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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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  • 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 Julia January 5, 2021 at 10:54 pm


        Your post inspired me to buy an old model ‘Tripp Trapp’ and source the wooden barrier from Oslo as it’s not easily found here.

        I would love to get that cushion pattern if you have it or knew where I could find the dimensions etc.

        Greetings from Cape Town!


        • Reply Eveline January 21, 2021 at 2:22 pm

          Hi Julia,

          Oh that’s so lovely to hear! Let me know how it turns out! And I’m going to try and get the cushion pattern up at some point soon as there’s quite some requests about that one!

        • Reply Alyssa February 4, 2021 at 5:32 pm

          Hi Julia,
          Where did you find the wooden barrier? I have an old Tripp Trapp model that won’t work with the current baby set models and am struggling to find a barrier that will fit.
          Thanks so much!

      • Reply Anna January 11, 2021 at 10:33 am

        Wow you did so well. It’s beautiful. You’ve inspired me. I’ve just purchased one off marketplace. Did you end up buying a table tray to fit it also? If so which one is compatible?

        • Reply Eveline January 21, 2021 at 2:20 pm

          Hey Anna,

          Thanks so much for you lovely comment! We didn’t end up using a table tray for the chair as it fit right up to our dining table. I wouldn’t know if there’s a tray table that’s compatible, but if anyone knows, maybe you can comment? Good luck!

    • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Reply Jinxiang Yu August 23, 2020 at 6:47 am

        Hi, where do I find this baby set? I’ve been looking all over but can’t find that wooden waist guard and the leather – looking crotch strap version!

        • Reply Eveline August 23, 2020 at 8:50 am

          Hi Lucy, it’s an older model of the Tripp Trapp so I don’t think it’s available anymore. I got it second hand so I think that’s your best bet!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • Reply Gabriela January 30, 2020 at 6:39 am


    This is so helpful – I was just able to find an older tripp trapp chair used and I’m looking forward to refinishing it!

    Do you happen to remember the paint brand you used (I know you custom chose the color – I just know nothing about painting furniture and I’m nervous about messing this up!)? Also, did you sand the notches along the chair? If you did, did you use regular sand paper for that?

    A more personal question… how did you choose your paint color? I love that it feels like a light pop of color when amongst neutrals, though I’m tempted to stick with an even more neutral color like black or gray.


    • Reply Eveline January 30, 2020 at 8:13 am

      Hi Gabriela!

      Thank you for your comment – I’m glad you find it useful!

      I’m in the Netherlands and used a brand called Flexa which worked out great. If you’re not sure what to use, maybe you can get some advice in a store or from a friend/family who might have knowledge? I did sand the notches yes, just with the same sanding paper.

      For the colour – that is such a personal choice! I picked it as we do have lots of neutrals but also lots of plants so it felt like it would always fit in ๐Ÿ™‚ I think black or gray would work perfect too!

      Good luck, have fun with it & please let me know how you go!

      • Reply Penny Micheli April 20, 2020 at 9:44 pm

        Hi Eveline!
        Thank you very much for your post, it is very helpful!
        I am also located in the Netherlands so could you please give me some more precise info about the tools you used? Roler, color code, which primer etc? Thank you very much in advance!

        • Reply Eveline April 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm

          Hi Penny, glad you found it helpful! It’s been a little while, so I actually don’t specifically remember the roller or primer, but you should be safe when you ask at the bouwmarkt if you’re unsure. You’ll need a waterbased grondverf (i just used a white one I already had) and rollers that will give you a smooth finish. The paintbrand I used was Flexa and I got it mixed it colour GN 062-04. Hope that helps you & good luck with your project!

          • Penny Micheli April 21, 2020 at 7:02 pm

            Thank you!Let’s see how it will come out!

  • Reply Gemma Hatfield June 29, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    How much paint did you need for this? I’m looking at some farrow and ball paints and they differ hugely in size of tin and don’t want to overbuy as I won’t use the paint for anything but the chair!

    • Reply Eveline June 30, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Gemma! I used a 750 ml tin, but I only used about half for the chair. It does depend also on how thick you paint the layers, but you won’t need a huge tin. Hope that helps you a little to decide what you need!

  • Reply Sarah August 1, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Hi Eveline, can you please share the pattern for the cushion set you used. I really want to make one but cannot find a good design. Thank you x

    • Reply Hanna Korpowska September 14, 2021 at 3:58 pm

      I absolutely love the finish effect! Looks amazing! And I am obsessed witht the colour. I wish I could find same one (i know its custom made)
      Which paint brand did you use for this ?

  • Reply Nishant Dhawan January 11, 2021 at 10:20 pm


    Thanks for the post – its got me inspired to fix a Stokke chair that I received from a buddy.

    Qq, how did you sand the grooves/ridges on the outer rails?

    • Reply Eveline January 21, 2021 at 2:23 pm

      Hi, it’s been a while but i think I just folded some sanding paper and sanded it by hand (which didn’t take all the original paint layer of, but two years later and everything is still holding up like it’s been painted new!). Hope that helps!

  • Reply Julia January 30, 2021 at 10:58 am


    This is a silly question perhaps, but do you have to unscrew the chair sides each time you change the cushion with this model of Tripp Trapp, or am I missing something? Your chair looks really beautiful by the way! Julia in Cape Town

  • Reply Saskia June 19, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Eveline,
    This is really amazing work! I’m also based in the Netherlands and was wondering whether you used Flexa GN 062-04 and customised this color by adding white/black, or used flexa GN 062-04 as it is. I tried a different shade of green and it’s too bright, so looking for something a bit more neutral. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply Eveline June 20, 2021 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Saskia, thanks so much for your kind words, glad you find it useful! I didn’t change that colour, got it mixed at the store and used as is. I still love the colour now (three years + a new home later), it’s quite neutral yet colourful. Good luck with finding the right colour for you!

  • Reply Rosie August 18, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Hi this looks fantastic! I have previously painted a tripp trapp but it looks like its seen better days. How is your one looking now? Does it wear easily? Thanks

    • Reply Eveline August 18, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Rosie! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I was looking at it the other day and there’s only a few little damages to the paint – and it’s been 2,5 years of daily use! So I’m really happy with how it’s holding up!

      • Reply Charlotte September 29, 2022 at 5:49 pm

        This looks amazing. I bought a cheap Tripp Trapp in the UK which Iโ€™m hoping to refurbish.

        Thank you so much for the information – so useful. Just wondering how you painted the sides and back and front of each part without getting finger marks on it. Did you have to do one side, then wait, then do the other side? And any idea at all how many hours in total the project took? I have a toddler and Iโ€™m worried I will start this project but wonโ€™t get the time to finish it!

        Thank you so much


        • Reply Eveline September 30, 2022 at 2:49 pm

          Hi Charlotte,

          Thank you for your comment! I did paint the front and back separately with drying in between. I actually did a second Tripp Trapp recently in the same way. It’s hard to give you an estimate for how long it took, but the layers go very quickly. I think I only needed about 10-15 min every time, it just involves doing that over a few days. I just used nap time or the evenings to give it a coat each time. I hope it works out for you, I think you got this!

          • Charlotte September 30, 2022 at 6:29 pm

            Thank you so much for getting back to me. Iโ€™m really hopeful that this will work! I will buy the Black and Decker Mouse sander to speed things up hopefully.

            Oh I did mean to ask one other thing – what did you do about the sticker which is on the reverse of the chair? Iโ€™m unsure whether I should just peel it off and sand over it. I suppose I should otherwise it would look silly.

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