Ugly to Lovely: A Chair Makeover
This is a makeover project, and this chair was long overdue. I bought this chair for $10 about 20 years ago. Soon after I bought it, a friend recovered the seat with a neutral, if not boring, fabric. We used it for a few years, then it ended up in the basement for at least the last 10 years. No one sat on it. It was up against the wall by the ping-pong table, and balls always seemed to get caught underneath it. I really liked the chair, though, and that’s why it survived many rounds of purging at the second hand store. For the makeover, I did a simple refresh of new paint and new fabric on the cushion.
This site contains affiliate links.
Tools and Supplies:
- screw driver, pliers (may be needed to remove chair seat and staples from previous seat recovers)
- liquid sanderpaper/deglosser (such as Klean-Strip Liquid Sander Deglosser), sandpaper, and/or primer (such as Krylon All-Purpose White Primer Spray)
- spray paint
- staple gun (Here is an example Rapid R34 Stapling Gun)
- fabric protector-optional (I used Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector)
First, I removed the seat cushion by unscrewing four screws from underneath. I used Hercules Handcleaning/Plumbing Towels to degloss and clean the wood chair frame. This might seem like an odd product to use to degloss paint, but it works. I found out it deglosses paint when I used them to wipe down my kitchen cabinets. As I was doing it, I noticed it was taking the shine off, so I stopped before I got very far. It is always best to prep furniture pieces before painting. The “normal” ways of prepping furniture for new paint are sanding with fine sandpaper, using a deglosser such as Klean-Strip Liquid Sander Deglosser, or priming with a paint primer such as Krylon All-Purpose White Primer Spray. I typically sand and then prime. This time I felt like deglossing, so that’s what I did.
This is the frame after deglossing.
Next, I spray painted the frame gloss black (Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint, Gloss Black). I turned the chair over and spray painted the bottom and side surfaces first. Then after it was dry, I turned the frame over and spray painted the top surfaces.
With the frame done, I turned my attention to the seat cushion. I took off the cover fabric with a flat-head screwdriver and pliers. I left the original fabric on (blue stripes). Depending on the condition of the original fabric and how involved you want to get, you can take off the original fabric too and add new padding. I wanted a simple makeover so I left the fabric and padding alone.
I bought the fabric at Hobby Lobby. It is a large floral print, and I spent some time repositioning the fabric on the cushion until I was happy with where the flowers were positioned on the seat. I don’t know why, but I found it helpful to take photos with my phone, then judge from the photo if I liked the placement of the flower pattern.
Next, I carefully turned the seat and fabric over being careful to keep the fabric in place. Then I trimmed some of the extra fabric leaving roughly 6 inches extra on all sides.
The next part is where I had some trouble. I have an old manual staple gun and it was very hard to operate. I couldn’t do it because I don’t have the grip strength (do to mild arthritis) so I enlisted the help of my daughter. She is a fit teenager who can drive a golf ball 175 yards, but could just barely make the darn staple gun work. The good thing is she could do it, but she could only do a few staples then would have to rest her hand. So the bottom line is, we put in fewer staples than we would have liked. You can put in more than we did, even put in two rows of staples if you want to.
We (she) stapled the front first, then we pushed the cushion into that row of staples to tighten up the fabric and stapled the back (opposite side) of the cushion.
We repeated the process for the other two sides.
We left “flaps” as shown in the photos below at the four corners.
Next I pulled the flaps toward the center, and my daughter stapled them down. I trimmed extra fabric and applied Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector. Finally, I reattached the cushion to the chair frame with the original screws.
I am so glad I gave this tired chair a new chance at life!
I hope you are having a fab day. All my best, and thanks again for joining me!
Friday’s Furniture Fix
January 30, 2017 @ 11:07 pm
I love the fabric you selected. It really makes the chair come alive. The lines of the chair are so unique that I can see why you held on to it. Beautiful job.
Debrashoppeno5 recently posted…How To Make A Little Farmhouse Candy Dispenser
January 31, 2017 @ 4:33 pm
Thanks so much Debra! I tried several other fabrics before I found this one, and it definitely seemed right for this chair. I’m checking your latest post now. 🙂
Marie from The Interior Frugalista
February 3, 2017 @ 5:40 pm
I recently purchased the same fabric for a couple of chairs – love it! It looks so pretty on your chair. Pinning ☺
Marie from The Interior Frugalista recently posted…Bentwood Pedestal Cafe Table (The Makeover That Made Me Nauseous)
February 4, 2017 @ 10:27 pm
Mary I can’t wait to see your chairs. Are they up on your blog? Thanks for the important (if not painful) post on the Brentwood Table Makeover. Thanks!
Mary-the boondocks blog
February 3, 2017 @ 9:32 pm
Jen that is a really great makeover. That was very smart to use spray paint, it looks wonderful. But what takes it into another category is the fabric. Really beautiful.
Mary-the boondocks blog recently posted…Sweet Inspiration Link Party #42
February 4, 2017 @ 10:12 pm
Thanks Mary! I tried several fabrics before I found this one, and I knew it was THE ONE immediately. Thanks for hosting the Sweet Inspiration Link Party!!