Shortly before our move to 1915 House, my Mom and my Aunt Judy found a great deal on a set of dining room chairs at a second hand store. While my Mom wasn’t in need of a new/old set of chairs, she knew we were on the lookout for a matching set for our formal dining room in what would soon be our new house. At the time, we had a random set of dining room chairs that we were using in the eat-in kitchen at our tiny farmhouse. While I love the whimsy of mismatched chairs for a casual space, I really wanted a matching set for what would be our new formal dining room. So we bought the chairs and stored them until we moved here.
After our move, we immediately put the chairs to use and I left them as they were while we worked on all the many other things on the house – like updating the entire second floor, painting the dining room, painting the kitchen cabinets, painting the ancient (but super effective dishwasher), and even painting the kitchen floors. But once the bigger, more pressing projects were done, I decided these chairs needed a coat of paint.
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Dining Room Chairs Before
I thought they needed white paint…of course. But I wanted them to look old…like they’d been around for many years, and had lots of stories to tell. So I decided to use Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Farmhouse White – in hopes of achieving a chippy, time-worn look.
Dining Room Chair Prep
First, I cleaned up all the chairs, did a light sanding on them using a medium grit sanding block, (ok, this one needed a lot of sanding on the seat…it looked like a large dog had clawed it up at some point…it was pretty bad)…
then applied one coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s Shutter Gray with my favorite paint brush. A sweet friend, who is much more experienced with using MMSMP (I shall refer to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in this way from here on out, for simplicity’s sake) is the one who suggested I use the Shutter Gray as a base coat under the Farmhouse White (because the chairs were so dark)- and I’m glad she did. Here is the Farmhouse White being mixed up…it’s such a fun product to work with!
Let’s Talk Milk Paint
This paint, even though its consistency is quite watery compared to other paints, covered amazingly well. With absolutely NO bleed through of the dark stain. Unlike my cabinet fiasco. This was my first experience using MMSMP and I was in love with this stuff.
I will say, that this paint takes more steps to achieve your finished look, but I am so pleased with it. I ended up doing one coat of Shutter Gray, two coats of Farmhouse White, and then two coats of the Miss Mustard Seed Tough Coat (her suggested finish for pieces that will receive lots of high-traffic use…like dining room chairs for my family with four
rambunctious busy boys). 😉 I very much enjoyed the sanding/distressing part of the process. After my last coat of Farmhouse White, I allowed it to dry. (It was so fun to watch and see where the paint started to separate from the chairs in certain places…who ever said watching paint dry wasn’t fun? They must not have ever used MMSMP…)
Chippy Goodness on the Dining Room Chairs
While it was drying, I could see the spots where the paint started to lift and flake. Success! I knew I was going to get the chippy look I was going for. However, I will say…it you are a perfectionist and like things with predictable outcomes, then using MMSMP without the Bonding Agent might not be for you. I was willing to take the risk of an unknown outcome with these chairs – but if you are a person who doesn’t want any chipping on your piece, then by all means, be sure to use the Bonding Agent – then you’ll get a nice, predictable outcome with no chipping.
The crazy thing is, (and this is part of what I love about how these turned out) – is that every single one of these chairs got the exact same treatment. I did nothing different on any one of them. Every single one got the exact same treatment. But I had one chair chip like crazy. CRAZY. Check it out!
All three of the chairs in the above picture had been painted and sanded in the same manner at this point. For reasons unknown to me, this one chair did not want to hold on to almost any paint. She (yes, I’m calling it a “she”) bucked my plans and gave me a little run for my money. At first, I couldn’t decide if I loved her super-chippiness or if I hated it. It was SO much. So I decided to leave her sit for a few days, so I could get a feel for what I really thought of it. And you know what? The more I looked at her, the more her crazy, off-the-wall look grew on me. And I started to think of her as my “rebel chair”. I like most anything that’s a little “out of the box” or unusual, so I decided to go with it and so I gave her the two coats of Tough Coat and called it good.
Finished Dining Room Chairs
(please excuse the slightly wonky lighting in this pic)
She is now my most favorite chair and is “mine” at the dinner table. 🙂 We have a special connection, her and I. In my younger years, I gave my parents a run for their money (bless their hearts) but I like to think that I’ve come to the point now that I’ve made them proud. Kind of like this chair did for me. 🙂 Oh, and that giant chalkboard above the chairs? It was a $10 thrift store canvas I painted…you can read all about that here.
What do you think? Would you have figured out a way to get that paint to stick to my rebel dining room chair or would you have left it like I did? Are you a chippy paint person? I realize not everyone is – 😉