Children’s table and chair sets are available at almost every yard sale that is selling children’s things. Most often they are novelty sets that reflect children’s movies, television shows or cartoons. When the child’s interests change, the items are disposed of. Looking beyond pretty fairies or purple and green dinosaurs, these sets can be transformed into furniture with a vintage appearance that will stand the test of time and redecorating whimsy.
Things You Will Need:
Child’s table and chairs
Tools and etc. needed for structural repairs (optional)
Soap and water
Gray latex paint
Soft yellow latex paint
Children’s book with large images
Pearl paint medium
Repair any structural damage your table and chairs may have. The table and chairs I used for this project had damaged or missing legs. I replaced these legs with matching legs I already had in my crafting supplies. Replacement legs or dowels can also be found at your local home improvement store. If sanding does not smooth out gouges, fill them with wood putty and sand smooth with the surface.
Clean the set thoroughly using soap and water. Sticky or greasy fingerprints will prevent paint from adhering. Sand all surfaces of the table and chairs. This is especially important if the surface is papered with a manufactured cartoon or novelty print. The sanding will rough up the surface, allowing the paint to stick well to the surface. Wipe off the sanding dust with a rag.
Paint all surfaces, including the legs and the bottoms with a light gray latex paint. This first coat of gray serves as a primer for the entire set. Repeat with additional coats of gray on the legs and bottoms only. Paint the table top, chair seats and backs with a soft yellow latex paint. Repeat until you can no longer see the original color and images. Allow the paint to dry.
Cut out large images from a child’s vintage story book. I cut four for the table and one each for each seat and chair back. Apply a decoupage medium to the back of the images using a sponge brush. Place the images where desired on the table and chairs. Press and smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles using your fingers. Apply a coat of decoupage medium over the entire surface of the table, chair seats and backs. You do not need to apply the medium to the legs or the bottoms. Note: Painting over the image only may leave a shadow around the image and is not recommended. Allow the medium to dry.
Paint over the entire set using a pearl paint medium. A pearl finish will give the set a hazy, vintage appearance. Pearl paint dries very quickly, so try not to go over the same area more than once as it will give the stroke an opaque appearance. Stroke the paint on in the same direction.
Don’t pass up the potential of broken tables and chairs found curbside. Replacement parts can often be found at your local home improvement store.