to give this a try on some of the furniture makeovers awaiting me.

  2. I discovered a way that works for me when trying to paint around hardware. I paint the hardware with a med coat of Elmers glue enough to be thick but not so much that it drips around and down to the surface you are painting. Let it dry completely. Paint around the hardware with spray paint, or brushes and when the paint is dry peel off the glue.

  3. Simply fabulous. I love the paint color as well as the beautiful chair itself. You did an excellent job in it’s transformation. You never disappoint!

  4. I absolutely love what you did with this chair!!!! ❤️ It’s beautiful!! And I’m thinking of using the technique you used on the wood on a dark wood console table that needs to be lightened up. I get so much inspiration from you Lauren. Thank you!!

  5. Gorgeous. Maybe you should put the chair in a spot where it will get a lot of “rump” action, I ‘d really like to hear how the paint holds up. It is a beautiful chair and the upholstery looked like it was in excellent condition.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. I cannot believe how beautiful the chair is now, Lauren! I have a similar one that I rescued from a post-yard sale trash pile. It had three layers of fabric and 40,000 upholstery tacks (give or take ?). Had I realized I could paint the fabric, it might be finished by now. I love that weathered finish, and it might be the inspiration I need to bring the poor chair back to life.

  7. Love, love, love the chair makeover!! You have totally inspired me to makeover a chandelier with that paint techniqe. I was looking for chandeliers and the lovely ones are several hundred dollars. I love my chandelier except for the color and this color would work beautifully! Your chair looks so sweet in the corner… so inviting. Thank you always for inspiring me!!

  8. Chair looks awesome! I’m curios..how does paint hold up when you sit on it? Does it wear well? Thanks. Love your blog.

  9. Love love. This but be dumb but how did you paint without getting it on the nail heads?? Did you replace them? All your things are gorgeous!!

    1. Not dumb at all! I should go back and clarify. I used a small artist brush to paint around each nail head individually. It was a pain to do, but it was still faster and easier than pulling out each tack and potentially destroying the upholstery job.


    1. Yes, it is an Eastlake chair. We have an Eastlake chest in our foyer as well. 🙂 The weathered wood / French linen combo is just a very Restoration Hardware kind of look, I mean.

  11. Beautiful! But wasn’t it difficult to paint around all those upholstery tacks? Or maybe you have a trick for that…

    1. It was DEFINITELY a task! I used a small artist brush to paint around those. But I couldn’t remove the tacks without destroying them and taking apart all of the upholstery, so it was still worth the effort. 🙂

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