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How To Spray Paint Metal Chairs

I bought a pair of vintage chairs but they were kind of ugly so today I’m going to show you how to spray paint metal chairs. Once you see the beautifully detailed chairs you will know why I used spray paint. Plus that’s about the best way to paint metal. Oh, and today is our Furniture Fixer Upper Tour. I know you guys enjoy the tour as much as I do. My friends always have some fabulous makeovers.

How to spray paint vintage metal dining chairs

See what I mean about the details on this chair? And you will never guess what I used to re-cover the chair seats.

vintage metal dining chairs to paint and redo

Yes, the chairs were kind of ugly. That avocado green has never been my favorite color although the color was popular when I was a bit younger. Or a lot younger. I loved the curvy details of the backs and I could see the chairs would be fabulous once they got a coat of paint and some new fabric seats. They were $10 each so the price was right.

vintage leather chair seats

The vinyl fabric seats were ripped in places and I first thought I would just cover the whole seat as is. After a little thought I decided to rip the vinyl off and see what I had to work with. I made a video showing how I removed the chair seats from the frames and how I managed to remove the vinyl covers. I have a little of my spray painting technique on the video also.

sand scratches on metal chairs before painting

The metal frame was scratched and rusty in numerous places on the legs and top part of the frame. I used flexible 3M sandpaper to smooth these areas.

rust on metal chair

Then I cleaned the chair frames with Simple Green and let dry well before spray painting.

painting metal chairs with spray paint

Spray painting is the best way to go with metal chairs. I would not want to brush paint all those curves, edges, and in’s and out’s.

painting vintage metal dining chairs with Rustoleum spray paint color Maui Blue

What do you think of the color? It’s Rust-Oleum Gloss Enamel, color Maui Blue. I’m in love with it myself. This is the first project where I used this color and it will not be the last. The gloss sheen really makes it pretty. I love Rust-Oleum spray paint.

how to remove vinyl chair seat cover from vintage chair

I used a screwdriver to pop the staples out of the vinyl fabric. There was a ton of staples. Then I used a pair of pliers to pull the left over staples from the wood seat.

old foam on dining room chair

It took a little work to pull the seat cover from the wood and foam. When I watched the video of me pulling the cover off I just had to shake my head. My facial expressions were comical.

add extra padding to old fabric covered seats

Before I re-covered the foam and wood seat I freshened it up with Febreze spray. The foam was a bit flat in the middle so I added a bit of poly-fill between the foam and the wood seat.

cover a dining room chair seat with drop cloth

I wasn’t sure the fabric I selected for the cover was thick and heavy enough to resist tearing when pulling it tight over the wood seat. I took care of that by first covering the seat with drop cloth!

recover an old dining room chair seat

The new fabric cover was once a shower curtain. I got a new shower curtain a while ago and washed this old one just. I knew it would come in handy for just this type of project. You can see how I re-cover chair seats here….How To Paint An Oak Table And Re-Cover Chair Seats With A Drop Cloth.

how to recover a chair seat

Getting the fabric nice and straight without any puckers around the corners is the hard part. Sometimes you can’t help but have a few.

re-cover a fabric chair seat with shower curtain fabric

You can see how tight the fabric is on the seat. It’s very important to pull the fabric tight around the foam when stapling it to the backside of the seat.

Watch the video below showing how I removed the seats and spray painted the chair frames….

Vintage Chairs Makeover With Spray Paint And New Fabric Seat

How to paint metal chairs and re-cover fabric chair seats

What a difference huh? When I decided to use the shower curtain to cover the seats I was thinking about turquoise paint to match the color in the fabric. But, I didn’t have the right color turquoise on my paint shelf so I used what I had. Couldn’t have worked out better.

If you like black chairs and buffalo check plaid here is a tutorial for you….Black Buffalo Check Dining Chairs Plus Video Tutorial

Spray paint metal chairs with Rust-Oleum spray paint color Maui Blue

The foam in the seat was nice and thick compared to some chair seats I’ve re-covered in the past. They are very comfortable and they will go to my booth at the shop.

The easy way to paint metal dining chairs with spray paint

Some of you ask about how I price things. I don’t have a set price for chairs, chests, etc. It just depends on what I paid for the piece, how many supplies I used, and what I think the piece will sell for in my local market. I will probably price the pair of chairs at $65. That means I will make approximately $30 on the two chairs after booth commission and my supplies and cost of chairs. Not much money for the hours I put into the project.

Dining room chair makeover with spray paint and new fabric seat

I guess that means I made less than minimum wage for my time. You can see I don’t do this work for the money.

How to paint metal chairs with spray paintFind Information on my Newest Passion Here!

Don’t forget to pin this project before taking the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour. Leave a note if you have the time. Take the tour by clicking the orange text links below the “before makeovers” photo collage….

furniture makeovers before photo

Turn A Sewing Machine Table Into A Dressing Table – Confessions of a Serial DIY’er
Sunflower Transfer Dresser Makeover – Salvaged Inspirations
Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint Review – Girl In The Garage
How To Paint Metal Chairs – Petticoat Junktion (you are here)

As always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Love how they turned out, love the colors and the fabric repurposing!
    Very boutique-y. I agree, the price you set would be an absolute steal!

  2. Kathy, this project is so bright and fun. I’ve never seen chairs with an X base under the seat either… so neat!

  3. I never would have guessed that that fun fabric was a shower curtain! Great job Kathy… and I love that Maui color! Pinned. XOXO

  4. Hey, Hey !

    Great job on painting the chairs and nice choice of colour too ! what’s freaky is I was at a G/sale today AND I bought a vintage metal chair and driving home thinking how the heck can I paint and re cover the chair… so it’s TRUE that things happen for a reason !

    Thank you ! my project problem is solved !

  5. Very vibrant and funky! An added boost of happy for sure. I guess I need to start buying more shower curtains and curtain panels when they are on sale and hiding them away for projects.

  6. Oh, those were some hideous 70s chairs! All that work to make them look this good surely deserves to be compensated more highly. Don’t know what your local market will bear, but I know they’d go for a lot more in a fancy store or online.

  7. I LOVE how these turned out, Kathy! And how smart to tuck that shower curtain away for the future! XOXO