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DIY: Spruce Up A Wood Folding Chair

You'll be sitting pretty after just a coat of purple spray paint on a forgotten folding chair.

In the design world, there are few furniture pieces more humble than the folding chair. Whether made of metal, plastic, or wood, the workhorse seats' unfussy lines tend to get them stored in the least visible places: forgotten behind the dresser, buried in the coat closet, ditched in the basement or the garage without a second thought. But what if you could recast these no-fuss staples as statement pieces in their own right? The truth is you can—in less than an hour and for fewer than $15.

Such was the case when I decided to dig out a pair of gray-stained folding chairs from under my bed. After brushing off the dust bunnies, I gave them new life with a creative paint treatment in an eye-catching color. The result? A bright, poppy perch that deserves a place at the table forever more. All you need is a tape measure or ruler and some painter's tape, a sunny afternoon, and a can-do attitude. The process couldn't have been simpler, and the finished product gets compliments whenever guests arrive. Want the look for yourself? Read on for all the details.


- Drop cloth
- Mask
- Rubber gloves
- Sand paper
- Tack cloth
- All-purpose spray cleaner
- Tape measure
- Painter's tape
- Wood folding chairs
Krylon® ColorMaster™ Primer (available at various retailers)
- Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer, Gloss Rich Plum (available at various retailers)

DIY: Spruce Up A Wood Folding Chair


Gather all of your materials.  If your chair has some kind of varnish or finish on it, make sure you

sand it off to reveal the raw wood beneath. Once completed, wipe down your surface with a tack cloth to remove the excess dust and debris. This will help the spray paint adhere to the wood. (If needed, use Krylon® ColorMaster™ Primer to seal up any cracks and to create an even surface for optimal results).

DIY: Spruce Up A Wood Folding Chair


Measure and mark the places where you'd like the paint to appear. I opted for a paint-dipped effect, so I

measured 10 inches from the bottom of each leg. 

DIY: Spruce Up A Wood Folding Chair


Repeat on each chair leg as necessary.

DIY: Spruce Up A Wood Folding Chair


If you also choose to paint the back of your chair, measure and mark the places where you'd like the paint to appear. I chose to paint only the first rung on my chair back.

DIY: Spruce Up A Wood Folding Chair


Tape off the rungs below the top rung to prevent bleeding. Trick of the trade: Use a plastic garbage bag on the seat to provide extra protection.

DIY: Spruce Up A Wood Folding Chair


Make sure you're in a well-ventilated area.  Holding the can 6 to 8 inches away from the chair and using a sweeping side-to-side motion, spray the desired areas.  We chose a deep shade of purple - Krylon® ColorMaster™ Paint + Primer in Rich Plum - to give our chair an edgy look.  Allow it to dry for 10 minutes, then repeat depending on the saturation you want to  achieve. And that's it! You now have a folding chair worthy of the spotlight.


Slide over to reveal the color transformation.