Painted School Chairs

The finale to the nook design: painted, school chairs!

Unique Finds


Perhaps one of my fav DIY projects to date. I found these gorgeous, curvalicious wood school chairs at Borgman’s here in Norfolk. They were a basement bargain… literally: In the musty basement. And totally a bargain = $5 a piece!

True Before


Even better: I already had some black paint to paint the pattern. Score!

Black Paint


I knew I wanted to paint an ikat pattern, but wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted the pattern to look. So, I did what any current-day DIY’er does when searching for inspiration – logged onto Pinterest. Oh, Pinterest… I get frustrated with how becoming a “Pinterest Zombie” can inhibit creativity – Original ideas are the best, don-cha-know?! But, there are a lot of really great things about Pinterest – and this is one time when it really helped!

HERE is the post that I fell flat-on-my-face-in-love with!

I had an “I can so do that!” moment – and went for it!  I started by taping off rectangles. I measured the chair before I did this – so that the number of “ikat diamonds” would be somewhat evenly spaced. The insides of the rectangles ending up being approximately 3″ x 4″.

Taped Off



Who drew on my chair?! Proof that this was actually used in a school at one point… I just left it – we’re calling it added character!

Who Drew On My Chair


Once I had the rectangles taped off – I started painting the ikat diamonds in each one. I used a brush that was flat – and as wide as each stroke of the pattern. I started with the two center strokes – top & bottom, then worked my way to connect the top and the bottom with the side strokes.

Painting First Phase


Phase One Complete


Close Up After Phase One


At this point I was already truly, madly, and deeply in love with these chairs. So much so – I didn’t know if I wanted to continue with filling in the rest of the pattern.  Knowing when to stop is always the hardest part!  I looked back at the original inspiration post, and decided to move forward! I started filling in each gap with more diamonds.  Right at this point was my low – I thought, Oh no! I ruined it. I should have just stopped!

Filling In Top Half


But there was no turning back at this point! So, I continued forward…

One Chair Complete



Here they are side by side. I have to admit, I still love both of them. So – if you try your hand at this ikat- you can use my example to decide which pattern you prefer.

One Chair Completed



I filled in the the rest of the pattern on the other chair, and here they are in their full glory!

Both Chairs Complete


I knew that the chairs would not be getting much wear and tear, so this is where I stopped. However, if you know that your chairs will get used a lot – it would be best to protect your pattern with a clear coat.

Layering Chairs Accessories


The “wow factor” of these chairs still hasn’t rubbed off for me yet – which is an awesome feeling!

Layering Accessories

I considered painting the legs and back supports – but for now I’m loving the worn teal! Perhaps that will be a fun update in the future!




    • Rachel Rardon Reply

      Thanks Emily – I’m so honored you stopped by my blog! I couldn’t have done it without you. :) Thanks for the inspiration.

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