An Impromptu Front Entrance Makeover

I’d walked through my brother’s front door dozens of times before though for some reason, one day a few weeks back, it made me pause…

Door Makeover Before

…and kind of burned my eyes.

I know he’s not alone in having an ugly dated facade along with no real budget and limited aptitude to undertake a complete overhaul.

And I know a mere cosmetic update may seem totally fanciful…though there is hope!

Easy Front Porch Makeover

With just paint and some plants (and a cute gingerbread-coloured canine) you can totally transform the look and feel of a dated exterior entrance without replacing anything!

Front Door Makeover Before and After

You might think that simply painting old glass is a total cheat (and, well, it kinda is) however it can also be a long-lasting and super effective fix.

This door opens into a large living space with three generous windows so blocking the light wasn’t an issue. And although I don’t currently have a pic showing the glass from the inside it looks totally fine.

To paint the glass I first cleaned and then primed it with ESP (Easy Surface Prep) before slapping on three coats of paint. To save on expense (and take choosing colours out of the equation!) I used left-over paint I already had. The black is Dulux Aquanamel in Domino and the sage is a custom mix. I decided on sage for the front door because green and red are complimentary colours which work to boost one another. The contrast beautifully highlights the old brick which could otherwise look a bit drab.

I wasn’t sure how the diamond pattern in the glass would appear once painted though found that it imparts a subtle rippled effect with I think lends interest.

Front Door Makeover After

It’s hard to make out in the pics though I also added some simple trim to the sidelight. The idea behind this was to make it look more like a timber panel and also to reference the moulding on the door. It’s just two strips of masonite packers (75 cents each) attached with multi-purpose glue.

In the center of the door there was a weird old mounting plate (where the original handle used to be) so I replaced it with some simple house numbers. They are just basic self-adhesive ones though definitely do the trick.

Door Numbers

I loved the idea of introducing brass here, though given the existing door handle was chrome I decided to stick with that. And I think the silver works really well to add a touch of class.

A really easy change which packs a huge punch is the stencilled floor. It’s hard to grasp the full impact in the before and after pics.

DIY Stenciled Porch Floor

It was only a small area and took less than one hour to complete. I simply cleaned the concrete, applied one coat of white floor paint then stencilled over with charcoal floor paint. I used floor paint because I had it left-over from some previous projects however you could certainly use porch or concrete paint. I didn’t document the process this time around though you can find more information about how I stencil a floor HERE. If you’re interested, the stencil I used is from Gemini Creative.

To complete the area I painted the electrical box charcoal to tie-in with the sidelight and architraves, and re-varnished the redwood step before adding some simple decorative touches. Two traditional hanging baskets burst with blousy Boston Ferns (my favourite!) and a simple wire chair adds a slight modern kick.

Easy Front Porch Makeover

All up this project took less than a day and cost under $150! I know it’s far from spectacular though I hope it helps inspire.


Easy DIY Porch Makeover

Easy DIY Cross Base Table Tutorial

Easy DIY Cross Base Table

It’s finally done!

Sorry it has taken me soooooo long. I’d like to say it’s because I was super busy, though the truth is, it’s because I was totally procrastinating over writing this tutorial due to the fact I knew it was going to be a beast!

Not that making the table itself is a beast, quite the opposite actually, however clearly documenting and explaining the process sorta is.

For anyone new here, I originally made this table base as part of my sister’s free dining room makeover.

Budget Friendly Dining Room Refresh

It cost just $7 and took only a couple of hours.

A lot of you were keen to see a how to, so here it is…

For the purpose of this tutorial I built a coffee table, rather than another dining table, however the basic principle is the same.
Although at first glance the tutorial seems lengthy and complex, building the table is actually really quick and easy. I just wanted to be as thorough as possible.
Some dimensions are rounded to the nearest whole number or decimal. Not all diagrams are to scale.
I have tired my absolute best to be completely accurate with all numbers though can’t guarantee there aren’t some slight miscalculations. Math is not my best friend.



Supplies for Cross Table Base


I used a $7 length of merch grade pine which was 7cm/2.7″ wide x 3cm/1″ deep x 5 meters/16′ long. You may find that not all hardware stores and timber yards stock it though it’s not hard to come by. I got mine from my local Mitre 10.

Merch is a structural rating, not cosmetic, so although the timber is likely to have a few physical faults some lengths are actually quite good looking. Be sure to search through the pile for something nice and straight without too many imperfections.


To assemble the table, timber screws with countersunk heads work best. I used 6cm/2″ long screws (double the depth of my timber).

To attach the base to the top you need screws which are slightly shorter in length than the overall depth of the base and top combined. My base and top together are 6cm/2″, so I used 4.5cm/1.7″ long screws which enabled me to countersink them around 1cm/.3″ and still allowed for a really good “bite” into the table top without the screw protruding.

I used 3cm/1″ long dowels.


Any decent wood glue is fine. I used Selleys Aquadhere.


Wood filler is preferable. I used Timber Mate because that’s what I had in the shed.


Whatever you like. I used primer followed by an acrylic top coat in a duck egg shade (I just made it using some left-overs I already had). To seal I used a water-based poly.

For the table top I used Feast Watson Prooftint in Oak followed by Feast Watson Clear Varnish in Satin.


If you can find an affordable table top alone, then good for you. I find it’s much easier to come across a cheap second-hand table and then dismantle it. I found the one shown, which has a nice thick solid timber top, on Gumtree for just $20 (it’s 90cm/35″ in diameter by 3cm/1″ deep). If the base is any good you can keep it and use it for a different project. If the base is unsalvageable because it’s super ugly or damaged then the table was probably really cheap – yay! I got my sister’s dining table, which had a weird rail type base, for just $1! Also, keep in mind the material the table top is made from. You’ll likely want solid wood if you’re planning on refinishing it. Of course, you can always make your own table top too.

You can purchase your table top first then use it to somewhat dictate the scale of your base. Alternatively, you can decide on the size table top you’d like/need, construct your base to fit, and then find a table top to suit.

Important Note: If you are planning on making a dining table, keep in mind that the size of the top will dictate how the chairs “tuck in”. Essentially, based on the splay of your chair legs there will be a point at which they make contact with the base (this isn’t determined by the size of the base as the chairs will make contact at the same point regardless). If your table top is too small the chairs won’t be able to be “tucked in” sufficiently. For this reason, I find this style of table (used for dining) doesn’t lend itself well to a top diameter smaller than around 110cm/43″. As a guide, chairs with a typical leg splay of about 45cm/18″ suit a top of around 120cm/47″ (this is what my sister has).



There are two ways this can be done: first, there’s the intentional (read “right”) way, and then there’s the impromptu (read “sorta not right”) way.

I’m more your impromptu kind of builder.

Essentially, the intentional way involves creating a proper plan with all dimensions prior to beginning construction. The impromptu way involves deciding on a few determining factors, cutting some bits then winging it from there.

Either way the dimensions will be dictated by three main factors: the size of your top, your desired table height, and your chosen angle. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll refer to my coffee table specifications.

Dimensions of Table

Obviously you want the base to be slightly narrower than the top – I find around 10cm/4″ – 20cm/8″ works well. My coffee table top was 90cm/35″ in diameter so I decided to make my base about 80cm/31″ wide (at its widest point).

For a standard coffee table the overall height is around 45cm/17″. Deducting the depth of my top (which is 3cm/1″) this leaves me with about 42cm/16″ for the base. Of course, this doesn’t need to be exact. For a standard dining table the overall height is around 75cm/29″.

I used a cut angle of 10 degrees. This gives the assembled table an angle of 80 degrees (this is because mitre saws begin at 0 degrees which is actually 90 degrees, so 10 degrees is essentially 80 degrees – yeah, I know, reading this hurts my brain too). I find this gives a nice tilt without being overly slanted.

With these factors determined, you can begin planning your build. As already mentioned, there are two ways you can go about this…


If you want to do things the right way by creating a complete plan prior to beginning construction, it takes some math. Yes people…math. This is due to the angles involved which makes things slightly trickier than a regular straight up-and-down build.

To explain, I’ll use my coffee table as an example.

I know that my base at its widest point is 80cm/31″, that my height is 42cm/16″, and that the angle of my cuts are 10 degrees (which, remember, are essentially 80 degrees). What I don’t know is how wide that makes the base at the top and how long the legs need to be exactly.

Cross Table Base Dimensions

Well, this is how to work it out…

Create a triangle at one end.

Working out the Angle

This retains the overall height at 42cm/16″ and the angle at 80 degrees (the base dimension of 80cm/31″ is not relevant). It also gives me a 90 degree angle at the bottom and a 10 degree angle at the top (I know this because the bottom is a right angle and all triangles must equal 180 degrees).

Input this known data into this online calculator.

Calculator Results

For some reason the result is presented sideways.

This reveals two factors: firstly, the leg length (42.7cm/16.2″ in my case), secondly, the length of the triangle at the bottom (7.4cm/2.8″ in my case).

Next, to determine the length of my base at the top, I simply need to double the length of the triangle at the bottom (7.4cm x 2 = 14.8cm/2.8″ x 2 = 5.6″) then deduct it from the overall length of the base (80cm – 14.8cm = 65.2cm/31″ – 5.6″ = 25.4″). This is the length of my base at the top.

Brace Dimensions

Now that I know the overall size for my base, I can work out the dimensions for each of my pieces.

The legs remain unchanged, however the braces and joiners need some adjustment due to the fact they are flanked and intersected.

Table Base Cut Size

So here are all of my pieces.

Cross Table Cut Pieces

Important Note: Dimensions are taken from the outside edge of the base. So, the lower brace and joiners are measured from their bottoms (longest sides) whereas the upper brace and joiners are measured from their tops (shortest sides). All cuts are 80 degree (10 degree on a mitre saw) with the exception of one end of each joiner which is simply 90 degree.

To save everyone some time and effort, I also created this handy ‘cheat sheet’ which you can reference if using any of the standard dimensions included.



Cheat Sheet for Cross Table Base Dimensions


Jump straight to STEP 2 because planning is sooooo over-rated.


The easiest way to trim the timber is using a mitre saw. If you don’t have a mitre saw you can use a hand saw and a mitre box (it will just take more time and physical exertion, plus there is a higher likelihood of some inaccuracy).

If you’ve done things the right way, use the dimensions from your plan to cut all of your pieces.

If you’ve done things the sorta not right way, start by cutting the legs.

Set the mitre saw based on your desired angle (10 degrees in my case) and trim the legs both top and bottom to your desired height (42cm/16.2″ in my case).

Cutting the Legs

Remember that the slight angle will marginally effect the height however this is only very insignificant.

Next, cut the bottom brace to your desired length. Remember to deduct the depth of your legs as the brace will sit within them. My bottom brace length was 80cm/31″ and my legs are 3cm/1″ deep (of course, there are two legs so the total to deduct is 6cm/2″) so I cut my bottom brace to 74cm/29″ (at the longest point).

To determine the length of your top brace you can use the mathematical formula as mentioned above under “The Right Way” (remember to deduct the depth of your legs as the brace will sit within them). Alternatively, you can do what I did and carefully lay your pieces out on a flat, even surface then measure the gap.

Yes, I realise this is completely improper though, hey, it works.

In my case my top brace needed to be 59.2cm/23.4″ (at the shortest point).

Finally, cut the brace joiners.

These need to be the same length as the braces themselves minus the width of the intersecting wood, then halved. That sounds really confusing though is actually very straight forward.

In my case, my bottom brace is 74cm/29″ long. Minus the width of my wood (7cm/2.7″) I am left with 67cm/26.3″. Halve that, as the joiners are split in two, and I’m left with 33.5cm/13.1″. Don’t forget that one end of each joiner needs to be cut at 90 degrees.

Using this same method, each top joiner needs to be 26.1cm/10.3″.

You now have all of your pieces!

Cross Table Cut Pieces

At this stage you can sand any overly rough cuts as they will be hard to get to once the table is assembled.



Begin construction by connecting the braces with two of the legs to form a base frame.

Base Frame

I used wood glue and long timber screws to join my pieces.

Joining the Frame

Because I was working with soft pine and a good hammer driver I didn’t pre-drill. I simply drove my screws in until the heads were counter sunk. If you have trouble don’t hesitate to pre-drill some pilot and counter sinking holes. It certainly can make things easier.



This step is a little trickier and requires good accuracy.

Measure the square end of all joiners and mark two points for dowels.


Using a small drill bit create pilot holes.

Using a larger drill bit (one or two sizes bigger than your dowel) create holes deep enough to comfortably accommodate half a dowel.

Repeat this process on the braces themselves, being careful to ensure that the holes will accurately align with those of the joiners.

In the above pic I had already attached one joiner to the rear side of this brace.

Note: You can use a tool called a ‘dowel jig’ which helps to ensure holes are centrally positioned.

Starting with one half of the table base, fill all holes with a generous amount of wood glue, push the dowels in and then connect the pieces.

Ignore the messy glue. I’d normally be neater though it’s kinda hard to simultaneously construct furniture and document the process without making a bit of a mess – and getting glue all over your camera!

Use a mallet if needed and then wipe away any excess glue. You need a decent amount of glue as it works to dampen and swell the dowels (which is what provides a nice, strong join) and, of course, to bond everything together.

Whilst the glue is still wet, attach the remaining leg to the joiners using the same method as described in STEP 3.

Cross Table Side One

At this stage, if you want a funky asymmetrical table you could stop here (just bear in mind this may be a little unbalanced and could potentially tip easily).

Repeat with the other side of the table then set on a flat, even surface to dry, ensuring everything is nicely butting and aligned.

DIY Cross Table Base

I found there was no need to clamp however if you notice any glaring gaps it wouldn’t hurt.



You can go as crazy as you like here. If you want a super refined finish then fill the screw holes along with the joins and any other notable imperfections in the timber itself. I decided to embrace the rustic nature of my base so only filled the screw holes and some of the more obvious joins.

Once the filler is dry, sand everything until nice and smooth. You may want to undertake a second round of filling and sanding if you’re going for a perfect finish.


To paint, I applied one coat of primer with a brush before spraying on three top coats in a soft duck egg colour (I just made it up using some left-over acrylic paints I already had).


I have a paint spray gun tutorial HERE if you’d like to learn more.

To finish I sealed with one coat of clear water-based poly.



I’m not certain what type of timber my table top is made from though it’s really thick and lovely.

Table Before

This is the photo from the Gumtree listing. The original base looks okay here though it had been previously damaged and ‘repaired’ with ugly timber supports which is why I didn’t feel too bad about removing the top – and also why I managed to get it so cheap.

It had quite a few scratches and dings, which I personally love, though was also really patchy. I sanded the previous finish back to raw, being careful to retain some of the original character, before staining with two coats of Feast Watson Prooftint in Oak and sealing with three coats of Feast Watson Clear Varnish in Satin.

Refinished Table Top

I absolutely love the way the grain and deliberate imperfections are beautifully highlighted.

To attach the top to the base, lay the top upside down on a smooth, even surface then place the base in position on top, measuring to ensure it is centralised. You can mark with a pencil in case of any movement.

Attaching the Table Top

The underside of my table top was a little damaged and discoloured so I painted it black.

Next, measure and mark eight screw points – two along each leg (you could probably get away with just four in total though, hey, let’s over-engineer this sucker).

Using a drill bit one size smaller than your screws (refer to the “You Will Need” section for information about selecting the right size screws), create eight pilot holes, being careful not to drill right through your table top.

How to Attach a Table Top and Base

I’m not entirely sure why I clustered mine in the center. You could spread them more evenly along the length of the base.

Tip: Measure the drill bit and mark the depth with a piece of tape or marker to ensure you don’t go too far through.

Next, using a drill bit slightly larger than your screw heads, create eight counter sinking holes. Ensure they are deep enough to neatly conceal the screws though not so deep that the screws will protrude through the table top when drilled in.

Countersinking Screw Points

Drill all eight screws in until the top and base are securely connected.

Attaching a Table Top and Base


STEP 7  |  DONE!

DIY Cross Base Coffee Table

I had a bit of fun dressing-up my living room for the photo shoot. Sadly, most of this stuff won’t be staying as it’s basically all stolen from my son’s room and parent’s house! Ha, ha.

Cross Table Base Top

Here you can see some of the rustic character I retained in the table top.

Close Up of Rustic Table Top

Coffee Table Vignette

Easy DIY Cross Table Base Tutorial

And, again, here’s my sister’s dining table which started the whole thing.

Budget-Friendly Dining Room Refresh

Now that this beast of a tutorial is finally published, I swear, someone better use it to make themselves an awesome table.

Have fun!


DIY Cross Base Coffee Table

Trash to Treasure Vases…using Old Food Jars & Vintage Handbag Straps!

DIY Upcycled Jars using Paint and Handbag Straps

Who woulda thought an instant coffee jar wearing a belt could look so cute?

Not me, if I’m honest.

This was one of those experimental projects which could have gone one of two ways…epic fail or surprising success.

Thankfully, it appears to have been the latter!



Jars Before

Of course, the very first thing to do is gather a collection of old food jars, remove the labels and clean them thoroughly. I simply used some warm soapy water and a dash of eucalyptus oil for the more stubborn label glue.

Jars Before

To finish I wiped the jars with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residual oil or grime and ensure they were squeaky clean.


Next I hit the jars with several light coats of spray paint. I used Dulux Duramax Chalky Finish in Classic Duck Egg. Absolutely love the matte velvety finish of this paint. And, as a bonus, it adheres super well too!

Dulux Chalky Finish Spray Paint


Although I’d always wanted to try revamping some old food jars, there was one thing holding me back…how to deal with the threads left visible after removing the lids.

DIY Jar Upcycle

Granted, it’s not a huge problem and can actually be desirable if you want that upcycled feel, though I wanted my jars to look quite refined, like ‘proper’ vases. So, for me, the visible threads simply gave away the fact they were merely old food jars.

Enter…vintage handbag straps!

Old Handbag Straps

I removed these from some leather handbags I bought from an op shop for just a few dollars each. You could also use pet collars, skinny belts or dog leads.

I figured that by using straps of leather I could conceal the jar threads AND give the jars a stylish twist to boot!

I contemplated and trialed several methods of attaching the leather though settled on creating snug bands which can be slipped on or off, just like (tight) bracelets. Not only does this provide the means to remove the leather if ever desired, though I found it much easier to create neat joins this way.

To make the bands I first cut a strap of leather to fit. This meant ensuring the ends of the strap just touched when wrapped around the jar. Next I applied rapid set super glue to each end before bringing them together and holding neatly in place until bonded – around thirty seconds.

Leather Join

I was skeptical as to how well this would work, though it created a very neat and strong join.

Once the glue was fully set I carefully shimmied the bands into position on their jars.

DIY Upcycled Jars using Paint and Handbag Straps

The leather has some give though you don’t want to test the glue too much so take your time. I found twisting the bands worked well.


Now all that’s left to do is make everything look pretty!

You can leave the jars empty and display as a collection of vessels, dress them up with flowers as I’ve done, or use them for general storage (maybe holding pencils, jewellery, cotton tips, kitchen utensils, or so on).

DIY Upcycled Food Jars using Leather and Paint

DIY Jar Vases

And of course these are great for table settings or decorations at weddings and other events.

A few of my jars didn’t have threads because the lids were push on caps. For these I used the buckles off the handbag straps to create little “belts”.

DIY Upcycled Jars

For the littlest jar, I found that the radius was too tight to create a neat band using the leather. Instead, I concealed the thread using a strip of faux leather contact paper I had left-over from this old project.

DIY Spray Painted Glass Jars

Hope this helps inspire!



Amazing Old Jar Upcycle using Paint and Handbag Straps!

The FREE Dining Room Reveal!

Budget Friendly Dining Room Refresh

After lots of indecision, uncertainty, and sanding, it’s done!

Free Dining Room Makeover

I questioned myself A LOT throughout this project, and it really wasn’t until I pulled everything together that I realised I had actually pulled everything off!

In case you’ve missed my previous posts about this makeover, I was endeavoring to refresh my sister’s dining room for free by selling her old furniture then using nothing but the money gained to fund the overhaul.

Here’s how the room looked a month or so back…


Dining Room Before

And this was the true state of the dining setting…

Chairs and Table Before

I managed to sell the dining setting (following a quick spruce up) and pendant light on Gumtree for a total of $200. This gave me a modest, yet very workable, budget to acquire some ‘new’ pieces…

Furniture Before

It was a ramshackle bunch, and, like I mentioned, I wasn’t quite sure how things were going to come together!

Free Dining Room Makeover

The new table, which I feared might be too large and disproportionate, is thankfully perfect.

Free Dining Room Refresh

Even though it’s bigger than the previous square table it makes the room look so much more spacious. The round top helps soften everything and really aids with the flow of the space whilst the geometric base adds a crisp, contemporary touch.

I completely refinished the pine top by sanding it back to raw before applying a mid-brown stain followed by a few coats of clear satin sealer.

DIY Table Top

Table Top Stain

So much nicer than the streaky red mess it was before!

My DIY table base (find the full how-to HERE) got a lick of fresh white floor paint which I had left-over from a previous project.

Budget Friendly Dining Room Refresh

The dining chairs, which were never quite what I wanted, actually work really well.

The traditional Windsor style gives a timeless edge whilst the playful paint finish lends a youthful and relaxed vibe.

Paint Dipped Chairs

From the start I had envisioned a soft blue-grey colour for the dipped effect though was never convinced it was right. Thankfully it teams beautifully with all of the warm wood and gold. And it off-sets the white of the table base and neutral kitchen perfectly to create a bit of interest and vibrancy.

Free Dining Room Refresh

You can learn more about how I refinished the chairs in this post.

For the most part I love the light.

Budget-Friendly Dining Room Refresh

I’m sure some of you may think it’s out of place though I wanted that unexpected modern punch to cut through the predominately classic feel. To me, it elevates the room and adds a bit of oomph.

DIY Dining Room Makeover

I must admit however that I’m a little disappointed with the gold finish. The eBay listing showed it as brilliant burnished brass whereas it’s actually quite flat paint. Of course, for the price I really can’t complain and when you buy things online there is always that element of risk. In all honestly though, it’s fine.

To finish the space I added a mix of vintage and modern artwork. The two landscapes were only a few dollars each from charity stores and the abstract is an Etsy download in a Kmart frame.

Thrifty Eclectic Art

Yes, I realise they aren’t evenly spaced. I did that deliberately to give them a less formal feel.

I agonised for ages over the wall decor. For a while I was going to go full modern, though this room made me realise something: vintage art is basically my patronus – seriously, it’s a force not to be reckoned with!

Free Dining Room Refresh

All of the styling pieces are things we already owned.

Dining Room Styling

So now, let’s see how I did budget-wise! Remember, in order to make this a free room makeover I can’t spend more than $200 – based on how much I was able to sell my sister’s original pieces for.

Below are all of my purchases for the space. This list excludes items and supplies I already had (such as paint and stain for the table and chairs and most of the decor).


Pendant Light $72

Dining Chairs $40

Dining Table $8

Edison Bulbs $27

Paint Stripper $17

Clear Sealer $18

Artwork $23




You can find out more about where I sourced the main items in this previous post.

Oh man, guess I need to start calling it “The $5 Dining Room Makeover”. In all honesty, I never tallied everything up to the exact dollar until just then. I don’t think my sis will begrudge me the slight overspend!

Hope you guys like it.


Free Dining Room Makeover

Dining Room Before

Free Dining Room Refresh



If you’d like to save this project you can pin the image below.

How to Transform a Room For Free | Amazing Free Room Makeover

How to Make Hat & Sock Seats (AKA Paint Dipped Chairs)

DIY Paint Dipped Chairs

When I mentioned to my son that I was planning on painting just the tops and bases of these chairs, I described it to him as giving them all hats and socks. I thought that was kind of cute until he went on to add that “the hats will eat the socks and then the chairs will poo them out.” Five year olds are certainly hilarious.

Of course, these are the Windsor style chairs I picked up for my sister’s dining room.

DIY Dipped Chairs Before

Photo from the Gumtree listing.

Originally, they had a worn and dated two-tone stain complete with plenty of chipped, shiny varnish. The finish was so opaque you couldn’t even see the lovely timber grain beneath.

I had visions of a much more natural and contemporary look, using a simple mid-brown stain with some soft blue-grey accents.

DIY Paint Dipped Chairs

Getting to this point wasn’t exactly simple!

Sometimes old varnish flakes off really easily – and, of course, that’s exactly what I imagined this old varnish would do when I optimistically decided to buy these chairs. Though the existing finish was incredibly stubborn! Each chair took two coats of stripper followed by copious amounts of electric sanding (I used a palm sander with medium grit paper) followed by lots of fiddly hand sanding (again, I used medium grit paper then fine paper to finish). All up, it probably took around six or seven hours to take the entire set of chairs back to raw timber.

Chairs After Sanding

I left some of the more obstinate stain and varnish around the tops because I knew I was going to be painting over it.

I know it probably seems like there must be a better way, though short of using a professional dipping or blasting service, there’s really no other option. I was so desperate at one point I even went out and bought a soda blaster! Sadly, it was no match for the gummy varnish. In case you’re interested, I did try it on some other old furniture and it worked okay, though it’s certainly no magic bullet. I found it left the timber very rough, plus it’s slow going, messy and the soda is pretty pricey.

Anyhoo, with the chairs finally ready, I gave them each one coat of stain (Feast Watson Prooftint in Oak – which I had left-over from a previous project). I chose to stain them, rather than leave them natural, because I wanted a nice contrast between the timber and the paint. Plus, although it’s hard to tell from the above pic, the natural timber has quite a bit of orange in it which I didn’t want clashing with my sister’s honey-toned floors.

Once the stain was fully cured I added the “hats and socks”.

Creating a paint dipped effect is a pretty straight forward process…


DIY Dipped Chairs - Step 1

First I taped off the lines, ensuring the tape edges were smooth and well adhered. Getting the lines perfectly straight along the back rests was a little tricky due to the offset and angle of the spindles which creates a bit of a visual illusion.


Priming Dipped Chairs

Next, just to be safe, I used a stain blocking primer. I probably wouldn’t have bothered if I didn’t already have some in the shed.

Note: I’m sure most of you have heard about the “perfect line” trick which suggests using the base paint colour first to seal the tape and conceal any bleed. Of course, my base was stain, not paint, so I decided to experiment by using a similar toned brown craft paint. I actually found that it made no difference. My lines were all nice and crisp regardless, which I think can be attributed to the smoothness of the wood. I imagine on a more textured surface there would be more chance of bleed and this technique would be beneficial.


DY Dipped Chair Tutorial

Once the primer was dry I applied two coats of paint. I created a custom colour using a variety of water-based paints I already had. The major component is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue.

Hat & Sock Seats

I went slightly deeper with the socks by adding a dash of charcoal to the paint. The difference is only subtle though creates a bit of interest.


DIY Dipped Chairs How To

With the paint still wet from the second coat I carefully peeled the tape away. It’s important not to let it dry as once it ‘bridges’ over the tape there is a high chance it will chip as the tape is removed.

DIY Paint Dipped Windsor Dining Chairs

To finish the chairs, I sealed them with a few light coats of clear spray poly.

DIY Paint Dipped Chairs

Am loving the way they turned out! Here’s hoping they work in my sister’s dining space.

And speaking of my sister’s dining space, I now have everything needed! Will try to pull the room together and hopefully share next week.



PS I haven’t forgotten about the table base tutorial. Stay tuned for that too!

DIY Paint Dipped Windsor Chairs

You can now find the completed dining room HERE.