To be completely honest, I found these chairs on the side of the road and couldn’t pass them up. They were just sitting there, waiting to be picked up and given a new life. My son had been needing a new pair of chairs for his craft table so it was practically meant to be. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with them at the time, but these soon-to-be painted children’s chairs were a blank canvas just waiting for a creative touch! 

DIY Painted Children's Chairs Before Photo

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I took a few days of brainstorming ideas to come up with a plan, but I’m glad I took my time in deciding which direction to go.

Not only was I excited to design something beautiful but it was also my first time using my new rotary sander, gifted to me by my husband for my birthday. EEEEE! It’s awesome.

I especially love that I can power it with the same rechargeable battery I use for my drill, leaf blower, and mouse sander — you can get one from Amazon, here.

Here’s the list of everything I used to paint these chairs:

  • A Rotary Sander (you could also hand-sand these babies — it would just take a little longer)
  • 1 can of white primer
  • 1 sheet of fine sand paper (I use 400 grit)
  • Behr paint in Marjoram (I used close to 1/4 of a quart)
  • Behr paint in Greener Pastures (I used 1/5 of a sample size jar)
  • A quart of satin finish Minwax polyacrylic sealant
  • Stencils of tropical leaves (I made some with my Cricut Explore 3 and but you can also purchase some on Amazon, here.
  • 1 large, 1 small, and 1 detail paint brush
  • A disposable cup with water for brushes
  • A pencil
  • A towel

Steps To These Jungle Painted Children’s Chairs:

  • To begin, I sanded both chairs to remove any previous sealant.
Sanding Children's Chairs Before Painting
  • Then, after giving them a good wipe down, I sprayed them with a coat of white Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 primer. When the primer was dry, I gave each chair a light sanding to remove any rough spots.
Spray Paint Primer on chairs
  • After priming, I noticed there were a few tiny cracks in the seat — most likely where the pieces of wood were joined together. I simply swiped some wood glue over top of them to fill them in. Easy day!  
  • Then, I gave both chairs a single coat of Marjoram paint by Behr. It’s a beautiful light green color that looks similar to the inside of an avocado.
Painted Children's Chairs with Behr Paint

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  • While the paint was drying, I used my Cricut Explore 3 to cut some jungle leaf stencils out of a mylar sheet. They’re relatively inexpensive and come in super handy when you want a stencil. I used them when I created a custom stencil for my bathroom floor and they turned out AMAZING. (You can check out the tutorial, here.) If you don’t have a Cricut, no worries! You can purchase tropical leaf stencils, here.
Cutting leaf stencils with Cricut Explore 3 to use on painted children's chairs
  • When the paint was completely dry, I gave the chairs a light sanding and wiped off any dust. Then, I traced the leaf designs onto the seat of the chair with a pencil. I wanted the leaves to look like they were coming up and around the top of the chair from the bottom. So, I had the bottoms of the leaves hanging down off the seat a bit.
Stenciled leaves on children's chair seat
  • Once they were all stenciled on, I used a really “jungle-y” green paint called “Greener Pastures” by Behr, and a few very fine paint brushes, to fill in the leaf color. This step definitely took the longest — averaging about 2 hours per chair. Just put on some good music, grab a beverage, and enjoy the process.
Beginning of Painted Children's Chairs
  • Once the first leaf coat was dry, I did a quick touch-up on any spots that were streaky or a bit transparent.
  • I let the chairs dry completely before applying a coat of Minwax satin finish polyacrylic sealer. I like this sealer because it’s non-yellowing, inexpensive, and readily available at my hardware store. If these chairs were something I was planning to sell, I would probably opt for the General Finishes sealant. It’s a little more expensive but has better durability, according to most DIYer’s.  
  • Two hours after the first application, I applied a second coat of sealant to the seat (where we usually see the most wear-and-tear). Then, I just let them dry for about 48 hours prior to use!

And this is how they turned out!

Finished Painted Children's Chairs

One of the hardest parts of any creative project is knowing when to stop. I had originally planned on painting vines climbing up the legs but thought that would look a little messy. I’m glad I stopped with the leaves because these painted children’s chairs are perfection (if I do say so myself).

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