You know when you see something tasty and you think to yourself, "I'm full, but that looks good so I'm going to eat it anyway" and then you hate yourself afterward for eating it...well, that's me with this refinishing business. I get an idea in my head and think, "that'll be easy" and sometimes it's not. Well this time it wasn't. I have a sweet neighbor who was getting married soon and I asked her family what she would like or need. Her aunt told me she was in need of some dining chairs. I thought, "that can't be that hard to do." So I did it. First, in my usual style, I procrastinated and did a project that wasn't necessary but I wanted to do first and that took longer than I had anticipated, but that's another story in itself. Anyway, we decided on black chairs but I really wanted to try a two-toned look. Not something obvious, just very subtle. So I decided on trying to do some red-black chairs. I think it turned out pretty well. What do you think?

I found these cute chairs on KSL and sanded and primed them.

But then, to get the two-toned color I painted the chairs red. I got some awesome red paint for free so in the interest of saving money, decided to paint the chairs with a brush because I don't own a paint sprayer. Not my best idea. If you don't like the "country" look and by that I mean trees and rustic wood not twang and spurs, then I don't recommend using a paint brush especially on chairs. As there were so many nooks and crannies, it made it difficult to paint with a brush. I have to hand it to all the old time artisans who only did it by hand.

After I painted the chairs red, I sanded them again to try and get rid of my brush strokes. I may be wrong and just used a junky paintbrush but I seem to recall buying a nice one. Who knows, maybe you've had better luck with your brushes.
Next I painted the chairs black leaving some of the red showing through. I tried sanding but I went straight to primer when I did that so I found that if I just lightly painted certain areas it left the base color showing through just where I wanted it.

After all my painting was done I researched how to apply polyurethane.  I also researched polyacrylic but for some reason I chose polyurethane. I don't remember why. I round lots of websites explaining how to apply it and what the best way to apply it was and I kept reading that foam brushes were the best and cheapest way to apply it. So that is what I opted for. I read some forums for people finishing surf boards and I thought, "surely these people know what they are talking about." Well, I bought the cheap $0.99 foam craft brushes and tried them out on my chairs. I applied very thin layers of poly to assure that I wouldn't have bubbling, I did it in straight, even strokes in the same direction to avoid any weird bumps. I took my time and tried to do everything right applying I think four coats of the poly whilst waiting my recommended time in between. For all my hard work and following directions, I got streaks. STREAKS! It was awful! Well, it was to me. I'm hoping it ends up being one of those things where it looks bad to me because I am the one making it and no one else will even notice, but I'm sure with my won't be. Next time, I'm buying a gun. Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you.