This antique highchair makeover will make you smile! See how it went from dark and old to a bright and cheerful highchair perfect for any kiddo.
The story of this highchair makeover starts when I was on my way to meet a friend for lunch. I was a little early and decided to make a quick stop at the thrift store across the street (I mean any opportunity right?!). As I drove up to the store, something caught my eye – there on the curb display – between the dining chairs and nightstands, was this beautiful highchair! ( of course, this is waaaaaay before I ever thought I would have a blog, so don’t have a great picture of it).
The antique highchair rescue
My heart raced as I tried to find a parking spot and tried to use the force of my mind to ward off anyone from looking at it… As I got to the high chair, I scanned it for any problems, it was very sturdy, just the footrest was broken and someone has tried to add metal braces to support it. I had not performed any furniture surgeries until then, but I decided it was definitely something that could be fixed or was worth trying.
The price was little higher than what I was hoping for. I picked up the tag and went looking for the manager, hoping and praying that she would reduce the price… wouldn’t hurt asking right?! I mentally braced myself to give up the chair if she didn’t come in below a certain number. She said she couldn’t do anything about it since it hadn’t been on the floor for too long (Sigh!). Saddened, I walked back to front of the store to put the tag back when it caught my eye – the sign that said – Tuesday special – 50% off furniture! Guess what – it was Tuesday!!! HIGH FIVE!!
And so, we left the store together, the pretty highchair and I! In case you remember, of course, I was then late for my lunch date but when I told her what I just snagged, she totally understood!
The antique highchair makeover
Back home, it was time for a highchair makeover! I had to fix the foot rest first. I took off the old braces which were hardly holding up because the screws were too lose (you can see the footrest and removed braces in the picture above). It needed a sturdier joint. After some research on the interweb, I decided to use a dowel to create a new joint. This is what I did (sorry, no step by step pictures since its pre blogging days) –
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- I filled up the old joints with wood putty (picture below) and let it dry.
- Next, I drilled a hole big enough for a ¼″ dowel through the leg and the foot rest.
- I coated the dowel with wood glue and inserted it in.
- When it was completely dry, I cut off the dowel as close as possible to the footrest and sanded it smooth.
- To add more strength, I added ½″ metal corner braces on both sides under the footrest.
Now that the hard part was over, it was time to for my favorite part – Paint!
I remembered seeing this beautiful yellow highchair at Young House Love and remember how yellow totally made the chair happy! I also wanted to preserve the antique nature of the high chair and highlight the pretty designs.
I picked “toasted pecan” from valspar and used I heart naptimes’ chalk paint recipe which used plaster of paris.
Before starting to paint, I gave the chair a rough sand followed by some petroleum jelly on areas of the chair that I wanted to distress. After 3 coats of the homemade chalk paint, a light sanding revealed the beautiful distressing. However, the chair looked too flat and the beautiful design needed to be highlighted. It needed to be glazed!
I didn’t want to spend a ton on buying glaze for a small project like this. Enter Martha Stewart’s tintable glaze. I simply mixed in black craft paint to create a dark glaze. I glazed the entire chair to give it the most beautiful antique finish! Finally, I sealed the chair with wax.
The chair turned out so pretty and bright! It makes me happy every time I see it… The furniture surgery has worked too! It is holding up! Here is the pretty pretty happy chair (with a shot of the before)!
And just because I am so in love with it – here is one more shot!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this high chair makeover, please share with your friends! I love you for it!
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