Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chair Makeover

I found this awesome little chair while visiting yard sales one day last year. I intended to makeover the chair and reupholster the seat with zebra fabric but my daughter was not interested in the least. She prefers her chair with wheels. Whatev. No vision. 

Here's what I started with -

Not pretty, but solid wood and in good condition. We removed the seat and pulled out all the staples underneath and threw away the old fabric and padding.

I sanded down the chair a little with an electric sander. You don't have to prime your furniture when using chalk paint, but in this case I felt the layer of old paint on this chair was thick and obvious. It was not smooth and would have made MY paint job look sloppy. Sorry for the awful photo. I should have taken a nice picture of this step but forgot. I found a terrible quality photo with the chair in it and I cropped it. Why can't iPhones take better quality photos? Android has them beat in that aspect. 

As I mentioned above, I intended to use chalk paint. I had some left over white paint and I used that to make my own chalk paint. For my step by step tutorial on making your own chalk paint CLICK HERE. 

I applied 2 coats of my homemade chalk paint. Allow the paint to fully dry in between coats. Since chalk paint can be gritty I always lightly sand after each coat has dried with a very fine sandpaper for a smooth finish. 

To distress my furniture I use a 3M sanding sponge in medium grit. Any coarse sanding block or paper will work. Some have even used steel wool. Just do not use a fine grain. Sand off the paint in areas that would show wear over the years. Distress as little or as much as you want according to your preference, but remember to follow the grain of the wood. 
To seal your nice paint job apply a clear wax. CLICK HERE for my tutorial on applying wax. For this particular project I only applied a clear wax, but my post on applying wax also has instructions for applying a dark wax as well if you choose to do so. And if you feel extra crafty, make your own dark wax like I did HERE!

Now for the seat! I have only reupholstered a few items in my life, so I'm not a pro by any means. Here's what I used to upholster my seat:

Chairpad foam
Fabric (I bought both of these items at Joann with a coupon)
Long serrated kitchen knife (weird I know, but it works great)
Staple gun

I traced the seat so my foam pad would be the same shape. I tried to use scissors to cut the thick padding, HA. Not so much. Believe it or not the long serrated kitchen knife was so much easier to cut with. Make sure there are no leftover staples in the seat. If there are use your pliers to remove them. I found several. Next, lay your fabric out flat (upside down) and pull the fabric over on 1 side and secure with your staple gun. Secure the opposite side the same way. Then repeat with the other 2 sides. I haven't mastered making my corners look flawless. Practice makes perfect I guess. Cut away the excess fabric and hammer in any staples that are sticking up. Screw the seat back into place and you're done :)

Since my daughter said no way to the chair, I chose to makeover the chair with a coastal vibe. Now than she's seen the finished product of course she likes it. Too bad. Doesn't match her room. 

So this chair is for sale! If you're interested contact me :)


  1. Thank you Greg! I wish the seat had come out better but I'll keep trying to improve on that if I do another.