DIY Shabby Chic Child’s Chair

Shabby Chic is a style I’ve grown to love over the years and over the summer while I was waiting for my home to be finished, I started working on my home decor. My days were long because I was impatient to get moved in so I started some DIY projects that helped pass the time. I had a vision of how everything would look (and it looks nothing like I imagined it would but that’s not necessarily a bad thing in this case) and I wanted to combine new, retro, eclectic, cottage, vintage, boho, hippie, Shabby Chic and country French style. Yes, combined. I wanted a few pieces that appeared to be really old but I couldn’t find anything close to what I was looking for. I did found some pieces that I could paint and change the look of to suit my vision.

One of my first projects was a DIY Shabby Chic Child’s Chair. I found the chair at a thrift store and I couldn’t wait to start sanding it and painting it. I bought some sandpaper, primer, and white paint. It’s a heavy chair and I knew it would be durable and last. But it was ugly. Brown stain with a glossy varnish. I wish now I had taken a before photo of it but in my haste to strip the ugly brown color off, I did not stop long enough to photograph it. I wasn’t sure how much of the brown stain I would be able to get off but I was up for the challenge.

I sanded.

Listened to the kid’s fuss and fight about who was going to sit in it first.

And sanded.

Fought off our dreaded gnats while I sweated my derriere off.

I sanded.

While saying a few choice words when I realized it was going to take forever to break through YEARS of stain and gloss.

And sanded.

Until I was finally satisfied that I could not get any more of the stain off.

I then used a dry cloth and washed every inch of the chair to remove all of the dust. I then added a layer of primer. After letting that dry, I painted a layer of white paint.

This is when I started getting excited. And this is when the real work began. Not realizing how tough it was going to be to sand through two layers of paint left me unprepared for the amount of sandpaper I’d need. I headed back to Home Depot which is an hour and 15 minute round trip for me BTW. I didn’t even wait until I showered, oh no, I went just like I was, with bits of dust and chips of paint in my hair and clothes. I was on a mission.

Back home, I sanded. Sanded. Sanded. Sanded and sanded. When I finally started breaking through the paint, I knew all of my efforts were worth the wait. I was as proud of how it was turning out as I’d of been if I won a Miss America pageant. There are few things more rewarding than doing something ourselves.

I absolutely love how the chair turned out. I still haven’t found the perfect spot for it in my new home but I will. For now, the kids still fight over it and I still love to admire it.

What was your last or what is your current DIY project?


  1. That is so cute! I hope to do something like that in the future too. 🙂

  2. I love this! It reminds me of a chair I had in my room when I was a little girl.

  3. What a fun way to make old things look new. I love how it turned out and now I want to do something too.

  4. I wish I had the know how to do this. I’;ve always wanted to redecorate and do DIY like this.

  5. I would love to find the time and the energy to things like this! It looks like it turned out great!

  6. I don’t have a project in the works yet but I do have a bamboo side table I really want to make over. BTW , all that sanding paid off, your chairs are GORGEOUS.

  7. I’m not a fan of Shabby Chic. I do love the look of your chair though!

  8. The chair loos amazing. It was definitely worth all your hard work.

  9. My current DIY project is a dresser that has been sitting waiting for to get un-chicken enough to DIMyself. It’s going on being in the garage for 3yrs now. -_-

  10. That looks very nice. You did a great job. I do DIY projects a lot but have never done anything with furniture before.

  11. Too cute! I’m loving the outcome. I’m not much of a DIY person but I you did a wonderful job!

  12. I love the shabby chic style furniture. You did a great job with the chair, its very chic indeed. 🙂

  13. Great job. It looks fantastic actually. I understand the sanding frustration entirely. That can be a total pain in the neck!!

  14. What a fantastic DIY project, I am not that crafty nor do I have the tools. I love how crafty you are, this will certainly help many others seeking to DIY like this. Very beauitful!

  15. I love how that turned out! I have a soft spot for shabby chic myself.

  16. I’m going to learn doing some of this in a few years. Glad to know this.

  17. This sounds like what I went through when I was trying to sand a trunk of mine that I had as a child, which reminds me: I still have more sanding to do! All of the hard work paid off for you, though, because everything turned out so beautifully. 🙂

  18. This is so cute! I love the fabric of it. Great DIY product 🙂

  19. I’ve never undertaken any DIY furniture project, but I hope to do that one day. The chair came out looking pretty incredible!

  20. Wow this must have been really hard to do, but it surely paid off so much!

  21. The chair looks so nice, I can’t even imagine how much sanding it must have took; it was well worth!

  22. I love the chair!! When I read, “combine new, retro, eclectic, cottage, vintage, boho, hippie, Shabby Chic and country French style,” it spoke to me. This is exactly what I like as well. Boho and hippie, with a tad of French county, are in my blood. 🙂

  23. Good on you for DIY’ing, the chair turned out great! I however, don’t have the patience for it. Lol!

  24. I’ve got too much Christmas prep at the moment, but the kitchen is next on my list! I admire your efforts – I HATE sanding!

  25. I love this so much. It looks like it would belong in a beautiful cottage in some majestic meadow somewhere.

  26. Its beautiful! Looks like it just needed a little love!

  27. I love what you did with that chair…especially the fabric print! I would be one happy writer using that chair 😀

  28. Your chair looks fabulous! My current DIY projects are: refinishing a 1940s rocker, painting the kitchen cabinets, installing cabinets into the garage…I don’t sit still much. 🙂 I’m sure you can relate. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  29. You did a wonderful job! I love that look as well and always have. I honestly can’t remember what my last diy project was. I’m not to good with diy stuff. Hopefully someday I’ll think of something!

  30. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    That is a great DIY project. It came out great.

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