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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

DIY Pink Painted Dining Room Chairs: Tracey's Fancy Custom Pink Paint Recipe

For all my fellow pink lovers....these DIY pink painted dining room chairs are for you!

For those of you non-pink fans....there are furniture painting nuggets in this blog for you too!

This is not a photo heavy blog but more of a sharing of several challenges that I faced and choices that I made because of them.

DIY pink painted dining room chairs by Traceys Fancy

If you are a new reader, hello and welcome to the Fancy Fam! With over a decade of furniture painting experience, I can honestly say that sharing my projects through this blog is still my favorite way to inspire! I've got years worth of fun and creative ways to update your home decor and furniture through paint! If this sounds like something you'd like to have delivered to you every Sunday be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter here!


It is always nice to know that there are many ways to achieve your furniture painting dreams!

There are options and products galore to help you make your furniture design ideas come to life. 

You just need to understand the products that you are working with so you are comfortable making choices that are not the typical process when needed.  

The Design Plan: From Dark Wood to PINK

My plan was to paint my 8 vintage dining chairs that were originally dark stained wood to be a custom pink painted finish. I just couldn't find the pink that was right for this project so ultimately I mixed my own. It's absolutely perfect! I've included the recipe below...

side by side comparison of before and after of pink dining room chair makeover by Traceys Fancy

Supplies Used

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DIY Pink Painted Dining Room Chairs

This DIY project came with it's fair share of issues! I have taken the time to record the major challenges I encountered and how I resolved each one. I hope this information is valuable to you as you dive into your next project!

The Issues...and the Solutions!

1. The chairs are heavily carved and spindled which makes them difficult to strip and sand and paint.

I decided against stripping and sanding them and chose to only clean them well with White Lightning to remove all oils, dust, dirt and residue.  

antique wooden chair turned upside down in preparation for paint

2. Wood tannins were obvious when cleaning, meaning I really needed to use a blocking primer first.....but this is just another added coat to a difficult surface.  

I chose to brush paint these chairs and the thought of adding another layer of blocking primer for wood tannins was NOT something I wanted to do. 

However, wood tannins often only show up when the water based top coat is applied.

If I tested a few areas with paint only and no wood tannins came through, I knew I could paint the chairs and just NOT use the water based top coat (because I know I have other options).

painting first coat of pink on dining room chair makeover by Traceys Fancy

By choosing another (non-water based) top coat, I would be able to avoiding tannin bleed through...and ONE LESS step of needing to brush on blocking primer on these heavily carved and spindled chairs!

3. It would be much easier to spray the chairs but spraying uses (waste)  A LOT of paint.....and I had limited paint as I was making a custom mix.

Spraying would be faster.....but with limited paint I needed to brush paint. 

And because I knew I could pass over the step of painting on blocking primer, I was fine with the time it would take to brush on two coats of paint only. 

painting first coat of pink on dining room chair makeover by Traceys Fancy

So I did just that.....brushed two coats of paint per chair.

4. Dixie Belle has many pinks but not the vintage shade of pink I wanted.  

Dixie Belle offers over 50 colors in their chalk mineral paint line....but there are SO many more color possibilities when you take the time to learn to mix colors to create new colors! 

I wanted a very specific shade of pink. 

paint splotches of all dixie belle paint pinks

I picked up a few color swatch cards from the local hardware store and got busy with my paints.  I am not sure how many tries it took....I'm thinking about 20....before I landed on the EXACT color I was after! 

blending the perfect shade of vintage pink

It was well worth the hour or two that I spent brainstorming and dipping and stirring and smearing paints on to paper plates! 

Once the color was achieved, I then needed to perfect the recipe so it could be repeated over and over. 

When I was confident in my measurements, I was ready to mix the paint for the chairs.  I mixed three batches of paint for the chairs and they were each identical to the original color!  

5. What would I use in place of the water based top seal and protect the paint finish?

Dixie Belle paints do not even require a top coat.  Their paint fully cures on its own in 30 days.  However most of us like to shorten that time line as well as add extra protection for added durability. 

Normally, my favorite "go-to" top coat is Dixie Belle's Top Coat Satin. They also carry a Flat and a Gloss as well.  For high traffic use and even outdoor protection, they carry Gator Hide...which is also water based.  These are all fabulous choices but if your project contains wood tannins and you chose to NOT use a blocking primer (like I didn't use on the chairs) your wood tannins may be pulled through your paint and into the top coat.

You have options!  You can use Hemp Oil!

howdy do hemp oil usage instructions

Hemp oil is obviously oil based so it does not draw the wood tannins through the paint! 

It is easy to apply, soaks into the chalk paint easily, has no odor, and adds amazing durability and protection to your project. 

DIY pink painted dining room chairs by Traceys Fancy

It can be brushed on.....or rubbed on.  I applied it using a sock on my hand.  I just put a bit of oil on the sock and rubbed it on and around the spindles and over the carvings. 

The next day I used a micro-fiber cloth to buff off any remaining oil.   It dries with a water resistant matte finish.

What you should know:

  • You CAN paint furniture without sanding first.

  • You CAN paint furniture without priming.

  • You CAN mix your own custom color

  • You have MANY top coat options to choose from.  

It is important to understand the furniture piece or substrate that you are working with.

It is imperative to research and understand the products you are using.

It is important to have a clear idea of what you want in the end as well as how much time and effort you are willing to invest in the project.

And against popular opinions and beliefs.....there are often many products that allow shortcuts....that do not decrease the value or quality of your work.  

My Custom Vintage Pink Recipe...that I named COTTON CANDY

Custom Cotton Candy Paint Color Blend by Traceys Fancy


2 parts Soft Pink (or 16 oz)

1 part Peony (or 8 oz)

0.5 part Cottage Door (or 4 oz)

The Finished Look

As you can see, I haven't yet completed the entire dining room chair makeover, but I was too excited about this new paint color not to share! Subscribe to my weekly emails to see the finished look...

DIY pink painted dining room chairs by Traceys Fancy

More Inspiration:

I pulled a few blogs from past projects that came to mind when working on this piece! I hope you can use them to draw inspiration for your upcoming project. Here are the additional designs for your inspiration:  

Click on any photo below for more up-close photos and all the design details


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DIY pink painted dining room chairs by Traceys Fancy
Custom Cotton Candy Paint Color Blend by Traceys Fancy

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