1. Wendy @ New Moms Talk says July 12, 2013

    Way back when… when we lived in a state where people put their old furniture on the lawn or dumpsters to take, I was the queen of collecting furniture and refinishing it. I used to dream of collecting free pieces from Craigs List, refinishing them, having them in a warehouse (maybe?), and making them available for others who needed furniture but couldn’t afford them.

    With many moves past this time, all that remains is an antique dresser. A friend of mine was a wood worker and he was better at refinishing pieces than I was. This dresser was very tedious, and so he did it as a gift to me. It’s making another move soon and probably another few after that (at least… with a name that means “wanderer” I’m not sure I’ll ever settle down).

  2. Greia says July 12, 2013

    Thanks for the great tutorial! You did a beautiful job on the highchair. I can’t believe you found another one! I’ve been digging through Craigslist trying to find a similar highchair to refinish myself but haven’t had any luck. I have a few more months until my little one’s first birthday so I’m going to keep going at it!

  3. Sarah says September 16, 2013

    I love this tutorial! I am also on the hunt for one of these adorable chairs for my son’s first birthday in December. 🙂 Would you mind sharing how you found three so close to you outside of the obvious searches (ebay, craigs list, etc)? Thanks for posting! 🙂

  4. elaine says November 10, 2013

    Your high chair info was helpful. I have the SAME EXACT high chair. Our daughter is 33 years old and pregnant for the first time. The high chair is the only piece of baby furniture we saved. It was manufactured by Hedstrom for Sears. Ours was in excellent shape, but we had to repair one of the springs for the tray. The original chair pads were in the box where we stored the chair. I bought new one inch foam and new fabric and made new seat, side and back cushions. We didn’t need to refinish the wood or paint it. It turned out great and all that is left to do is spray the tray with your suggested Zissner product. It may be too late, but if you want, I could make paper patterns for the chair pads for you

    1. Vicki says January 16, 2014

      elaine, you said you could make a paper pattern for the chair pads for a jenny lind high chair? I have two jenny lind high chairs and woud love to attempt to make new cushions for them. Would you mind to email me the pattern?

    2. Maria Decken says January 29, 2014

      Could you send me paper pattern for jenny Lind high chair cushion replacement?

    3. Peggy says July 5, 2015

      I too have the exact high chair that we are preparing for my grandson’s first birthday! I would love to have the pattern for the chair pads if possible. I was just getting ready to try to make my own.
      Thanks, Peggy

  5. Katie says December 10, 2013

    I found a Jenny Lind while ‘picking’ through a junk-collector’s over-packed 4 stall garage…no, there weren’t any actual cars in it. I fell in love when I first saw it but it didn’t have a tray. I told the guy to give me a call if he found the tray…I got a call the next day and ended up getting it for $30. I actually decided to leave it like it was just better :). I just finished rubbing an oil/vinegar mixture into it and most of the scratches are invisible. The tray still needs a little work and the hardware needs a good cleaning as well. I’m very pleased that I was able to not have to strip or paint it though I have refinished many pieces in my day. Dressers, lamps, chairs (my favorite) and our dining room table. Oh, and I made my headboard from a door too…if that counts as refinishing furniture????

  6. Vivian says February 13, 2014

    Hi! Just found your blog while searching the Jenny Lind high chair! Wish I had found your page a couple of hours earlier! I FINALLY, finally, finally scored this same Jenny Lind high chair today in the 11th hour, since our cake smash/1 year photoshoot is tomorrow! Like you, I spent WEEKS, more than a month even, scouring Craigslist. I don’t know about all these other bloggers who are lucky enough to “just happened upon a $20 vintage wood high chair” – stuff like that doesn’t happen in our area. Anyhow, long story short, I was desperate to get this puppy ready for tomorrow, so I just sanded and spray-painted! But I totally forgot to cover the hardware on the arm-rest!
    The only other time I’ve refinished any furniture, was for Kaitlyn’s nursery. I refinished everything on an antique French Provencal dresser and nightstand, the long and detailed way. No short-cuts! That was before she was born and I had “free time”.

    xx Viv @

  7. Jamie says March 29, 2014

    I am looking for this high chair and cannot seem to find one. If you still have one available I would love to purchase it. Please let me know if it is available. Thanks!1

    Jamie Furlong

  8. Jamie says March 29, 2014

    I am looking for this high chair and cannot seem to find one. If you still have one available I would love to purchase it. Please let me know if it is available. Thanks!1

    Jamie Furlong-Dillard

  9. Annie says April 7, 2014

    Hi there. I am new to this whole Jenny Lind high chair thing, and I have some questions. I have an older wooden high chair but the spindles are not circular like that, they are more “blocky” I guess. Is a Jenny Lind an actual brand or is it just a style of high chair? Mine is in very good shape, so I doubt its really old, but the tray is real worn, you can tell it was wiped down a lot, all the finish is gone from it. Any resources you could point me to so I could find out what kind of high chair mine is? Thanks!

  10. […] silly for spending wayyyy more on Eloise’s.  You all may remember I refinished a vintage Jenny Lind high chair for Eloise’s birthday so it is no surprise I love the style and the added bonus of the […]

  11. Lindsey says August 20, 2014

    Now that you’ve had this highchair a year, how well has your sealer held up? I sealed a wood highchair several months ago using polyurethane. It has not held up… the poly has been peeling. I’m in the process of refinishing it again and want to find a sealer that will hold up this time. Thanks!

    1. Tricia says October 16, 2014

      I am in the same boat! Refinished an old high chair and I want something safe and easy to clean! Let me know if you found anything!

  12. Michal says March 13, 2015

    Hello! I am trying to seal a Jenny Lind style high chair that I painted, but I am nervous about the sealer- is anyone really *sure* that the Bullseye Shellac is food safe?? I know they dont really label anything in the US as “food safe” per-se, mostly just “non-toxic” or “all natural”….but has anyone actually sealed a wooden high chair with this and actually used it repeatedly??? How does it hold up etc?

    1. Nicole says July 7, 2015

      Hi Michael did you happen to ever find out if it was safe? I am about to take this on myself. THANK YOU!

      1. Michal says July 8, 2015


        Yes, I did further research and in the US, they do not label ANY sealant like shellac or polycrilic as “food safe.” They will only label those items as non toxic. However, in my course of research I also found that shellac and polycrilic are both by nature “food safe” once fully cured. The only thing you cannot do to it is cut with a knife on it- that compromises the seal and in turn could release toxins into food. There are some hemp oils that you could use which are another alternative, but quite frankly, not practical for a high chair tray which will get daily use. (You would have to be re-waxing practically every week and it would not hold up well against staining etc). Since this post I have made several of these chairs for friends and family and all have said they work perfectly and are very easy to clean. The curing process is most important, make sure the item is in a good climate, (not too humid) while drying and make sure it is completely hardened (no tacky spots) prior to use. I actually found I prefer the finish of the matte polycrilic over the bullseye shellac which has a “shinny” finish and takes (IMO) longer to fully cure. The polycrilic finishes nice and matte over chalk paint (my preferred paint) and hardens extremely well. I hope this helps! Good luck on your project!

  13. […] The Wise Baby – How to refinish a wooden high chair […]

  14. Debbie says September 28, 2015

    Just saw this…I have the high chair I used for my sons 35 years ago. It’s never been refinished. Two of my grandkids are out of high chairs, my youngest has a little chair we fasten to a chair. So, I’m thinking of taking apart the Jenny Lind crib and turning it into towel or quilt racks…I think I can make this work…thoughts?

  15. Ed says March 11, 2016

    Ran across this while looking for tips on refinishing high chairs, especially the hardware. We also have the same chair and my wife wants it to be white as well. Sanding now…

    One question. I also plan to use a kilz type latex primer and latex white finish coat(s). Is there any reason you chose to go with brushing from a can vs just using the same product from a spray can?

  16. Norma Vilutis says April 20, 2017

    Hi Lindsey,

    Your tutorial is so helpful. Appreciated that you gave the helpful tips that one would not think of until well into the thick of things!! ( like cleaning hardware). I pick up all kinds of things from garbage day . Recently picked up the same high chair you refinished. Mine has a tiny split on seat, so will need to fix that first. I refurbish, refinish and then sell or donate to Nearly New Resale in Frankfort Il. (ps: south of Chicago) You should visit the shop as they sell all kinds of things for projects (furniture…) very very cheap. Anyway, I got off topic!!

    Thanks will try products you used on two Thomasville bedside tables i have. Thank you for all your great advice on taking time with priming and painting. Terrific info!!! Norma

  17. Gale says May 10, 2017

    I have the same high chair, which I used for each of my boys (3). Now, my middle son and his wife are expecting their first baby in August and I would like to redo this chair as a surprise ..structurally, the chair is in excellent condition, the finish is just worn.

    I have worked with chalk paint quite a bit….could you do this with chalk paint or is there a reason why that would not be recommended? I know the chalk paint would also need a sealer, such as the Zinsser…and not a wax finish.

    Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you!!

  18. lori says June 4, 2017

    I have my Jenny Lind high chair from when my daughter was little. I now have my first grandchild and set up the chair. Unfortunately, the safety straps to hold the baby in the chair rotted while in storage. Any idea where I can get straps?? the chair is 26 years old.


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