26 Mar 2013

Teal Vanity Chair (and my thoughts on Liquitex Spray Paint)

A couple of weeks ago (maybe it was more like 3 or 4) I stopped in at the thrift shop in search of a vintage scarf.  The scarf was for a project that I didn't end up doing, but what I did find was this chair.

Vanity Chair Before

I looked at it for a while thinking that it might work in our main bathroom.  We bathe Fin every night, and usually it's 2 adults, a great dane and a little girl all shoved into a small bathroom.  I've wanted a little chair to put beside the tub for 2 years now, but haven't been able to find anything tiny enough.  After sitting in it and thinking long and hard about the space we had, I ultimately decided that it was too big and left it at the thrift shop. 

After I got home I told Mr. Swell all about it and how I was sad that we didn't have a bigger bathroom.  He asked if the chair would work with the vanity I had painted.  Since it wasn't selling,  um....YES!  It would totally work!  Brilliant.

As a quick refresher, I painted an old vanity back in the fall thinking that it would sell super quick.  I loved it and figured someone else would too.  Well, it didn't sell.  I posted it on Kijiji week after week and nothing.  I had 2 people come look at it and decide that it was too small for them.  I had another 2 people say they were coming to get it and then didn't show up (nothing drives me more mad!).  As much as I wanted to keep it, we just didn't have the space.

Milk Paint Dressing Table

So, back to the thrift shop we went.  (Actually, Mr. Swell went).  Luckily the chair was still there, so for $19.99 we picked it up.

I had been wanting to try out the Liquitex spray paint for quite a while, and this was finally the perfect project for it.  Liquitex is sold at Michael's (although I am sure there are other places too) in the painting aisle with all of the acrylic paint.  It's more expensive than hardware store brands, but with a 40% coupon I managed to pick up a bottle for just under $10.

I went with Veridian Hue Permanent 7, which is a nice mellow teal colour.

Liquitex Spray Paint

A couple of things about Liquitex Spray Paint....

It is water based, not solvent/oil based like most other spray paints.  It hardly smells at all, which if you spray paint quite a bit like I do, is a total WIN!  I usually avoid spray painting in the house, but I did this piece in the basement and it didn't smell up the area at all.  (On a side note....I am sure that Liquitex would advise to not paint in small spaces - just because it doesn't smell doesn't mean there aren't fumes.)  

The major suckey thing about this paint though is that it has to be held upright while spraying.  Ugh. Annoying.  I did my best, but it's impossible to paint furniture without tilting the can a bit.  After doing the first coat I held the can upside down to blow out the nozzle (as suggested on the can).  It seemed to work, but when I went back to do the second coat the nozzle was plugged.  I fooled around with it a bit and got it working again....but not for long.  It clogged again.  After many attempts at unclogging it I finally used a nozzle from another can of spray paint that I had.  It worked, but not as good as the original nozzle (it stuck in the 'on' position which meant that I couldn't stop and start spraying....and had to move FAST).  I imagine that you can buy extra nozzles, but I was being lazy and didn't feel like going to the store.  

Aside from the clogging issue, I loved the actual paint.  It covered amazingly well and the colour was fantastic.  The other thing I LOVED is that it was a matte finish - sometimes I just don't want everything to be shiny.

Moving on....are you still with me after that aside?

After I spray painted the brass, I then reupholstered the seat.  Apparently before the lovely navy blue jersey fabric that was on it there must have also been hot pink at some point.

Chair Pad

I cut of piece of drop cloth fabric to fit and then pleated and stapled my way around the circle.


The little button for the middle was actually bolted through the wood and attached with a nut at the bottom.  When I unscrewed it, I saw that the fabric was just wrapped around and then held on with an elastic.

Chair Pad Button

Strange, but it worked.  I cut another square of drop cloth and then gave it a few coats of spray paint.  Once it was dry I used the same trick again and secured it on with an elastic, and then reattached the button to the seat.

After everything was put back together the chair looked A LOT better!

Refinished Vanity Chair

Refinished Vanity Chair at A Swell Place to Dwell

The colour is really cute, right?  It was totally unintentional, but it's almost an exact match to Fin's teal dresser - which is good to know in case I want to spray paint something to match in her room.

And just because I felt the need to stage it a little bit.....

Refinished Vanity Chair using Liquitex Spray Paint

Staging a chair is actually a bit of a challenge!

Once the chair was painted and reupholstered, I was excited to try it with the dressing table.  I sat myself down and spun around....and my legs hit the middle drawer.  Ugh.  The chair was too big!  (clearly I should have tested this BEFORE!).  

Mr. Swell cut the centre piece of the chair down for me, but even after it was as low as it could go, it was still too tall. 

So, after freaking out a bit, I made the decision to remove the middle drawer.  My trusty assistants got to work sawing out the drawer supports. 

Fixing Vanity

As you can see in the photo above, I also spray painted the handles, changing them from red to teal.  I wish I had done teal all along as I love how it looks with the chippy white - it feels more authentic.

Thankfully the surgery did the trick.  Once the drawer was removed my legs fit under no problem. 

Milk Paint Vanity and Chair.  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

We decided to not remove all of the supports in case someone wants to put the drawer back in one day.  It would be easy to add a cross support so that the drawer could still slide in.  

I did end up having to mix some more milk paint to cover up some areas that hadn't shown before, but it was a quick 5 minute fix.

Milk Paint Vanity and Chair.  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Milk Paint Vanity and Spray Painted Chair with a Liquitex Spray Paint Review  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Milk Paint Vanity and Spray Painted Chair with a Liquitex Spray Paint Review  www.aswellplacetodwell.com

Vanity and pretty chair

I fell in love with the vanity all over again.  I really did want to keep it....if only we had more rooms!

I posted it on Kijiji with the chair and within 2 days it was sold, for double what I was asking before.  Gotta love that!  The $20 chair made all the difference. 

So tell me, have any of you tried Liquitex spray paint?  If so, what are your thoughts on it?

P.S. Whenever I post pictures of my pallet shelves I get questions about them.  Yes, we made them.  The full tutorial is here.

P.P.S. I really hate that the heat register is always in my furniture photos! 

TDC Before and After


  1. it looks amazing! i love it with the vanity, too, so i can see why it made all the difference!

  2. I love the color! The vanity and chair together are perfect.
    I have never tried Liquitex paint.

    1. Thanks Julia. Give the Liquitex a shot - Id be intrigued to see what you think. Maybe if enough bloggers get together we could petition them for better nozzles! Thanks for the comment.

  3. Your chair turned out so pretty and it looks beautiful with your desk!

  4. Love how the chair came out! Would spray painting the heat register work? Im just wondering if you notice it more because it is white to match the trim? Or do you have a spare bit of carpet to cover the register when youre taking pictures (not as a permanent solution since this is a staging area for your photos)?

    1. A spare piece of carpet - thats smart! I am not sure if we have any left over, but I will have to check. It just drives me a little batty because I get everything the way I want it but then have that annoying white register! Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. The chair turned out great Kelly! And I didnt even notice the heat register in your photos until you mentioned it.

    But even still, they dont take away from your shots. Since theyre staged in a room - I sort of expect to see things like that and it doesnt read as obtrusive in your pictures. :)

    1. Thanks Erica! See, I probably shouldnt have mentioned it then, right? Oh how I wish I had actual area in our house to take photos---but we dont, so instead I move a bunch of furniture, get the divits out of the carpet and then attempt to crop out all of the other junk.

  6. WOW!! That chair really does make all the difference with that dresser!! It looks incredible! The pallet shelves are ah-mazing, too!

  7. Love that color you used! Glad to hear Im not the only one who experiences spray paint mishaps, but great news it all turned out in the end!

  8. Great update! It looks so much fresher now.

  9. Ive been leaving comments and taking off thinking theyve been posted... not so... I love this chair, love the paint, will try that for my next project and I love the picture you painted of all of you squeezed into the bathroom, too funny!

    Laurie @ Vinyet Etc.

    1. Thanks so much Laurie! Oh, how I wish we had a bigger bathroom....but sometimes squishing in together is fun too (as weird as that sounds). Definitely give Liquitex a try - I really did love the finish that it left.

  10. #1 I CANNOT believe that vanity did not sell first go round. It is SO CUTE and would be perfect for a girl or boy! Adorable!
    #2 It is even cuter with the teal/blue chair so apparently they were made for each other and that clearly is the reason it didnt sell the first time. ;)
    #3 I would have never noticed your heat register...there is too much other cute stuff to look at in your pictures. ;)
    I love it and I was just venting about the drawbacks of spray paint in a post so I may have to give that Liquitex paint a shot! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

    1. You are so awesome - thank you for your kind words! And thanks for not noticing the register! Doesnt that just go to show you that as bloggers we stress about little things that other people dont even notice???

  11. What a pretty transformation, I have to say the before was not pretty, but you made it look so great with the color and fabric. Please share this on my linky party, if you get a chance: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/03/sunday-linky-party-1.html

  12. I love love love your chair!! I had to pin it; I have a vanity chair thats in desperate need of a makeover and this is very motivating :)

  13. I really like the jug that you had on the vanity.(I have a thing for jugs) Is it one that might be readily available or a one of a kind?
    Caroline, Calgary

    1. Hi Caroline,
      Its a Russel Wright jug. I have a whole collection of his dishes in white, but the teal jug is just a one of that I have. They were my grandparents. I believe its from around the 50s. You can often find them on ebay.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  14. oh man, i looove this little corner. the way you brought the chair color into the desk handles...so good!

  15. I went all out on liquitex spray paint. So many colors. Amazing finish. I got a shade of every color. No seriously. In the end, rustoleum is still#1. These caps constantly clog, and spray wildly and its more time consuming to unclog than paint. Feel like first coat needs to be applied heavily?

    1. Well I am glad that I am not the only one who had issues! I actually found the coverage (once it sprayed properly) to be much better than Rustoleum, but I dont think its durability is on par with other paints. Thanks so much for your comment and thoughts!


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