DIY: Spraying Painting Vinyl

There are so many old and sad vinyl chairs in thrift stores all around the world, just waiting for a can of spray paint to come to the rescue.

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Let's join together and give them a second life!

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Here's the how-to:
This is the third or fourth time that I've spray painted an old vinyl office chair. In the past, I've used a spray paint specially formulated for vinyl called Dupli-Color at Autozone. It worked really great, but the bottles were a little on the pricey side, if I remember right. Now Rustoleum makes a vinyl spray paint too that you can often find in hardware stores. This time though, I used a less expensive and easier to find paint from Rustoleum that has primer built in and is (most importantly) formulated for bonding to plastics.

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Before I spray-painted the chair though, I cleaned the vinyl really well. It gives me the creepy crawlies to think about the decades of germs and gunk potentially living on that chair. I like to use a hardcore degreaser called Krud Kutter that really helps to get the vinyl to ground zero. I wiped it down with water and wet cloth after the Krud Kutter too though, just to make sure all the cleaner was off the vinyl before painting.

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Anytime I'm spray painting a chair, I put the legs in a garbage bag and tape around the base of the seat, rather than wasting practically a whole roll of tape on tricky legs.

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After two coats of white paint on the whole chair, it was time to tape out the stripes. I used a thick 2 1/2" wide tape for this. To make the spacing even, I just ripped off a small piece of tape to put down as a place holder for the empty space. Easy to do and makes this a no-measuring project.

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The only tricky part is getting the curves right, but just try hard to keep your spacing even and the tape should be flexible enough to handle the curves and slopes.

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Here's where I should have sprayed the whole thing with the white spray paint again. Remember my trick for perfect stripes? This would have been perfect here, but I spaced it and skipped that step (too many spray paint fumes?). Dumb move - I had to go back and do touch ups later. It wasn't too bad though. I just sprayed a little paint into a plastic cup and touched up the bleed-throughs with a small brush.

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After the touch ups (which I wouldn't have had with my extra step), I had a pretty perfectly striped chair.

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I left it outside for a day or so to fully dry and after about three weeks of daily use, I think this plastic spray paint works and feels just like the vinyl spray paint. I think it was a fine short cut.

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Everyone who's been over the house has asked about the chair. It's a bit of a statement piece, which is fun for a kitchen space. Best of all, the chair is crazy-comfortable! And I was so glad to get to reuse a chair that probably would never have been bought at the thrift store. 

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In fact, I made my thrift store rounds yesterday, looking for something for a project, and I saw no fewer than five of this exact chair or something very similar. They're everywhere!

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Grace needs a desk chair in her bedroom, so I might go pick up another one and see what we can come up with. Maybe a big, huge-scale buffalo check? Or ombre? Block printed? Think of all the color and pattern possibilities! 

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89 comments:

  1. Jenny, you did it again! now i see these chairs in a whole new light!

    Such a fun project, i might pick up one the next time i see it for the desk in the laundry room we are doing right now!

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  2. Unbelievable. You are so creative and inspiring!!

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  3. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this tutorial!!! I have two awesome vinyl chairs similar to this one that are a very ugly brown color, and I've been trying to figure out how best to pretty them up for ages. Will definitely have to try this!

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  4. So awesome!! I never realized these would be paintable {& pretty!} after. On the look out now!!

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  5. So cool! I'm going to have to try this myself someday. I never would have thought to try spray painting an old vinyl chair! I may just have to for the sake of doing it now :)
    xx http://enzaessentials.wordpress.com

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  6. Absolutely one of my favorite projects of yours. What a stand-out DIY. Love it, love it, love it!

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  7. Oh my gosh! This really opens up possibilities with this chair. I see them at thrift stores and yard sales all the time too and it will be so fun doing something like this with them.

    I'm dying to try the ombre. I need a chair in garage and I'm not bound by any color schemes in there so I should have a lot of fun!

    Awesome project!

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  8. I can't believe you DIYed this chair. When I saw it in your post the other day, I was convinced you'd bought some sweet designer piece. Should have known better ;)

    http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

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  9. Wow! You are my hero, Jenny! I'm going to try this with an ikat stencil, where crisp edges are less important. Wish me luck!

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  10. BEYOND your best DIY! Love this! Did you see how many comments you got on the chair yesterday? I'm gonna have to give this a go! (even tho I have no room for another chair)...
    Unbelievably cool!!

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  11. Thanks for the nitty gritty on how to do this project. I'm totally doing this!

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  12. This is just beautiful! Makes me want to go find a chair to paint!

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  13. This is so good, Jenny! It looks so expensive! Taping those stripes had to take some time though...you have to have some really killer patience, lady.

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  14. You are a genius. Love, love, love it.

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  15. This is beyond adorable. My question is how does the paint hold up? Can it crack, chip, or wear off on clothing? I've always been leery of sitting on spray painted surfaces. Maybe I just haven't found the appropriate paint.

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  16. Awesome! Did you paint that pink vase as well? Can you tell how? It is so pretty!

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  17. In the original post, I thought this chair CAME with stripes. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it was spray painted. Looks expensive, and it's good to know that it's been durable so far! LOVE it and I know Ms. Kate Spade would too!!

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  18. Is the waste bin spray painted too? Such a nice color.

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  20. totally in awe of your talent. heading to a thrift store, stat!

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  21. LOVE how this turned out. the stripes make such an awesome statement but are still pretty classic. did you use a sealant or anything once you finished the stripes?
    -- jackie @ jade and oak

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  22. Genius! This is so creative and a great way to upcycle!

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  23. I am so impressed! I never would have guessed that was possible. I love this project (and basically every project you do)!

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  24. There are no words. And no ends to your creative genius either! You are absolutely amazing. I'm dying to try this! Great job, Jenny!

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  25. Obsessed with this chair. Going to thrift shops with brand new eyes! Can't wait to try this!

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  26. I think this just may be one of my favorite LGN projects!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial, I'll be keeping my eyes open at thrift stores from now on!

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  27. Great big, nice change! Makes me want to go thifting to see what I can find:)
    http://erinstaussdesign.co/

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  28. I've been using the Rust-Oleum 2x paint a lot (for lots of much less exciting projects:) and really love it's ability to stick to nearly any surface. I join with everyone else looking for a chair to make-over, now! Super work!

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  29. Oh my! Lovely! How's the paint holding up? I'm always worried that it will crack and peel on flexible surfaces.

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  30. I'm in love with that chair! I never would have thought that spray paint would work and that it wouldn't crack! Amazing!

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  31. Selfishly I'm loving that you have moved to Arizona. You are hitting it outside the ballpark with your DIYs and ideas!!!!

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  32. Is there some kind of Nobel Peace Design Prize for refurbishing and keeping old junk out of land mines? That chair takes the breath away, it is just amazing, as are you! I really cannot believe you have the focus for these projects when you have so much going on around you, house wise. It's one of the things I admire most about you - the ability to focus and commit to beautifying, with pristine detail, every nook and cranny. That and your seemingly indefatigable energy. You rock.

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  33. Beautiful! When I saw this posted the other day I totally thought it was purchased this way! Thanks for the tutorial!!!

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  34. Jenny - The whole desk area dose not even look like the same space. You have done an amazing job making this new house your own! I'm going to keep my eyes open for a vuniyl chair to paint!

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  35. One of my favorite projects! I love this chair.

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  36. FAN. TAS. TIC. That's all I can say.

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  37. Thanks so much. Just what I needed. Another project , but seriously I am so going to do this. Picking up my keys, headed to the nearest thrift store right now. This is awesome!!

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  38. Yours is easily my favorite blog. Love the chair!

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  39. Seriously - your eye is ridiculous. To see THAT potential hiding in THAT chair - fantastic. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us! Was really hoping you'd give us this DIY :)

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  40. Inspired by your post, I went to Granny's Attic in NJ (a great find from reading your blog) and picked up a fabulous(ly dated) bamboo chair! Can't wait to spray it in a high gloss paint, give it a new cushion, and bring it back to life!

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  41. So fab! What an absolutely brilliant idea!

    --Sayeh, The Office Stylist

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  42. I love this diy! Thank you for posting it!

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  43. Seriously, you are insanely talented. One of the best DIY's I've ever seen.

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  44. Great project---That striped chair rocks! (or at least, rolls ;-) Thanks so much for the step-by-step and product list.

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  45. visit exciting, and adds a lot of my knowledge ...

    kurang darah
    penyakit tipes

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  46. You are truly a design genius!! Amazing!!

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  47. Love it and can't wait to try it. Your blog is amazing.

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  48. I'll never look at those ugly thrift store chairs the same again! What a perfect whimsical addition to your kitchen!

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  49. You are amazing!!!! Can just come and hang out with you for one day..... Great job

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  50. When I saw the post on the "either / or" space the other day, I totally adored this chair. I can't believe you did this-totally awesome as I see many ugly chairs and didn't know you could do something like this! Thank you for the step-by-step.

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  51. Your whole table place amount not even look like the same place. You have done an awesome job creating this new home your own! I'm going to keep my sight start for a seat to paint!

    MDF

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  52. Great idea and I LOVE your "new" chair!!!
    Just perfect in your new little home :)
    And what you did with this old cabinet ... stunning ♥

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  53. This is the best thing I've seen all day. Was wondering about this chair from your previous post; I'm so glad you showed how you did it. You are an inspiration, my dear!

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  54. This looks a-mazing. I am wondering about the paint on the cabinet and desk top. Did you do it yourself, and if so, what type of paint did you use? Looks like high gloss lacquer. Beautiful!

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  55. This is why we love you! <3 I predict a run on vinyl chairs at thrift stores all over the nation! I know I'LL be on the hunt! :)

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  56. The "before" is so sad... You knocked it out of the park. Good job!

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  57. You did it again. My source of daily inspiration!

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  58. Love it! The thrift stores will thank you. I am sure all sorts of chairs like this are flying out of their stores now!

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  59. That's one of the coolest chairs I've seen in a very long time....maybe EVER! You're so creative!

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  60. I can't believe you made that yourself! You are an inspiration! Happy Nesting.

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  61. I freaking LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I am totaling stealing this idea. Off to the thirft store...
    -Marie Vlasic http://www.theyearoflivingfabulously.com

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  62. So coool! I love the lacquer quality of the spray paint, high gloss and high style :)

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  63. Omgoodness, that chair is amazing!! I love it!! I am keeping my eye out for that spray in Australia...thanks for sharing! Erin xxx

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  64. Thank you SO much for this DIY! We have one of those typical black swivel office chairs, which I love for practicality, but hate aesthetically. Been wondering how to DIY it for awhile. Now, maybe's there's hope. Thank you, thank you!

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  65. Wow, you seriously need to do a book called something like Spray Paint Decor. I would totally buy it!

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  66. Wow! I would've never thought of doing that! Awesome!

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  67. How did you transform the floor?

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  68. How did you transform the floor?

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  69. How did you transform the floor?

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  70. How did you transform the floor?

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  71. I have vinyl kitchen chairs (got my dining set free through dumpster diving) and was thinking of ways to spruce it up. Even with them spray painted are they easy to wipe off (like vinyl is)? Also does the paint have any problems wear and tear wise? Especially on the seat.

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  72. This is SUCH an amazing transformation of space (and chair). It's inspiring!

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  73. Love this so much! I can't wait to try it out. The tip on the perfect stripe is something I have needed for a long time now. Will always do this from now on. I'm stripe obsessed!

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  74. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I have a just the piece that's been passed down to me and it's waiting to be saved - tucked away in my attic and I can't wait to give it an update. YAY!

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  75. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I have a just the piece that's been passed down to me and it's waiting to be saved - tucked away in my attic and I can't wait to give it an update. YAY!

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  76. I am in love with this chair.

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  77. Has the paint continued to hold up?

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  78. I just spent the last hour catching up on all the amazing DIYs since you moved. Such inspiring ideas. Thanks for all the detailed DIYs and info packed posts.

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I so appreciate hearing from you. Nice comments make my day! Thanks for keeping things light here, friends! :)