Updating an Antique High Chair with Paint

May 9, 2016

CREATE   |   Published May 9, 2016

A few weeks ago, I showed you an old high chair (or booster chair) that I found at an antique shop for just $10.  As much as I love painting furniture, I also love beautiful wood.  And that is what I saw on this chair.  This chair didn't need to be covered with layers of paint.

Sure, it was a little worn out and had years of grime on it.  But there are times when you can look at something made of old wood and just know that underneath it all lies something beautiful.  All it needs is a little love and attention.

In case you missed my previous post, here is the before....

And here is the after...

I gently sanded the high chair down with a fine grit sandpaper to remove all that was making it not so lovely.  Then I used hemp oil on the chair to bring back the charm of the wood.

It was my first time ever using hemp oil and I have to say that I'm really pleased with how well it works.  It enhances what is already there and allows the wood to maintain the character it has built up through the years.

The seat of the chair was a lot more worn and the wood wasn't in good condition.  For that reason, I opted to paint and distress just this portion.  The creamy white paint (Champlain by Fusion Mineral Paint) adds a nice contrast to the restored wood.

It really distressed nicely, almost looking as though this is the way the high chair was all along.

I'm always looking for little bits of unique character.  On this piece of furniture, that would be the screws on one side holding the chair together on the top.

When I first brought the piece home, I assumed that they served some real purpose.  But once I started working on it all, I realized that evidently the old screws that went into the board from behind had come out.  Maybe the owner didn't have that size and opted to just screw a smaller size in from the front so that the chair was still usable.  It is always fascinating to see how people made do with what they had.

Sitting on the chair is an old doll.  It belonged to my grandmother and I'm not sure how old it really is.  But she would be 103 right now if she were still alive, so you can judge the age from that.  The doll isn't in the best of shape, but things like this aren't special because they are in great condition.  They are special because they were passed on to you from previous generations.

The covering on her hands is chipping off.  One eye doesn't automatically close when you lay her down.  There are holes in her dress.  And the strap of her shoe is pulled apart.

But you've got to think about the details like the cute tie on the top of her sock.  And the lace trim around the dress.

 We live in an age where everything is quickly manufactured and just about as quickly discarded.  100 years ago, toys like this would have been something special to have.  How much of what we own will be around 100 years from now?

I really love that I was able to bring this chair back to life without changing it too much.  The addition of the paint on the seat is a simple touch to make it a little more modern day farmhouse.  But for the most part, it is exactly how it was.....just a bit cleaned up.

I'd love to know you thoughts about today's post!  Would you have painted the entire chair?  Or left it as it was?


Vintage cane back chair gets a farmhouse makeover

Grandma's antique dining table gets an update
yard sale chair makeover

Fixing and updating a broken roll top desk

Dining room sideboard made from an antique dresser

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