A Much Needed Update For An Old Vinyl Chair

We've been living in our new house for just over two weeks.   It's been a lot of work, but I've enjoyed it.  I might be crazy, but there's something about taking everything, putting it in a box and moving it somewhere new, then unpacking it to start over again.  Yes, that's probably an odd way to look at moving, but it is a fresh start and everything does feel so new when looked at in a new place.  I don't like not knowing where my clothes are,  or the drill,  or my kitchen tongs, but I like the sense of starting over (I found out the kitchen tongs weren't missing...the hubby had just borrowed them to take the frogs out of the pool skimmer....I don't want them back!).

  When I was growing up,  I loved moving all the furniture around in my room.  When I got bored with where my bed was,  I would try it on another wall, which meant I had move the whole room around.  I loved playing with Barbie and her doll house because that meant I could change the furniture around whenever I wanted without all the work.  I guess I've always liked that 'new' feeling of moving furniture, pictures and nick knacks to give the room a new look.

On to my point....When we got all our furniture moved into the new house,  I realized I wanted to have our family room furniture in our living room.  This meant everything in these two rooms had to do a switcheroo.   Once everything was in it's proper room, it dawned on me that I needed more seating in the family room now.  I didn't have an extra chair to move in from another room,  so I needed to buy one.  No matter what configuration I tried I needed another chair.  The room is big and has 2 entrances into the room so it's a challenging to place furniture.  

It just so happened that our first full day in the house there was a barn sale in town!  It was fate!  I told the hubby we needed to stop by just to check out the sale.   Low and behold I saw the perfect chair off in the back corner of the barn.  When I pointed the chair out to the hubby,  you could hear a pin drop.  He said, "What on earth could you do to that?  It's ORANGE VINYL???    When I told him my plan there was more doubt and questioning, but eventually he went along with it and paid the man his $25.   You'd think after almost 16 years of marriage, he would finally just go with my plans and trust me!  HAHAHA

Here's the orange vinyl chair once we got it home.

What the hubby saw as an ugly orange chair I saw as a gorgeous chair with tons of possibilities .  I could see past what the chair looked like right at that moment.  I  saw the lines and fell in love with the tall back and curves.  I knew it could be a beautiful, modern chair without reupholstering.

Now,  I had a zillion other things I should have been doing....like unpacking boxes, putting things away, organizing the kitchen and my closets, but I had to get to work on this chair.  It was calling to me!  You might be asking yourself if I'm certifiably crazy and the answer is probably yes, but there's always a method to my madness (or at least that's what I like to think to make myself feel better!).  

I'd read recently about painting fabric chairs with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.   I'd even read about people painting leather chairs so why not an ugly vinyl chair?  I figured, what's the worst that could happen?  It was only a $25 chair, so if the whole thing went south it wasn't a huge loss.  I grabbed a can of Old White Chalk Paint® and a brush,  and started painting.  

At first I was a bit nervous and decided it was best to start painting a spot underneath the cushion.  It was fabric so I thought it was a good test.  I trust this paint....I've used it on metal, laminate and mirror but never fabric.  It worked really well and I could see this was going to work perfectly!!!  

Next I moved on to my first vinyl section.....the cushion.  I couldn't believe how well the paint went on. The vinyl is textured and the paint dried nicely and kept the texture.   It didn't crack at all when I pushed down on the surface once it was dry either.

This was after my first coat and you can see the texture on the sides. 

In hindsight I could have saved a lot of paint by using a darker color, but I really wanted this chair to be a creamy white.  It took about 3-4 coats (some parts needed a bit more than others) to cover the whole chair.  If you consider how much this chair would cost to reupholster,  just in labor (not including the fabric),  $40 in paint is a steal!  After each coat of paint,  I sanded the chair with 500 grit sandpaper to make sure it was smooth.  I didn't want a lot of brush strokes or bumps, just the texture of the vinyl showing through.

Once I got the chair painted, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan clear soft wax to seal the entire thing.   The chair was so smooth and it felt like soft leather.  

I liked the creamy color, but I really felt the chair needed something else.  I added a thick stripe down the middle of the chair by using my trusty Frog Tape.  I measured off the middle of the chair back then went out a few inches on each side and tape it off.   I painted the stripe in French Linen Chalk Paint®.  I decided I wanted to paint the cushion and front two legs in the same French Linen color.  When I was done, I applied a mix of  dark and clear soft wax only on the French Linen painted areas.  I wanted these areas to have a bit more depth.   I was going for modern, funky and fresh,  not distressed so I used the dark wax sparingly.  French Linen is one of my favorite Annie Sloan colors because of it's depth of color and versatility.  It's a great neutral without being boring.

I was happy with how the chair was progressing.  While I was in the garage working one day,  we had painters working on our kitchen, family room and play room.  When they came out to take a break they were shocked when they saw the chair.  They asked what I had done to it and when I told them I painted the chair they couldn't believe it.  They assumed I had used a very pricey and specialized paint just for vinyl.  I pulled out my iPhone and showed them the before pictures.  They couldn't believe their eyes.  Then I showed them my can of paint and again they were shocked.  Hadn't I primed the chair or used special chemicals on the vinyl to make the paint adhere like that?   Once I explained the process to them, they couldn't stop commenting on how amazing the chair looked.  They thought it was so cool and wondered if I was I selling it!  These were two manly men who painted for a living so I was flattered by their comments and knew I must be on the right track.  

Here it is all done!   I have a new yard and lots of good places to take outside pictures!! Now,  if the weather will just stay like this all year I'm set.  

In this picture you can really see the definition in the cushion and the front legs where I used the French Linen and dark wax.


On the French Linen stripe the character and texture of the vinyl shows through nicely.  It was easy to tape off the stripe using my Frog Tape.  It didn't pull any of the paint off in the process.

I left the back legs Old White to add a bit of funkiness.

You can really see the sheen in the waxed paint in this picture.  I buffed the wax a lot to make it smooth.  I wish there was a way you could feel it through the picture!  It's so smooth and soft like an old leather coat!

I painted over the brass nail heads on the front corners of the chair.  I had originally planned to distress them a bit, but I didn't think it with the modern look I was trying to achieve.  I like how the nail heads are noticeable, but not in-your-face obvious.

This is a picture of the chair in its new home....my family room.  I'm not revealing too much of the new family room right now because that's a post for another day.  I've taken this room in a new direction  and I can't wait to share it with you!

This is the only room that's done so far.   At this point the family room is my favorite.  It's warm, cozy and homey even though it's a large room.   All three of us enjoy spending time hanging out in this room and it reflects all of our tastes.  

I adore this chair and I'm so happy with how it turned out!  OH how I wish there would have been two of these chairs at the barn sale!  I'm glad I was able to get this one however!  I'm happy we have this beauty sitting in our new family room.  I've sat in the chair and I have to say it's super comfy (the cushion is down filled so how can it not be, right?).  The painted surface doesn't feel like a painted surface at all.   The hubby was worried the paint would crack and the wax would wear off on our clothes.  I assured him this wouldn't happen....guess what?  I was right!  The paint is wearing well and staying right where I put it!  

Thank you for reading and leaving comments.  I enjoy reading what you have to say.  Without you there wouldn't be a blog!  I appreciate each one of you for coming along on these journeys with me. 

Thank you and take care,



DIY Show Off

Mod Vintage Life
Description: A Much Needed Update For An Old Vinyl Chair
Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by: mangan jagung
On: 2:13 PM