Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Fabulous Bamboo Chair Makeover!

I am so excited about this transformation!
 I still can't believe that I even snagged some faux bamboo chairs to makeover!  You all know how obsessed I am about faux bamboo!  So I was completely shocked to find a table and chairs set for sale on Craigslist this past Memorial Day weekend, you can read all about that adventure here!
I mean, I have posted about my love for the bamboo look more times that I can even count!

After the ( crazy-big....I mean really huge ) shock of finding them wore off, I readily jumped into planning their transformation into a glamorous Hollywood Regency set!
 I rather foolishly assumed that I would have them finished by the end of the long Memorial Day weekend, it's pretty typical of me to underestimate the amount of work it will take to finish something.  Boy did I underestimate it!   The day I estimated turned into a week long, working on it just about every day project!  I guess I should tell you that for the time being ( since our place is pretty small...all of 600 sq ft  ) that I decided to only keep two of the chairs in my apartment,  the table and the remaining chair made the trip over to my mom's to be stored.

The day after I got them , I got up early and gave my lovelies a good once over, just to see how best to plan my attack transformation!  As much as I wanted to start painting right away, I really needed to do some prep work on these babies!
Both of my remaining chairs were just a wee bit wobbly, while I knew that they were sturdy, I didn't want guests to think that their bums might fall to the floor if they sat in one! So that was the first issue to be fixed!   After a little google-ing, I felt confident that I  could fix this little problem.

Here's what I did!

I read online that to fix the wobble I would need some wood glue and some rope.  The rope I used to hold everything in place nice and tight while it dried.   So out came the Gorilla Glue and I got to work!  Now if you can pull the spindles completely out,  it's best to clean off all the old glue before re-gluing and tying tight with the rope.  That was a great tip for the spindles on the back part of the chair!  Neither one of the loose pieces moves even the littlest bit now! yay!  

The rope was a great tip, I may have attempted to glue everything and just let it dry.....actually that's what I started to do, but realized I should do a little research before I began!  So glad I did!  Neither one of my chairs have any wobble left in them!

There is some sort of belt like clamp that professional wood workers use, but the rope was what I had on hand so I wanted to give that a try first before I ran out and bought something I may only use once!
It worked beautifully, so I didn't have to spend the money for the clamp! was time wait.....annnndddd waaaaiiittttt..........
This part was so hard, because I was super eager to get some glossy white paint on them!
But I knew I would regret it if I didn't properly prep my chairs.
Now, I read several websites that told me vastly different wait times, ranging from as little as four hours to as much as forty eight hours before sanding and painting them!
I figured I'd wait till the next day before I started messing with hard!
I guess it was roughly twenty-four hours or so.
 I'm soooooo impatient, I just wanted to get to the good stuff!

I got up the next morning thinking " at last! I get to paint!!! "  yes, lots of exclamation points as I told myself that!
ohhhhhh I was so naive....I had gotten WAY ahead of myself again!  I still needed to sand, and do you know how hard it is to sand something with so MANY spindles!!  Every time I thought I was done, I turned the chairs around and found whole sections I completely missed!  At this point I really thought I heard the universe laughing at me.....seriously......but it also could have been my delirium from working outside in temps nearing the 100's!

 With all the hand sanding I still had some parts were the finish would not come off!

I know the photo is a little fuzzy, but you can see a bit of the cracked gunky finish that was being super stubborn!  Josh thought it looked like it may have somehow gotten too close to a heat source!  Poor things!  I will take much better care of my faux bamboo babies!

  I couldn't pull out a hand sander because that was too big, so I pulled out the next best thing!

My Dremel!

I put on a little sanding bit, and went to town on those spots!  If you are thinking about using a dremel to sand something off a piece of furniture you're refinishing, be careful!  Normally I would not have pulled this out for furniture, because it's very easy to go overboard and leave giant gouge marks on the wood!
Since the spindles were so small and relatively close together I really couldn't figure out another way to get the wonky finish off!
I have a confession to make, I normally skip the whole safety eye wear thing!  I know, I know!  I really should wear them more!  But even I had to pull them out, after a few tiny sharp pieces of the crazy finish flew at my face while using my Dremel!  It hurt too!  That stuff was sharp!   I promise I will wear them from now on!
I also added a face mask  after breathing in some dusty wood particles.....sigh, what I do for my love of refinishing.....

After sanding everything down and getting all the wonky cracked finish off, I wiped both chairs down with a few tacky cloths.  Don't skip this step!  You want to make sure your paint will adhere properly!! 

Now  for the fun stuff!!
I pulled out some Rustoleum spray paint primer and went to town covering my recently stripped chairs.
I used about three cans between the two of them.
I'm sure you remember these pictures from a post last week!

After priming and sanding, I once again wiped everything down with a tacky cloth.
 I actually did this in between each and every coat of paint I applied!!
If you do this each time you add a coat of paint, you will achieve a nice even finish!  This is especially important if you are trying to achieve a smooth ultra-glossy finish!

 Now I was ready to start painting!  
I really wanted them to have a super glossy white Jonathan Adler-like finish, so I pulled out some.......

Love this stuff! It always comes out so nice and even!

Just so you get the full affect of my fabulous Faux Bamboo Chair Makeover, I want share with you how they looked in their "I'm  for sale" photo on craigslist.

.....and NOW!
Here's how my lovely Hollywood-Regency-Jonathan-Adler-like chairs look now!!

Excuse the state of the rest of the room, I was in the process of rearranging every thing in the room!

Oh yeah, a little HGTV going on in the background!

 I LOVE how they turned out!!
I'm so excited to see how they will look when I DIY some custom cushion for the seats!
It looks like the fabric I blogged about here, is projected to be delivered tomorrow afternoon!
I can't wait!

Here's the break down on what I spent for this project:
Each chair  - $12.50
( I spent $50 on four pieces, so each piece cost me about $12.50 )
 Rustoleum Primer - three cans @ $2.88  - $9
Rustoleum Universal Spray Paint in glossy white - four cans @ $5.80 -$23
Tacky cloth -$0 - left over from a past project
Sandpaper - $0 - left over from a past project
Total Cost for each of My Glam Jonathan Adler-like chairs-
$ 28.50!!

So what do you all think?!?
Do you LOVE my bamboo chairs as much as I do?!


  1. GORGEOUS chairs, they look stunning with that white paint! You are so handy! Can't wait to see them with your cushions.

  2. Great job! Love the chairs against the navy pillows! :)

  3. They look fantastic Ashley! I'm sure those chairs will see many colors in your lifetime and move with you through the years.

  4. Asley-
    These bamboo chairs are sooo very cute!! Love the transformation!! Isn't it amazing what paint can do!! Very, very GLAM!!

  5. Sandi @ Making It Homey said... I love them. Your tips really help me this week because I am stripping down a similar chair. Good idea about the ropes. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love them! They will look great with almost any fabric you choose. Can't wait to see the finished product and good for you for being patient enough to let them 'set' properly....that's always the hard part for me!

  7. Lucky you to find such fabulous chairs. You did a great job of making them current. Visiting from the Shabby Chic Cottage.

  8. Beautiful chairs - i love the black and white pillows on them, too!

  9. What an amazing transformation! Last year, I bought 4 bamboo chairs and a table for $35 and I'd like to paint them. I'm contemplating chalk paint because I don't want a smooth, factory finish. We'll see... Hope you find a fantastic fabric for the cushions- they'll look amazing. :-) Visiting from Leigh's party. ~ Sue

  10. I am looking for the picendale chairs for my living room. I have not been lucky finding those on craigslist. Will just hit the antique stores now.

  11. i LOVE those chairs! the style is awesome and the white paint is perfect and updates them beautifully!!

  12. They look fabulous Ashley! Love them! You did an awesome job! Thanks for linking up to this week's Catch a Glimpse party. I'll be featuring this tomorrow.

  13. Yep, you did an amazing job on these! AND, you look way too cute in the protective glasses!

  14. Your chairs are gorgeous! Thanks so much for linking up to Sassy Sites for our ffa party! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo!

    Marni @ Sassy Sites!

  15. Wow...looks like so much work, but they turned out so fab! Great job!

  16. Your chairs are gorgeous! Sounds like a lot of work but it was definitely well worth it!

  17. Thanks for your comments on my blogger frustration :) UHHH, I wish they'd get the darn thing fixed. Your chairs are super cute! My Mom has some just like it & I keep telling her she needs to give them a makeover. Maybe I'll show this to her and she'll be inspired. Happy weekend to you.

  18. Those are GORGEOUS!!! Seriously, this is an amazing transformation and your hardwork totally paid off big time. You should be so proud of yourself for giving this set a whole new life. :-) Thank you so much for sharing this with us at our Inspiration Friday party this week and we hope to see lots more of you in the future!

  19. Gorgeous chairs- the transformation is wonderful!! They look fantastic in your home- Would love for you to come share this at Feathered Nest Friday at my blog~going on all weekend! :) Can't wait to see the finished product! :)

  20. These chairs are absolutely stunning! What a gorgeous transformation!

  21. They look a lot better! I love the black and white flower pillow!

  22. Congrats. Those turned out awesome. And they were heinouse before.

  23. Your chairs turned out great! Well done.

  24. Happy Tuesday!

    Lovely project~ a true metamorphosis.

    If you get a chance, please stop by my blog and enter the giveaway.

  25. soooo loving the bamboo!!!!

    you might like my giveaway. check me out:


  26. They look so much better! You did a great job on your chairs.

  27. They look great. I love the pillows you chose to use on them as well. I'm a new follower I hope to see you at

    P.S. I have a link party every Monday. I would love for you to stop by next week and link up your table.

  28. Just lovely! They have great lines and look fantastic white!!

  29. You did a great job. You are right about better spray paints spraying nice and even.

    Good to see someone take care to do a careful, thorough makeover. Great tutorial. Thanks.

  30. I saw you on My Girlish Whims and wanted to invite you to my new link party. Last week we had over 300 links, it was so much fun. It will run every Friday evening through Sunday. Hope to see you there. You can find the party button now on the blog if you want it for a reminder.

  31. Such a great and cheap idea. I also love the little box between the chairs. It's gorgeous.

    I'm a new follower!

  32. Great looking chairs, Ashley! And what a bargain! By the way, all that work paid off, 'cause the finish looks as smooth as silk. ;)

    I'm visiting from WhisperWood Cottage, and I would like to invite you to join my linky party each week. The party starts on Wednesday nights, and anything "family friendly" can be linked.

    By the way, I just joined you as a follower.

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  33. one question....

    can I have them? ;) they are so pretty! great job!!!

  34. Beautiful! and your pillows look perfect on your new chairs.

  35. Not only a great price, but they look so fresh and updated now. Love the pillows too.

  36. Your chairs look great! I love paint. Glad you broke out the safety gear.

  37. These chairs are so beautiful... you did a great job!! Incredible! Also, I love your quote by Erma Bombeck :)
    Connie @ Salvage Savvy

  38. BTW- I'm your newest follower :)
    Connie @ Salvage Savvy

  39. WOW! What a makeover! I'm always amazed at what a little white paint can do...they're completely different chairs! Thanks for sharing! Jen @

  40. awesome!!!! I have always wondered what bamboo would look like spray painted. It totally turned out amazing! Good Job chicka!


  41. I wanted to let you know that I featured your project on homework today. Thanks again for linking up. Hope to see you next week.

  42. What a fantastic transformation and I just adore those pillows! The chairs alone are great but they truly make the whole thing pop!

  43. stunning! you did a great job. this post would be such a great addition to my weekly party "from trash to treasure" I'd love it if you joined!!

  44. What a great, thrifty project! Thanks for linking this to Wicked Awesome Wednesday.

  45. Those are really pretty! I love the shape of them. You got a great deal on them and they turned out fantastic!

  46. wow what a score! You did an amazing job- they look beautiful :)

  47. I am in LOVE! Can you please find me some of them on Craig's list for me...I never have that great of luck! And you have a fantastic blog - I'm your newest follower!

  48. wow! you did a fabulous makeover job! I love them! I found your blog through a link party and LOVE it! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

  49. Oh! A fellow, faux bamboo lover! It is so fresh especially with your white redo.

  50. Those are phenomenal! I love that you had the patience to do it the right way. :)
    (coming from a person with no patience for that kind of thing.)

  51. Great job! I love the way these turned out. What a great Craig's list find! You've got a treasure now!

  52. I do so love a great craigslist find!!! we bought a project house and will be adding alot of the projects to my blog... (not up and running yet) but do love the chairs!!! Question ?? i make girls hair bows and am needing to find someone that can take great pictures for me to post in my shop.. would like to find someone that would do a swap all the bows.. free for the photos!!! know anyone that might be interested?? would appreciate the help!!! thanks kassi

  53. I am not big fan of bamboo funiture, but your chairs turned out so nicely. Great job!

  54. So much better in white , looks fresh and modern :) xx Ava

  55. You have done an excellent job in restoring the furniture. Well done, it looks fantastic.

  56. I love these chairs and the pillows are just the perfect POP!
    Kerry at

  57. Awesome chairs and extra awesome redo! Love them! :)

  58. Chairs look fab. Hope you will share them on Sunday at

  59. Please post a link to this on my Reap What You Sew linky, it closes in a few hours, otherwise post by next Sunday, I would be honored!
    San at

  60. Ashley, all your hard work really paid off with a very exquisite set of chairs! Beautiful! And what a find! Those chairs have such great style and elegant lines -- truly some of the nicest faux-bamboo chairs I've ever seen! Thank you so much for sharing on "A Little Birdie Told Me..."!


  61. Those bamboo chairs are seriously the prettiest shape and style I've ever seen. And for $12.50 each?! The last ones I saw on my Craigslist were $275 for 4! You totally lucked out, and they are gorgeous! :)

    Oh and--I also like to rush through projects, but you're right that taking the time to sand, prime (and wear those nasty hot dust masks...) makes the end product much, much better.

  62. Those look so good. Thanks for sharing them at WUW.

  63. Hi Ashley! Great job on that chair - you totally rocked it. I'm a new follower here from Kim's blog. I'd love it if you stopped by for a visit sometime!

  64. Hey Kells, I only used a white primer before painting them the glossy white. You may be seeing a shadow of some sort if it looks green!

  65. LOVED your re-do! so awesome. Tell me, why did you do a light green primer first? in one of the pics it looks like you painted them light green before the "really white" glossy stuff.
    it looks amazing and your tutorial is cute just like you!

  66. Such a fun post and your chair - gorgeous!! I've got this linked to my bamboo post today too, well done!


I'd love to know what you think! Thanks for reading!

~xoxo a blonde ~


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