Published on July 25th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


IKEA IVAR Distressed Farm Chairs

Materials: IVAR chair (pine), Behr enamel paint, 80 grit sandpaper, and steel wool.

Description: I recently acquired a farm table (the one shown in the photos) and needed some chairs to match. I couldn’t find any I liked, so I decided to make my own using IKEA IVAR chairs made from pine wood. Here are the steps I used to distress each chair:

1. Paint all of the pieces individually using Behr enamel paint, which also includes primer. I only used one coat.
2. Let the paint cure for one to two days and then assemble each chair.
3. Using 80 grit sandpaper or steel wool, distress the edges of the chair. Some of the best spots include the corners of the seats, the edges of the legs, and the back of the chairs.
4. Wipe with a slightly damp rag to remove dust and debris from the sanding.

You can use a wood sealant if you intend to use the chairs outdoors. Otherwise, I prefer to not use a sealant so the chairs will wear quicker from normal use.

~ J. Danny, Plano

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

15 Responses to IKEA IVAR Distressed Farm Chairs

  1. Anonymous says:

    where is that table from its lovley …

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great chairs. I especially love the color. Do you know what the name of the color is?

  3. Maanifate says:

    I agree with jo-k. The chairs looks amazing!! I plan on doing the same thing to my ivar chairs, I want to go with black tho. I am not sure about the distressing, I don’t think it will match my decor. I am thinking of just painting it in black and let time distress it. I am afraid of little bumps, wood fuzzies or other impurities tho. Since I am using black paint I wonder about streaks. Did you use interior or exterior paint/primer?

  4. jo-k says:

    Great job J. Danny! It looks superb.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jacqueline says:

    Use made me feel so much more confident about doing this! Thanks!!:)

    • J. Danny says:

      Glad you liked the chairs. The process is relatively simple, but very labor intensive. After painting and distressing just one chair, my arms were hurting like never before, especially when using the steel wool. It’s easier to use the sandpaper, but the wool gives it a sort of smooth finish.

      Also, you can add several layers of paint and distress only the top coat. There’s really no wrong way to do it. The more messed up the paint job, the better it looks on the chairs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where did you get the table? I love the chairs and am doing it this weekend to some chairs I already have.

  7. Emily Floor says:

    Nice chairs you got here. It’s not built to last, but its useful. And I think it is probably not suitable for overweight people. I still kind of like it, especially the color.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because ikea don’t take this into consideration? And you think they sell things with low weight limits, without any warning.

      FWIW my husband, who’s not overweight but is tall and thus quite heavy, can sit for over an hour on ikea’s kids chairs (kritter?) with not even a creak. I also have ‘not built to last’ pine chairs from ikea that were my parents. They’re over 20 years old and still in excellent condition.

      You obviously have little understanding of construction, so don’t talk about what you don’t know.

  8. toujoursmag says:

    Love the color – and the table!

  9. Anonymous says:

    where is the hack? It’s only painting…

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