Before and After: A Painted Goodwill Chair Gets a Cottagecore Make-Under in a 1-Day, $20 Project

published Oct 28, 2022
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At Apartment Therapy, we talk a lot about how adding paint can really enhance a room or a piece of furniture, but sometimes stripping the paint away is just as effective. Here’s one great example from blogger and DIYer Lindsey Pedey. When Lindsey found this chair at Goodwill, she could envision it in her daughters’ bathroom — just without the red paint.

“I chose this piece because I loved the shape and that it is made of solid wood,” Lindsey says. “I had been looking for a one-day DIY project, too!” She took some Easy Off degreaser to it, let it sit for 30 minutes, then used a putty knife and wire brush to strip off the paint for more of a raw-wood look.

“Once I got most of the paint off, I hosed down the chair and was done!” she says. “I left it in the sun to dry for a day and moved it into my girls’ bathroom. I LOVE how it turned out!”

Not only does the petite chair add major cottagecore vibes to the white bathroom, it also serves as a footstool for her daughters when they brush their teeth. (A win-win!) Another plus for this project? “It was super budget-friendly,” Lindsey says. The total was about $20 — chair included.

Lindsey’s DIY advice for those taking on a similar project is equally simple. “If you attempt this, make sure you do it in a well-ventilated area,” she says. “Having a small wire brush on hand was super helpful for the hard-to-reach areas.” Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection, too.

Those hard-to-reach, intricate parts are what Lindsey loves about the after, though, so they were well worth the fine-tooth-combing — or brushing, rather. “I love the lines on the back,” Lindsey says of the chair’s detail.

She certainly gave a charming new life to a chair once stuck in the aisles of Goodwill. “Best Goodwill find, literally, ever,” Lindsey says on Instagram. (Seconded!) To see more cool furniture living its best life post-Goodwill, check out these four thrift flips.