(Yellow)Cake Walk: Modernizing an Old Chair with Bright Paint

yellow painted chair
Refresh an old chair with a fresh coat of bright paint.

Repainting a chair you already own is an easy and very affordable way to breathe new life into an old furniture piece (and into the room where it resides!). We took a small traditional wooden armchair and painted it a near-neon yellow hue. This simple task transformed the piece into a modern furniture accent and added a much-needed pop of color.

before chair

Petit in form, this chair was cute, but lackluster. We wanted to breathe new life into her by painting it an unexpected bright yellow color. Here's how:

farrow and ball paint

What You'll Need:

  • Drop cloth
  • Fine grain sand paper
  • Dishcloth and bowl of warm water
  • Angled paint brush--we used a 1.5" one
  • Zero VOC paint--we used Farrow & Ball's Yellowcake
  • The chosen old chair!

sanding chair

Step 1: Begin Sanding

Before painting, you'll need to remove the current finish. Using fine grain sand paper, rub the chair's surface in circular motions using a light touch. It doesn't have to be perfect, but remove as much of the old finish as possible, allowing the new paint to adhere properly.

clean chair

Step 2: Get Clean

Since you just made a dusty mess with sanding, use a damp rag on the chair to leave a clean surface. Allow it to dry.


Step 3: Start Painting

We suggest starting with the chair upside down so you can sufficiently paint legs of your chair. Start with the interior and smaller areas and paint your way out. After the first coat, allow to dry for thirty minutes before applying the next coat of paint. The more coats, the better it'll look. Read: those annoying streaks will go away!

yellow painted chair

After the legs are done, flip your chair right side up and tackle the top. Tip: Watch out for pooled paint or drips on edges.

yellow painted chair

We used three coats of paint to complete this chair.

yellow painted chair

Fini! Look how much happier she is, all bright and cheery! This made-over chair also adds an awesome pop of modern color to the room. It's bright, but totally versatile.

Photos by Alexis Jonnson for The Nest

More Must-Clicks:

How to Use Bright Paint

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An Easy-Living Room You'll Want