Child Painted Chair Tutorial

Instead of buying a custom painted child’s chair, let children paint their own! Learn how our kids turned their own inexpensive IKEA chairs into works of art in this child painted chair tutorial.

ombre gold chair

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Child Painted Chair Tutorial

Confession: I didn’t think of this project myself. IKEA used to sell a solid pine table with four chairs for $120. Sadly it appears to have been discontinued, but we snagged two at this price – actually, one set on sale for $99!

They were our dining room table for years, and when we moved to our current house we set them up for the kids in the garage. This spring my two youngers girls asked if they could paint two of the chairs to make them their own. We just use the chairs in our crafting space out in the garage, so I said yes!

The kids LOVED painting their chairs, and it’s so fun to see them sitting on them now. They spent a couple days on the project, and enjoyed every moment.

I highly recommend this project if you have a child who loves art and is interested in a big art project!

An Easy Way to Paint Wood Furniture

Acrylic paint actually works really well on wood, and we had a bunch that one of Mike’s students gave us when she graduated and moved away. Perfect!

ombre painted chair

Ten-year-old Lily was very deliberate, planning everything out to create a lovely ombre effect.

how to paint a chair

Lily used gold and silver metallic paint to fancy up the chair rails.

fun child's chair

The end result is pretty impressive!

chair painting for kids

Seven-year-old Anna was a lot more haphazard. She used a Sharpie pen to draw a bear after the paint on the seat of the chair had time to dry.

child decorated chair

You could actually use Sharpie pens to decorate the entire chair, but they kind of stink and it would take a lot of them – and a lot of time!

child decorated furniture

Always up for a little experimentation, Anna also used dot markers, although they were kind of messy and I wouldn’t recommend them for wood chairs.

Sealing Painted Wood Furniture

sealing a painted chair

I think the chairs probably would have been fine with just the paint coat, but just to be sure we sealed everything with a layer of mod podge. It goes on just like paint. We used a foam brush to create a nice smooth finish.

children's furniture painting

Would you let your children paint chairs? Please share photos – you can email me (mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com) or tag me on Instagram.

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

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