Who likes finding little jewels in the rough on the side of the road? Me! I found these little jewels in a pile of left over garage sale items on a curb. It was a bonus day for sure. The chairs were solid but obviously had seen better days. It was nothing a chalk paint makeover couldn’t cure.  I couldn’t wait to get them home and bring life back to these little beauties! At the end of the tutorial I will give you a peak at how The Restaurant Impossible design team used this technique in Season 13 at the Starlight Restaurant and Pizza.

chalk mix chair makeover

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Chalk Paint Makeover Supplies:

chalk mix chair makeover (2)

This is what we started with. Both chairs were basically in the same shape. There were a few cracks in the wood, mostly where pieces of wood had been fused together. The embroidered seats were worn and dirty but still sturdy.

chalk mix chair makeover (3)

I always do basic prep work to any project I refinish. Chalk style paint requires little prep but see the old finish flaking off? I found this on the curb, I have no idea what it’s history is or what type of grime is on this beauty. So I always give each project a quick scuff with 220 grit sanding paper and a good cleaning with Krud Kutter.

chalk mix chair makeover (4)

Instructions for a Chalk Paint Makeover:

Step 1) Remove the seat by unscrewing it from underneath the chair.

Step 2) Prep the chair by scuffing up the surface and cleaning it with a mild cleaner.

chalk mix chair makeover (5)

Step 3) Glue any spots where the wood is separating. Put Wood Glue in the gap and clamp together. Rub any excess glue and allow it to dry.

chalk mix chair makeover (6)

Step 4) After the wood glue has dried apply Bondo in any cracks you want to smooth out. Let Dry.

Step 5) Sand the bondo smooth. This may take more then one application depending on crack.

Step 6) Paint chair with color of your choice adding in the Diva of DIY Chalk Mix per instructions on the bag.

Step 7) Lightly sand first coat with buffing pad and apply second coat of paint. Let dry.

Step 8) Buff with buffing pad to smoothness you desire. Clean off dust.

chalk mix chair makeover (7)

Step 9) In small sections at a time, rub on wax with wax brush getting into all the grooves. Wipe with cheesecloth or soft rag. Repeat until the entire project is done. Let dry.

Step 10) After wax is dry you can leave it matte as is or buff with a soft rag to bring out shine.

chalk mix chair makeover (1)
Original worn stain finish – painted with chalk style paint – Coffee hold the cream wax added

chalk mix chair makeover (9)

The base of the chair is finished. Now it’s time to work on the seat we removed earlier.

Upholstery Instructions:

Step 1) Remove the old material if possible. This is optional, I left mine on.

Do you like the look of chalk paint but hate the cost? Let me show you how to do an affordable chalk paint makeover as seen on Restaurant Impossible!

Step 2) Lay new material flat and lay the seat face down on top of the back of the material.

Do you like the look of chalk paint but hate the cost? Let me show you how to do an affordable chalk paint makeover as seen on Restaurant Impossible!

Step 3) Pull the material to the back of cushion and staple material to the seat.

Do you like the look of chalk paint but hate the cost? Let me show you how to do an affordable chalk paint makeover as seen on Restaurant Impossible!

Do you like the look of chalk paint but hate the cost? Let me show you how to do an affordable chalk paint makeover as seen on Restaurant Impossible!

Step 4) Repeat all the way around the seat being sure to pull the material tight. Trim excess material.

Do you like the look of chalk paint but hate the cost? Let me show you how to do an affordable chalk paint makeover as seen on Restaurant Impossible!

Step 5) Replace the seat back on the wooden chair base and attach it from the underneath.

Do you like the look of chalk paint but hate the cost? Let me show you how to do an affordable chalk paint makeover as seen on Restaurant Impossible!

As seen on Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible

Many of you know I am on the design team for Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible.  One of my tasks for this episode was transforming 74 chairs with outdated upholstery into something Robert Irvine would find appealing…in less than 36 hours!

chalk paint makeover

Luckily I had an amazing team of volunteers.  We cleaned them all with Krud Kutter, gave the upholstered chair backs a chalk paint makeover with our chalk mix tinted SW Tri-corn Black and reupholstered the seat cushions. The back of the chairs obviously did not come off so we taped off the wood and applied 2 coats of paint mixed for upholstery, buffing between coats.

chalk paint makeover

Don’t they look amazing???  74 chairs in 36 hours…not bad.

chalk paint makeover

Just look how great they look in the newly-decorated restaurant. I am loving being a part of such an awesome and creative design team! I can’t wait to share more of the projects we are using on the show. The projects are all simple enough for any DIYer!

chalk paint makeover

Each and everyone of you inspire me and I LOVE to see the work that you’ve created. Feel free to share with me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. And as always, be sure to follow Diva Of DIY on Pinterest and sign up for our FREE Newsletter to receive the latest projects delivered straight to your inbox!

If you like this project, check out these:

How to Make Affordable Chalk Style Paint
How to Make Affordable Chalk Style Paint
Chalk Paint Upholstery Tutorial
Chalk Paint Upholstery Tutorial

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6 Comments

  1. WOW What a difference in those chairs. They don’t even look like the same chair. The color and fabric were a huge improvement. Love seeing the pictures from the show too, what a fun job that must be. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Heather! When I was on the design team for the show I knew this project was perfect for it! We painted the seats with the Chalk Mix too!

    1. Thanks Susie! I am a sucker for the way colored wax makes things pop! Can you believe these were just left on the side of the road?

  2. Oh my gosh I bet those people would regret throwing those chairs away if they could see them now. They are beautiful, and I love how the dark wax really shows off the details in the back. They are gorgeous now!

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