Vintage School Chair Re-Vamp

I have been searching for a cute kids chair to put in the play room for quite some time now. The only ones I have been able to find at our local antique markets are the chairs with desks attached to the back of them.{Like this one}

Unfortunately, either I couldn’t find two chairs available for purchase, or they were much too expensive to buy more than one. And anyways, I was really looking for a single chair with a desk attached to the front so it didn’t take up too much play space in the room.

One day when a good friend and I were out antiquing, I told her of my predicament and luck would have it, her mom had exactly what I was looking for in her basement! *Oh joy!* We drove over to check out the chair and it was so darling I just had to have it. She was so wonderful and let me have the chair for my little man at no charge.

I love the yellow paint, but it doesn’t go with my theme for the play room, so I’ve decided to paint it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey which is the same color I painted the toy storage rack for the play room.

Here are a few before pictures of the desk I was given in all it’s cuteness.

Since I’ve decided to use Chalk Paint it isn’t necessary for me to sand down the metal parts of the chair, because this stuff will stick to anything!!
I did sand down all of the wood on the chair, though, so I could re-stain it.

I opted to paint the metal pieces before staining the wood, just to make sure I could remove any wayward paint splotches without ruining the beautiful new finish. It was an internal debate with myself whether or not to tape off the wood, so there wouldn’t be any paint to clean up, but I’m not 100% sure what I did with our painters tape…whoops!

I’ve always had great success with only needing one coat of chalk paint on my projects, but this one definitely required two coats. I’m assuming that’s because it’s metal and possibly because of the bright yellow underneath. Luckily this paint dries so quickly! I was ready to apply the second coat as soon as the first was finished!

I went for a whimsical vintage look on the desk top. My inspiration is this Sisters of the Wild West Pottery Barn Inspired Library Table:

Isn’t so adorable, and perfect for a play room?!

While the second coat of paint was drying, I created the template for my numbers on my Silhouette Studio software. Once I figured out the perfect look, I cut it out on vinyl. As soon as the second coat of chalk paint was completely dry to the touch, I applied the vinyl decal to the desk top and applied a mixture of wood stain and dark blue paint.

I let the stain sit for 15 minutes before I wiped it off and removed the stencil. The paint/stain mixture didn’t turn out the way I wanted, so I used a really tiny paint brush to outline the numbers with Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint. I wasn’t ‘wowed’ by the look, & I decided to paint the numbers in completely. *LOVE it!*

It only took about 5 minutes for the chalk paint to dry to the touch; I went ahead and applied the stain {with the paint mixed in} right over it and on all the desk wood. 15 minutes is the recommended sit time on the stain label, so I waited very impatiently before I wiped off the stain. I think the paint/stain mixture left a really cool finish on the wood!

I have opted not to wax or poly the chair at this moment – though I’m sure I will change my mind soon!

After the stain dried, and the paint cured, I moved the chair into the play room to the joy of little man! He adores his new desk/art station…and who doesn’t love a happy toddler?!

What do you guys think of the re-vamped vintage school chair?

Linked To & Featured At:

Furniture Feature Fridays Mod Vintage Life


  1. says

    It’s beautiful! Much prefer the dark stain. You have a lucky toddler! (My 3-year-old is forever dragging her tiny chairs to the kitchen while I’m making dinner to get under my feet, so I could do with one of these!)

Leave a Reply