This Chair Makeover is a quick turn-around project you can do in a day… and if you’re like me, at a cost of only $5. Let me start by saying the chair was given to me by a dear friend who was downsizing and getting rid of things, and she thought I might be able to do something with it. The chair had seen many years and was well-worn, and I thought it was darling.
When people give me things like this, I can hardly wait to work on them, because usually, I already have things at home that I know I can use. In this case, I’ve had a piece of upholstery fabric with a graphic yellow & gray pattern that I’ve been dying to use. I found it at the thrift store for just $2.99 about a year ago, and I’ve just been waiting for the right project to use it on ever since. I knew immediately this wooden chair was it!
The chair, itself, was in great shape, although, to sit on it, it was rather hard. It was clear the padding had been worn down to nothing. So, the first thing I did was buy an inexpensive foam seat cushion. You can find them for about $5. I got mine at Joann’s, where I used a 50% off coupon and paid only $2.50 for it. That was the only thing I needed to buy for this project, and with it in hand, I was ready to get started.
The first thing I did was remove the seat cushion. To do this, I just flipped the chair over and used a screw driver to remove the four screws holding it in place on each corner. Then, I removed the staples all along the back of the fabric. Surprisingly, they popped out really easily.
This part was fun, because I got to see the chair’s past life. I knew it had been reupholstered before, but once I began removing the layers of fabric, there was evidence of at least four times that someone had worked on it! I loved seeing how the styles changed through the decades. (I’m thinking that swan print, had to be early 80’s!)
Once all the layers of upholstery fabric were removed, I used the wood seat bottom to cut a template in the new foam. I simply traced around the wood with a black marker, then cut with regular scissors.
Next, I aligned the new upholstery fabric with the seat cushion. Using the pattern from the graphic print, I centered the lines carefully, making sure the pattern would be even on the seat cushion. Then I cut the fabric, leaving a couple of inches extra all around.
I used an electric staple gun to staple the fabric to the seat, starting with the front center and working my way out. I then stapled the opposite side, and so on. When it comes to the corners, you just do your best to fold, tuck, and staple.
With my cushion all done, I could have put it back on the chair and called this Chair Makeover done. In fact, I really debated back and forth whether to paint the chair. I loved the original stain, and the areas where the chair was worn smooth. I cleaned it up as best I could, but it just lacked something. So, I decided to give it a light sanding and paint it, after all.
It didn’t need a lot of sanding. There were only a few areas where dings and scratches could be seen. So, I used a fine grit sand block and gave it a quick once over. I wiped it clean and was ready to paint.
I had a box of left over paint samples, that believe it or not, another friend had given me when she was deciding what color to paint her house. All of them were gray tones and worked perfectly with my yellow and gray fabric. I picked the one I liked most and loaded it into my spray gun. (If you don’t have a spray gun, you can always use a small paint roller.) Unfortunately, I can’t tell the name of the gray paint color, but it’s by Sherman Williams, and it is in a satin finish, which is the sheen I always use when painting furniture.
You’ll notice, I first paint the bottom side of the chair and let it dry, before flipping it around to paint the top side. I like the last thing I paint to be the side that is most visible. It usually takes a few coats of paint before I get the perfect look.
Once it’s dry, I then sprayed on a coat of poly-urethane to give it a protective finish. Here again, you can use a small paint roller to apply it, I just prefer to use my paint sprayer. (If you use a sprayer, just water it down a bit, as you would the paint.) I used Polycrylic by Minwax in satin/semi-gloss finish.
With the chair all painted, now all that was left was to screw the new, reupholstered seat cushion back on, sit back, and enjoy it. My $5 Chair Makeover was done in just a few short hours, and I absolutely love how it turned out.
If you liked this simple Chair Makeover and are ready to tackle something a little harder, check out one of my favorite dresser makeovers at http://www.muralsbymarcy.com/turquoise-dresser-damask-detail/