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How I Painted my Metal Chairs Blue – DIY

How I Painted my Metal Chairs Blue – DIY

Once upon a time, in a household with no children, I had white upholstered chairs at my dining room table. Pristine and matching, these chairs were fine until my first son began to walk.

I quickly realized that white upholstery would no longer work…grubby little hand prints were an inevitable part of my future. Of course I would have it no other way,  but I did not want to go out and purchase new chairs. I came up with a practical solution.

how to paint metal chairs

*For your convenience, I have included affiliate links to some of the products mentioned in this post. All opinions are 100% my own. *

I replaced the designated “kid’s seat’s” with some old, rusty metal chairs I had. I painted them turquoise blue to match my other decor. Let me tell you how I did it.

Here is what the chairs looked like before I painted them….

metal chairs

They used to be outside chairs at our former residence. They were rusted, nasty  and were really no longer serving a purpose after I purchased outdoor furniture for our new place.

I contemplated just spray painting them with chrome paint,  but then I came across some major inspiration.



After seeing these gorgeous Marian Metal Chairs from Ballard Designs, I knew I had to abandon the chrome finish and paint them blue.


I first cleaned the chairs and decided to lightly paint them with some blue, latex paint I had lying around the house. I know you are thinking “latex paint on metal chairs?” Well….I was going for a distressed look so I was not concerned about chipping. In fact, I desired a a bit of chipping and wear. Therefore, other than wiping the chairs with a damp rag, I didn’t do any “prep”- no priming…no sanding.

After I cleaned the chairs,  I applied a little bit of Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue to the chairs. I slightly diluted the paint with water to further the distressed vibe.  Unfortunately, the Palladian Blue was so neutral, it almost appeared white. So, I then mixed some turquoise craft paint with the Palladian Blue and applied one coat.  I was pretty pleased with the results, but I still wanted more dimension. After using some milk paint for my Curio Cabinet makeover, and being very pleased with the results,  I decided to apply some of it onto the metal chairs.

The milk paint is called Persian Blue and is made by General Finishes.

After applying the coat of milk paint, once again in a “whitewash” fashion, I felt the look was complete.

By applying the paint it a whitewash fashion, not only do you allow for a more distressed feel, but your paint layers become more transparent…allowing the tones of the other layers to shine through for more character and dimension.

dining room christmas vertical-39

It now has a nicely distressed and multi-dimensional look. I think they really add character to the space.

dining room chairs-2

And yes….they chip, but I love it.

dining room chairs-1 watermark

Anyone can go out to a store and purchase a set of mass-produced, matching chairs. But, adding your personal touch to the space.. that’s what makes a house a home.


Even better, the project was basically of no cost to me as I already owned all of the components of the project. Plus, I no longer have to worry about spilled food and “grubby hand prints” from my sweet babies.

If you like this post, please don’t forget to pin! Now get out there and design some good vibes!

how to paint metal chairs blue




My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...

Suzy Ray

Friday 18th of December 2015

Those chairs are beautiful! I've been dreaming of adding metal chairs to my dining area recently. Thanks for sharing!

Designing Vibes

Friday 18th of December 2015

Thank you so much, Suzy!

Mary-The Boondocks Blog

Thursday 17th of December 2015

Whata great job you did Erica! That blue is such a sweet color! And don't get me started on the mirror! But that is another post. ;)

Designing Vibes

Thursday 17th of December 2015

Thank you so much, Mary!!! You are the sweetest.


Monday 14th of December 2015

These are beautiful, great job! Thanks for linking up to Inspire me Monday! xo

Designing Vibes

Monday 14th of December 2015

Thanks, Kristin!!


Sunday 13th of December 2015

I love the way they come out!! I love that you added two colors and they still are so very beautifully rustic. Nice makeover!! ;)

Designing Vibes

Sunday 13th of December 2015

Thank you so much, Michele!