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Fail/Win? | Pink Jules Ikea chair rehab

I wasn’t sure if this was going to go in the Fail or Win category. But either way, I wanted to tell you about it because hey, it could be interesting and informative.

I was not looking for a chair to paint, but as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw an interesting-looking chair pop up on a free stuff group.

pink ikea jules chair.

It had the kind of aesthetic I thought Sonia might enjoy, so I offered to come pick it up.

Unfortunately, when I arrived, I realized that the chair was in much, much worse shape than I’d anticipated.

damaged pink chair.

I think it had been left out in the rain for days, weeks, months, years…who knows.

And since it’s cheap Ikea particle board/paperboard, water had gotten into the material and then swelled up.

damaged chair seat.

I almost decided to throw the chair away but then I was like, “What the heck. It’ll be a pretty quick job to try to fix this up. I might as well try.”

damaged chair.

To the best of my knowledge, this is a Jules chair from Ikea; I found these old ones on Etsy, but they look like they are made with more real wood than this chair.

And I can’t find one anywhere that is this pink color, aside from a hot pink rolling desk chair version, so I don’t know…maybe someone painted this one with pink paint?

pink jules chair.


I took the legs off to make my job easier.

disassembled chair.

The metal screws were pretty rusty, so I sanded them down with my orbital sander to get the rust off.

rusty screws.

And I wiped down the metal chair legs, since they were pretty dirty.

dirty chair leg.

Then I started working on the chair itself and my goodness, this is hands down the worst material I have ever worked with.

chair without legs.

sanded particle board.

It was worse than particle board; it actually felt like I was sanding paper!

sanded chair.

But, I persevered and sanded the front and back until the raised parts had become flattened, and as smooth as I could hope for.

sanded Jules chair.

I could not go straight to a water-based primer because the paperboard material would just soak all that liquid right up. And that would be a speedy trip back to Lumpy Chairville.

So, I used a Bin shellac-based primer instead.

shellac primer.

I rolled that all over all the surfaces, and just for good measure I did two coats.

This works very well on particle-board furniture, but the results on this were iffy.

The lumps definitely did not return in full force, but my previously-flat surfaces did raise up a little bit. I give it a 75% satisfaction rating. 😉

primed Jules chair seat.

However, I decided not to stress over it. It was a free chair, destined for the trash, and I had at least made it better.

I still had some light pink paint (Benjamin Moore First Light) left from when I painted my abandoned house Philco table and two nightstands.

cat on table.

the aforementioned Philco table

Sooo, I got that out and used it to give the chair a fresh coat of paint.

Benjamin Moore first light paint.

I know it just looks like I’m painting with white paint, and trust me, that’s forever what I think when I use this paint too.

pink paint.

I always say that it is pink in the same way that La Croix is fruit flavored which is to say: very faintly.

pink paint on a roller.

Anyway, after painting, I reassembled it.

Chiquita on a chair.

Well, actually, I reassembled it two wrong ways first, with the legs hilariously off-kilter. But then I had the idea to look up the Ikea instruction manual and it all became clear!

cat on chait.

This is obviously not a very saturated pink, but it IS pinker than it looks in these photos. Ideally, I’d have loved for it to be a slightly more intense pink, but hey, the paint I already had was free to use.

This chair is definitely not perfect…in the right light (er, wrong light?), you can see that the texture is not entirely even.

Ikea Jules chair.

And if I was gonna invest more time into this, I’m sure I could make some improvements, maybe with some wood filler and more sanding.

chair legs.

But I am really not too dedicated to this project; I’m satisfied with having made this dirty, rusty, lumpy chair into something respectable and useful.

cat jumping off chair.

And I will most definitely not be keeping this chair outdoors. 😉


damaged pink chair.


And you know what the good news is?

Since I already did all the messy hard work of getting this chair into better shape, it would be very easy to change the color in the future! I could just take off the legs and then roll a new color onto the seat.

I’ll let you know if I switch it up at any point. 🙂

P.S. Some of you asked about the scuffed table; I’m working on it! I lost my furniture inspiration for a bit there, but I’m determined to finish up a few projects before school starts.

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Central Calif. Artist

Tuesday 18th of July 2023

Frugal Girl, AKA Salvage Queen!

A cabin neighbor asked us to haul away an armoire for her (we have a pickup and live close). She is from the Bay Area, and probably kind of wealthy. She said with a sneer, "You can just dump it because it is only from Ikea".

We took it home, and I offered it to a couple of different friends who both responded, "Ikea—nice!!"

Different perspectives, to be sure.


Monday 17th of July 2023

Nice job! You re-used a nearly dead chair and made it useful and presentable. I vote win!

Molly F. C.

Monday 17th of July 2023

Brava, Kristen! The chair looks great.

Elaine N

Monday 17th of July 2023

I'm very perplexed by Facebook marketplace. I listed a high quality ceiling fan for free and the first person to reply was a guy named Bill Sonny Robinson who wanted me to send MY PICTURE so he knew who he was talking to. IS THIS NUTS OR WHAT??? I'm so upset it's taken me 5 minutes to type this out in English.

Ginger Bruce

Monday 17th of July 2023

@Elaine N, wow. It might be because of all the scammers trying to get your information but that definitely was weird. Sorry it stressed you out. I hope you were able to get the fan to someone who appreciates it.


Monday 17th of July 2023

I applaud you for keeping it out of landfill! It’s always good to have a spare chair around in case you have a crowd around the table. You did a great job on the chair Kristen!

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