Ikea Hack: INGOLF Junior chair

We’ve been moving around a lot in the past 5 years, from Argentina to Italy, from Italy to Malta and now Malta to Ireland. This means we only move with suitcases and boxes. The houses we rent usually come furnished, although we always try to find houses with just the basics and then bring the house to life with little touches here and there to make the house feel more like us, more like home.

I guess that living this way for so long has made me a bit reluctant to buying furniture. I must say that I have NO intention to move again in the next MANY years. I fell in love with Ireland. I love everything about it: the infinite shades of green, no matter where you go as you look through the window you’ll find an amazing landscape or scenery that could easily be the cover of a travelling book. Ireland is beautiful. And what I love most is the people. People are kind, friendly, funny, easy going… what is there not to love?

So, where was I? Oh! yes. I don’t like to buy furniture. But that is slowly changing because I really feel that we could stay here for long. So I started buying stuff on second hand sites like Adverts, Done Deal and Facebook Marketplace. This is how I got to these two Ikea INGOLF junior chairs.

Got them through facebook marketplace and it was a bargain. In store at IKEA they cost 45€ each, I got both for 20€!!! Of course they are used and have a few scratches here and there, but I don’t mind. My daughters would have left the same marks in a week!


  • 2 INGOLF junior chairs
  • fine to medium sanding paper
  • sponges for cleaning
  • small and medium sized brushes
  • shabby chic Nautical red chalky paint.


Step 1: Cleaning

Here is what we did: first, we thoroughly cleaned the chairs. The girls did most of it with sponges and lukewarm water with soap. I hope this love for “cleaning” sticks around for long but something tells me it won’t. Of course I had to give a final clean, the chairs were a bit sticky… don’t want to know why, the “perks” of buying second hand stuff.



Step 2: Sanding

After the chairs dried out, I lightly sanded them with fine to medium sanding paper. After sanding its important to wipe the remaining dust so that the paint will stick properly. So we wiped the chairs with some damp cloths and let them to dry.

Step 3: Painting

Finally, the paint. I used chalk paint and I’m so impressed with the result! It’s amazing: super easy to apply and it covers so well that there is no need to start with a primer (at least while painting directly over wood). After only one coat they were good to go. But I started noticing little spots that I missed, so gave it a second coat and they were ready. Can’t control my OCD…



IMPORTANT TIP: Start painting with the chair upside down at the junctions of the wood, just try to push the paint in there, and the move away from them, spreading as long as possible the paint with long strokes following the way of the wood.

The best part of chalky paint is that it doesn’t smell, so the chairs came inside as soon as they dried to touch. And then, the coverage! I bought the 250ml tin, thinking that 125ml wasn’t enough… and I was wrong! only 1/3 of the tin was used for the chairs.

The chairs are for the dinning room, this house has dark wood and leather chairs and furniture in general, so I’m trying to bring some colour by adding little things here and there. When I bought the paint online, wasn’t sure of what to expect, honestly I wanted a brighter red colour, but I couldn’t be happier with the final look of the chairs. I love them!

Final thoughts

Working on this project was so powerful, it might seem like something small, but it me it meant a lot more that just 2 chairs. I realised that there is a lot more than I can do while the girls are at home. I used to believe that doing these type of projects wasn’t possible if they were around, but I was wrong! All it takes is to get them involved in some small part of the process. The second thing that I realised is that the satisfaction that we all got from our work. The girls are so proud of the work we made together, and they love their chairs much more than any other simple furniture that was just sitting there when we moved in. This is truly THEIRS.


So I plan to keep on doing this sorts of work, its a perfect way of owning your place, even while renting.

Hope you liked them!





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.