Trash to Treasure: My Kitchen Chairs

Tonight as I was bemoaning the fact that I STILL don’t have decent photos of my awesome Halloween costume, and am going to have to write a TARDY Halloween post (LAME!), I remembered that I have something to show you that I kinda forgot about! It’s the perfect thing to pull me out of this semi-blog slump!

I needed kitchen chairs in a bad way. At one (no, TWO) particularly unfortunate points, my family of four were surviving on ONE rickity chair. The first time with the well-loved set we received as a newly-wed-hand-me-down, and a second time just recently with a tragic craigslist purchase. Anyway, when I saw these chairs at DI for $5 a piece, I wasn’t in love so much as I was desperate. They were sturdy, and I felt they had enough potential.  I have a red table, so I was limited as to what color I could use to liven them up–I wanted interesting, not overwhelming. I finally decided on just black, and instead of paint, I used a Sharpie. There are plenty of little mistakes, but the beauty of the design is that it’s meant to look sketchy.  I painted a few coats of polyurethane afterwards to prevent fading or wear, and had them done in a jiff. It was a super fun, low-stress quicky, which is perfect for a girl with her hands full.

mad mim before and after kitchen chairsBefore: bluh and worn

mad mim before and after kitchen chairsAfter! Interesting and fun!

mad mim before and after kitchen chairsThey really just make my kitchen nook sing.



Amazing. I raised an eyebrow when I read “Sharpie” but I wasn’t expecting those amazing amazing amazing patterns! Was there any pencil or stenciling involved, or did you just freehand it?

I’m so happy to see an update from you! I’ve never commented before, but this is one of my favorite blogs.


Wow, thanks Sarah, I’m really so flattered! Your comment made my day!
I had more or less decided on the general designs of each chair before I started, but I didn’t draw anything out beforehand although it was against my nature. I guess because they were so cheap I wasn’t so worried about ruining it. I just went for the glory and started doodling!

Sarah W

The chairs are awesome, even plain. What’s a DI? Your orange table is what I’m loving most. I just spray painted a plant pedestal at work nearly the same color, and now I’m wondering if I might be brave enough to spray paint my banged up black kitchen table. Did you paint that too?


Sorry! DI is short for Deseret Industries which is a huge thrift store chain in the western States (mostly Utah/Idaho). Yes, my table was a impulsive nesting project I did right before my second was born. It’s an orangy red–I think of it as Mary Poppins red cause it’s the same color as her bright red scarf. Anyway, the table was a hand me down, and it was so old and worn that the stain was literally gone. The paint gave it new life and even a modern look–I love it. I used a foam roller which was fast and easy (I wouldn’t suggest spray paint for that big of a job), and what I WISH I had done, and will have to eventually do is seal it somehow, probably with polyurethane. I would love to see your table if/when you paint it! Link back to it here when you do!


Love the paterns on your chairs! What a great idea! The chairs are amazing, of course. Everything you do is amazing. Like yourself. And yes, I too would love to be near one another and watch each other’s children and go to the park and do crafting together! My parent’s bought a house in southern Idaho and want us to live in it…maybe we’ll be closer eventually! Can’t wait to hear about where A gets a job!


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