9.05.2013

Giving Life to a Vintage High Chair

You know that I've been obsessed with finding an antique wood high chair for Autumn's one year photos and birthday party. 
Well the other day Grandma K found one for $16!! Take that $75 old ass high chairs on craigslist!
I knew, just knew, I could find one for cheaper. I have her and Ernest's grandpa on the hunt for more. I see a future for myself, wood high chair hustler?! lol. But seriously. I'm kind of obsessed with finding more for some reason. I think that's what I love about antique shopping so much, you search and search for that perfect thing and then you just can't get enough of it. Or maybe that's just me.
First off, you will need:
-An antique wooden high chair (duh)
-An awesome paint color
-A drop cloth, or trash bag in my case
-Disposable paint bucket. Much easier to hold and will prevent your whole can of paint from drying.
-Sanding block. I like to have a coarse one and a fine one on hand
-Old rags for cleanup of the sanding dust and paint
-Quality paint brush to avoid streaking (not the kind of streaking you did in college)
-Stirry stick (it's a technical term)
-A screwdriver and or flathead to remove any hardware not to be painted
-A beer
-A Chipotle burrito
-Zac Brown Band playlist
-Ridiculous do-rag to go with playlist

For the paint, originally I wanted something really fun like this Pantone Pool Green. But then I decided it'd probably clash pretty badly with fall orange tones we'll be doing in October. I bookmarked this color for another high chair?! My friend from work, Katie, lent me her favorite white. Yes, you can have a favorite white. This one is perfect because it's not stark white, is not yellowey but is just the right amount of warmth that white should be. It'll go perfectly with those fall tones. At any rate, Autumn and I took our first opportunity to hit up Lowe's for some paint for said chair. Originally, I thought I'd need a separate primer so the paint would cover the wood better. But the guy at Lowe's said I just needed a small can with a paint and primer combo. I bought it in flat because I'm just not a fan of super glossy paint. In hindsight, I wish I would have got the gloss for easier cleanup.

I started by getting all of my supplies ready so I could just get to work once Autumn went to bed.
First I took off the hardware that attaches the tray. The tray itself doesn't even stay on so my next task is finding replacement hardware or just trying to get the original back in working order. I placed it in a plastic baggy with all the screws then taped it to the underside of the chair so I wouldn't lose it. Nothing would be worse than a faulty tray falling off with a smash cake on it! Noooooo!
Since the highchair was in pretty good condition, I just lightly sanded some spots and got started.

Once I cleaned off any sanding residue, I got to work with the paint.
Make sure to get all the crevices and areas so you don't have any weird patches later.
I wanted a completely opaque finish so I did a second and third coat after letting it dry overnight. I'm really impatient so this was a tough wait but so worth it!

I re-attached the hardware and it was good to go!

I'm totally LOVING the finished product! One last step I'm going to do is finish the tray with a sealant so this little one can eat all the juicy watermelon she wants!
Some tips I learned afterwards...I would have used Annie Sloane Chalk Paint (which doesn't have actual chalk but is really smooth and apparently bad ass). This is THE go-to furniture paint. It's a little hard to find in my neck of the woods but can be purchased online. I would have used a smooth roller and this Floetrol to help reduce brush marks. This was definitely my first attempt at painting furniture, but I'm sure the next time will be perfect!
Now I have the furniture rehab itch! I may have to re-finish this really old vanity I have. Hmmm, which color to choose...

3 comments:

  1. So glad you included the beer and burrito on the necessities list. Good to know! :) It looks great!

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  2. Looks fantastic! So glad you found one! I refinished furniture that my parents had from 35 years ago and I love it! I am a big fan of using a stripper to get all the old varnish and paint off the old furniture. It helps decrease the sanding!

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  3. Wow, how fabulous! Love this idea!!
    xo TJ

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