$3 Chair – Garage Sale Upcycle Project

Our family loves garage sales. You can get really good deals on high quality items, if you know how to spot them. During our town’s giant neighborhood wide garage sale, we found a cool little wooden children’s chair that was perfect for my daughter. It was just a little beat up, with the original finish peeling. However, it’s made of solid wood, and it folds up. The seller had a $3 sticker on it. Sold!

Now that warm weather has finally arrived, my daughter and I fixed up the chair for her, making it not only a great DIY project but a father-daughter one to boot. Also, she was able to do most of it hands on, truly making it her own.

ChairDIY beforeafter


My daughter and I took a drive to Home Depot, and I told her that she could pick out whatever paint color she wanted. She wanted purple, but unfortunately Rustoleum Painter’s Touch doesn’t come in purple, but their navy blue is kind of purple-ish, so we went with that. We used Rustoleum, because it’s great on both metal and wood, and the chair can be used both indoors and out.

Upcycle Chair Project (20)We had drop cloths, brushes and sandpaper at home, so we were good to go.

Chair: $3. Paint: $10

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Before you repaint something, make sure that you give it a thorough sanding and cleaning. If a surface is too smooth, the paint won’t completely adhere and will flake soon after drying. Sanding it makes a scratchy surface that paint clings to.

I cut a piece just right for my daughter and let her sand away. She had a blast doing this. When she was finished, I came in and finished the job, leaving no spot unturned. I then wiped the surfaces with a moist paper towel, which I then dried.

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She already has more skills than me.


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My daughter loves painting, so having this chair paint project was perfect. She was so proud of herself that she was the one making the chair look amazing. It was another great opportunity to have her put her personal touch into something. You can’t get that kind of connection with a store bought plastic chair.

Upcycle Chair Project (28)Upcycle Chair Project (37)

She covered most of the chair before she told me she needed a break.

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I finished off the rest. Even though she was done with her part, she sat on the deck and watched as I finished the first coat. She felt invested in the chair and wanted to see how it turned out immediately.

Upcycle Chair Project (1)


Not only did my daughter and I have a fun outing and activity together, but we scored a really nice wooden chair for only $3. Slap on some paint, and it looks brand new.

Sometimes you have to look past the flaking finish and dust to see just how beautiful something can be.

And the time that we spent together making it look amazing was the best part of it all.

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Have you upcycled something with your kids? Does this inspire you to hunt at a garage sale for a furniture piece? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see you next time.


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