DIY Farmhouse Style Wood High Chair Makeover

Last spring when I was making a list of all the baby things I needed to buy or find for our little girl, a highchair was definitely on the list.  I didn’t want a plastic/bulky free standing one that just wouldn’t fit in the style of my home so I was going to go with a smaller one that would strap on a chair.  But then I realized I could probably find a secondhand wood highchair and refinish it to be perfect for our little one and also fit in with my home and decor.  Plus it would be perfect for an adorable 1st birthday banner and photos when that time comes (in just a few weeks! agh!)

So I browsed yard sales, thrift stores, and even Craigslist and facebook yard sale sites.  I finally found one on a facebook yard sale site (I paid $20 or $25 – can’t remember now).


It was grimy and dirty and all scuffed up but that was fine with me because I knew I was going to paint it!


I love this Jenny Lind style and I will either keep it and pass it down as a family heirloom or I won’t have a problem reselling it as I constantly see people looking for wood highchairs to either buy or paint.  I was originally going to just throw out the cushion set but it actually washed up great and I find it is easier to keep her comfy and still with it in there.  It’s a black white check and looks much better now with the chair refinished. 


So here it is after I wiped it all down but man was it still pretty nasty!   So I gathered all my supplies and got to work.  (This post contains affliate links.)


Materials used:


I removed the buckles (one side was broken anyways and they were brittle and gross!) and the hardware and sanded any rough/chipping paint.  I decided to stain the seat, the tray, and the foot rest so I sanded those completely down to the bare wood. 


I used the white Chalked paint to paint all the spindles and the rest of the chair.   Once dry I lightly sanded to distress it a bit and did a coat of Chalked Clear Protective finish on the white paint.


Hard to believe all that pretty wood was hiding under all that old chipped finish!  I used the Kona stain and stained the seat, foot rest, and the top and bottom of the tray.  I also applied 2 coats of the Triple Thick poly over the stain.   I wanted the tray to be super protected  and easy to clean since it would be used constantly and hit with spoons and sippy cups for the next 2 years. Smile


I bought a new set of buckles (this is the specific ones I bought) and attached with screws underneath the seat of the chair. 

And here’s the finished chair!    I just love how it turned out!


The tray and really the entire chair is super easy to wipe down and clean!  Our little girl has been using for 5-6 months now and other than a few dents on the tray from said banging of spoons or cups it still looks just like the day I finished it.  I can easily sand down and restain the tray if needed once she is finished using it and it will be like new. 


I love the ornate spindles and love the two toned finish.  I almost debated doing some fun color like mint or soft pink and that would be totally adorable on a chair like this too. 


Our little girl has already gotten so much use out of it and I am sure will for many months to come!


Here’s just a sneak peek at it in the breakfast nook by our kitchen table.  See how it just fits in and completely goes with the decor of my house!  Love that!  I can’t wait to show you some other projects I’ve done in the breakfast area (check out that newly refinished table!!) but I want to wait until we get rid of that nasty laminate and get new flooring put in this month and then I will show you it all. 


Have you given a yard sale piece a makeover recently?  Send me a picture or post it on my facebook page.

DIY Farmhouse style wood highchair makeover


  1. Annette says:

    Looks beautiful. Always amazing what a new coat of paint will do! Where did you get the new hardware for the highchair? I have my grandmothers vintage highchair that obviously didn’t include the straps and currently use a dish towel to buckle them in!

  2. Annette says:

    Oops…just found the link for the hardware. My bad!

  3. That looks great! I’m not talented in furniture refinishing but I love seeing what others can do! My mom just bought this exact chair for my child at an estate sale. It has an ugly green plastic tray but otherwise it looks pretty good and the finish already matched our table. I love the look of vintage furniture. I’m thinking of sewing new cushions out of the vinyl we used to recover our kitchen chairs. It’s so easy to wipe clean!

  4. I enjoy having these projects around, and even tho I don’t have a chair to remodel, you got me inspired to try something different with desk – so thanks for that :))

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