how to repaint dining room chairs

 How To Repaint Dining Room Chairs

Repaint dining room chairs is a fantastic way, to breathe new life into your furniture and refresh your dining space without breaking the bank. Whether your chairs are looking a little worn or you simply want a new color scheme, repainting can make a significant difference. It’s a cost-effective solution that allows for creativity and customization, transforming ordinary chairs into unique, stylish pieces that enhance your home’s décor. 

With the right tools, a bit of patience, and some basic techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to repaint your dining room chairs, ensuring they look beautiful and last for years to come.

1.Choosing the Right Paint:

Three popular types of paint for chairs are latex, chalk, and oil-based paints.

1.Latex paint is water-based, easy to clean, and dries quickly. However, it can chip over time.

2.Chalk paint offers a smooth, matte finish and is easy to apply with minimal prep work. It’s great for achieving a rustic look but requires a protective topcoat to ensure durability.

3.Oil-based paint provides a strong, glossy finish that is highly durable. It’s ideal for furniture that sees a lot of use but has a longer drying time and emits strong fumes during application.

By choosing the right paint, you can maintain the look and durability of paint dining chairs.

2.Gathering Necessary Supplies:

To repaint dining room chairs, gather these essential tools and materials:

  • Paint (your chosen type)
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Paint Brushes or paint sprayer
  • Drop cloths or old sheets
  • Painter’s tape
  • Screwdriver (for disassembling chairs)
  • Cleaning supplies (soap, water, cloths)

For a professional finish, consider these optional extras:

  • Sealant or topcoat for added protection
  • Wood filler for repairing damage
  • Stencils for decorative designs
  • Wax for a smooth finish

Gathering all these supplies beforehand will make your painting process smooth and efficient.

3.Preparing Your Workspace:

Before you start repaint your dining room chairs, it’s important to prepare your workspace. Choose a well-ventilated area, like a garage or an outdoor space, to ensure good airflow and avoid inhaling fumes. Lay down drop cloths or old sheets to protect your floors from paint splatters.

Move any nearby furniture or cover it with plastic sheeting to prevent accidental spills. Make sure you have enough light to see your work clearly. Set up a sturdy table or sawhorses to place the chairs on, making them easier to paint.

Having a clean, organized, and protected workspace will help you achieve a professional finish and make the process more enjoyable.

4.Prepping the Chairs:

Prepping your dining room chairs is a crucial step before you start repainting. Begin by cleaning the chairs thoroughly to remove any dirt, dust, or grease. A mixture of soap and water works well for this task. Make sure to dry the chairs completely before moving on to the next step.

Next, sand the chairs to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. Use medium-grit sandpaper to gently sand the entire surface, paying extra attention to areas with old paint or varnish. After sanding, wipe the chairs with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

Inspect the chairs for any damage or imperfections. Fill any cracks, holes, or dents with wood filler and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the filler is dry, sand those areas again until they are smooth and level with the rest of the chair.

Taking the time to properly prep your chairs will ensure a smooth and durable finish, making your repainting project look professional and last longer. Prepping the chairs well is the foundation for a successful and satisfying DIY project.

5.Priming the Chairs:

To apply primer effectively, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose the Right Primer: Select a primer that is compatible with the type of paint you are using, whether it’s latex, chalk, or oil-based.
  2. Prepare the Surface: Make sure the chairs are clean and sanded. Wipe them down with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
  3. Apply the Primer: Use a high-quality brush or a paint sprayer to apply a thin, even coat of primer. Start at the top of the chair and work your way down, covering all surfaces. Avoid overloading your brush or sprayer to prevent drips and runs.
  4. Let it Dry: Allow the primer to dry completely, following the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times. This usually takes a few hours.
  5. Sand Lightly: Once the primer is dry, lightly sand the chairs with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots. Wipe away the dust with a clean cloth.

Priming your chairs properly ensures a professional-looking finish and helps the paint last longer.

6.Painting Techniques:

When repaint dining room chairs, choosing between brush and spray painting is important. Both methods have their pros and cons.

1.Brush Painting:

  • Pros: It’s more accessible and gives you control over the application. Ideal for small or intricate areas.
  • Cons: Can leave brush marks if not applied carefully.
  • Tips: Use a high-quality brush to minimize streaks. Apply thin coats, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Work in smooth, even strokes to achieve a consistent finish.

2.Spray Painting:

  • Pros: Provides a smooth, even coat with no brush marks. Great for larger surfaces and quicker application.
  • Cons: Requires more preparation and can be messy.
  • Tips: Ensure proper ventilation. Shake the spray well before use. Keep the can at a consistent distance from the chair (about 12 inches) and use sweeping motions to apply the paint evenly. Apply multiple light coats instead of one heavy coat to prevent drips and runs.

Both methods can yield beautiful results. Choosing the right technique depends on your comfort level and the specific needs of your project. With patience and attention to detail, your dining room chairs will look professionally painted.

7.Add Finishing Touches:

After repainting your dining room chairs, adding finishing touches is essential for a polished and long-lasting look. Applying a sealant or topcoat protects the paint from wear and tear, ensuring your hard work lasts.

1.Applying a Sealant or Topcoat:

  • Choose the Right Product: Select a clear sealant or topcoat compatible with your paint type (latex, chalk, or oil-based).
  • Application: Use a high-quality brush or sprayer to apply a thin, even layer of sealant. Allow it to dry completely before applying additional coats if needed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

2.Optional Distressing or Decorative Techniques:

  • Distressing: For a vintage or shabby chic look, gently sand the edges and high points of the chairs after the paint has dried. This creates a worn, rustic appearance.
  • Decorative Techniques: Add personal touches with stencils, decals, or hand-painted designs. Use painter’s tape to create clean lines for geometric patterns or stripes.

These finishing touches not only enhance the appearance of your dining room chairs but also provide extra protection, ensuring they remain beautiful and functional for years to come. Whether you prefer a sleek modern finish or a charming distressed look, these techniques will add the perfect final touch to your project.

8.Drying and Curing Time:

Proper drying and curing time is crucial when repaint dining room chairs to ensure a durable, professional finish. Knowing how long to wait between coats and ensuring the paint is fully cured can make a significant difference.

1.How Long to Wait Between Coats:

  • Latex Paint: Typically, wait 2-4 hours between coats. This allows the paint to dry enough to apply the next layer without causing smudges or unevenness.
  • Chalk Paint: Usually, a drying time of 1-2 hours is sufficient. However, always follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  • Oil-Based Paint: These paints require longer drying times, generally 6-8 hours between coats.

2.Ensuring the Paint is Fully Cured:

  • Curing is different from drying: While paint may feel dry to the touch within hours, it takes longer to fully cure and harden.
  • Latex and Chalk Paint: Typically, these types of paint take about 2-4 weeks to fully cure.
  • Oil-Based Paint: This type can take up to 7 days to a month to cure completely.

During this time, avoid heavy use of the chairs to prevent dents, scratches, or other damage. Being patient and allowing adequate drying and curing time will ensure your dining room chairs look beautiful and last longer.

9.Reassembling the Chairs:

After repainting your dining room chairs, the next step is reassembling them. This involves reattaching the seats and any hardware to ensure they are ready for use.

1.Reattaching Seats and Hardware:

  • Gather All Parts: Make sure you have all the screws, bolts, and any other hardware that you removed during the preparing stage.
  • Attach the Seats: If your chairs have detachable seats, align them correctly and secure them with screws or bolts. Use a screwdriver or drill to tighten them properly.
  • Reattach Hardware: If there are any additional parts such as arms or decorative pieces, reattach them following the same process. Ensure everything is tightened securely to avoid any wobbling or instability.

2.Final Inspection for Touch-Ups:

  • Check for Imperfections: Look over each chair to spot any areas where the paint might have chipped or where the coverage is uneven.
  • Touch Up: Use a small brush to touch up these spots. Apply a thin layer of paint and let it dry completely.
  • Final Wipe Down: Once the touch-ups are dry, give the chairs a final wipe down to remove any dust or residue.

Reassembling and inspecting your dining room chairs carefully ensures they are sturdy, safe, and look professionally finished. Enjoy your refreshed dining space!

10.Maintaining Your Repainted Chairs:

Proper maintenance of your newly repainted dining room chairs ensures their longevity and keeps them looking fresh. Here are some easy tips for cleaning and preventing damage.

1.Cleaning Tips for Longevity:
  • Regular Dusting: Dust the chairs weekly with a soft cloth to prevent dirt buildup.
  • Gentle Cleaning: Use a mild soap solution and a damp cloth for deeper cleaning. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the paint.
2.Preventing Scratches and Chips:
  • Use Pads: Attach felt pads to the bottom of the chair legs to prevent scratches on the floor and reduce wear on the paint.
  • Handle with Care: Avoid dragging the chairs across the floor. Lift them when moving to prevent chips and scratches.
  • Protective Measures: Use placemats or cushions to protect the paint from heavy use or accidental impacts.


1. Can I use any type of paint for dining room chairs? 

It’s best to use durable paints like latex, chalk, or oil-based paints. Each has different properties, so choose one that fits your needs and preferences.

2. How long should I wait between coats of paint?

Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions, but typically, you should wait 2-4 hours between coats.

3. Do I need to sand the chairs before painting? 

Yes, sanding helps create a surface that the paint can adhere to better, ensuring a smoother and longer-lasting finish.

4. Is primer necessary before painting?

 Using a primer is recommended as it helps the paint adhere better and provides a more even finish.

5. How can I prevent brush marks when painting? 

Apply thin, even coats and let each coat dry completely before applying the next. Using a high-quality brush or a paint sprayer can also help achieve a smoother finish.


Repainting your dining room chairs can completely refresh your dining area. Reflect on the transformation you’ve achieved with just some paint and effort. Your old chairs now look new and stylish, adding charm to your dining space. This DIY project shows how a bit of creativity can make a big difference. You’ve saved money by not buying new furniture and created something unique that fits your style perfectly. This success might even inspire you to take on more DIY projects in the future.

Scroll to Top