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How To Refurbish A Tripp Trapp Baby Chair

January 25, 2019

One year ago I was pregnant and well in my second trimester. It was about time to get everything ready to welcome our little one into our home. I remember the confusion as to which baby items we all needed to get. It can actually be a little overwhelming I think – we wanted to be prepared but not go over the top. Yet there was one thing we were quite clear about.

We always wanted to get quite some of our baby items second hand, either bought or borrowed. That was not just a financial decision (although it makes a huge difference), I feel that older items tend to be better made, can be more special or just add character. And it’s mostly a sustainable decision – a lot of baby items are just needed for those first weeks or months, and it just totally makes sense to me to borrow those things if we could!

Side note: Now that I’m a little longer in this motherhood journey I have a much better idea which things are actually needed and helpful. In hindsight certain items were just not necessarily while we missed some others. I’ll share more about that sometime soon! Also, find my most used & favourite baby items for age 6-12 months old here!




One of those things we got second hand is our Stokke Tripp Trapp baby chair. The Scandinavian design classic is well loved in most households over here. It grows along with your child and it is pretty much indestructible. They are quite pricey to buy new, especially if you get the extra accessoires with it. But there’s lots of second hand options around – I was able to find this well used beauty for a good deal. It did need some love for sure as it was quite tired looking.

For the colour, I went for a soft green colour to blend in nicely with our interior. It turned out really lovely, don’t you think? The best thing is to have Ella sitting with us at the table, eating and ‘chatting’ along. She loves her chair!

Now, refurbishing this chair does take a bit of work. But you’ll end up with a nearly new chair, ready for another round of growing up. In my eyes it’s well worth the effort! It’s not a complicated or hard job – anyone with a bit of patience and eye for detail can do this.




How to Refurbish a Stokke Tripp Trapp

You’ll need the following:

  • allen key
  • old cloth
  • sanding tool (a small hand held sander like this one works great) + sanding paper
  • water based wood primer*
  • water based paint*
  • optional: protective top coat*
  • paint brush/paint roller set

*Get some advice from your local shop to get the right primer & paint for the job and the finish you’re after. I went with a water based paint, which is safer to use around kids and doesn’t have much odour when painting (but always paint outside if you can or ventilate well).

STEP 1 – Take the chair apart with the allen key and carefully keep all the screws. Then clean the chair thoroughly to remove any old dirt and grease.

STEP 2 – Sand the chair using a hand held sander. This is a crucial step as you want the primer and paint layer to adhere properly.

If you want to stain the chair, you’ll need to sand back to the bare wood and remove all old paint or varnish. If you’re opting for painting, you can leave some old paint on but for a tight and smooth result it’s best to sand it all back. I think it’s really worth spending that extra bit of time at this point.

After sanding, make sure to wipe down the chair to remove any particles and dust.

STEP 3 – Prime time! Make sure you use the correct primer that is compatible with the wood surface and the type of paint you’re using (water based, solvent etc). Follow the tin’s instructions for painting and drying time.

Once dry, lightly sand using a fine grain sanding paper (you can do this by hand) and wipe down with a damp cloth.

STEP 4 – Let’s paint! Make sure to follow the instructions on the tin for application and drying time. Use a paint roller set specific for a smooth finish to get the best results.

In between, let the layers dry well and sand lightly before adding a new layer. It’s better to go for multiple thin layers than fewer thick layers. I opted for three layers of paint to make sure the chair is durable and can take some hits. Make sure to let the paint dry and harden out properly before moving on to the last step.

STEP 5 – Put the chair back together and adjust the height of the seat and foot plank to suit your baby/child. Add any accessories back on, like the leather strap and cushions. Your chair is ready to be used!

I’m still planning to make a new cushion set, as the ones that came with the chair needs a little upgrade. I’ll keep you posted about that one and might share a little how to.

Hope you are inspired to get started with a project like this. Anyone else trying to be more minimal when it comes to kids items? Would love to know your thoughts!

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10 Comments

  • Reply Jessica August 6, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    What color is this ?! Beautiful

    • Reply Eveline August 9, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you! I got the colour custom mixed, so unfortunately I don’t have any reference name. It’s a eucalyptus, sage like colour if that helps.

  • Reply Amy August 17, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    How did you do the cushion? Xx

    • Reply Eveline August 21, 2019 at 11:20 am

      I made a pattern to match the original Stokke cushion – been meaning to do write a little DIY for it as I couldn’t find a good one myself (for free at least). I’ll post it soon so you can make one yourself!

    • Reply Lucy September 15, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      I have found a chair that has a little teeth damage from a pet can you use filler to build the chair back up to level? Did you use anything for deep scratches to avoid sanding too far down?

      • Reply Eveline September 15, 2019 at 9:13 pm

        Hi Lucy – I haven’t used any filler on this project but I’m sure you could use a good wood filler to fix any damaged bits. Make sure to sand the filler down again so it’s nicely smooth before painting 🙂

  • Reply Lucy McGarr September 7, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Your blog has totally inspired me to refurbish two Stokke chair.
    I have a handheld sander but wondering what type of sandpaper to use. Did you need a coarse grit, medium or fine?
    Thank you!
    Lucy

    • Reply Eveline September 7, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Lucy, that’s lovely to hear! If you are sanding the old coating of you could use a medium grit, and finish of with a fine grit for the smoothest results. If you are leaving the old paint layer on, I would opt for a fine grit sandpaper (just to roughen the surface for the paint to adhere well). Let me know how you get on, good luck!

  • Reply Farnaz Ayrom-Walsh November 12, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Hello!! Your post has been super helpful to me. I am restoring two Stokke chairs I got cheaply on ebay. I am in process of painting one and find that my roller isn’t applying the paint smoothly. I did ask for advice at the hardware store, but I am a painting novice so I am nervous about making a mistake. What type of roller did you use? And did you hand sand between coats of paint? What grit? Would you suggest a top coat? My paibt is self prinibg furniture paint, so I skipped primer. Many thanks in advance!

    • Reply Eveline November 26, 2019 at 8:55 am

      Hi Farnaz! Thanks for your comment. It’s hard to know what the issue would be – it could be the type of roller, the quality of the paint, etc. I used a soft felt type roller that is suitable for a waterbased paint and to create a smooth finish. I didn’t sand in between coats, but I definitely used a primer. I skipped the top coat but it would give the chair even more protection for wear and tear. I would suggest taking a small piece of the (painted) chair to a good store and ask for advice. Best of luck and hope it turns out great!

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