April 26, 2012

How to Reupholster a Chair

Recently while thrift store shopping, I came across the cutest little chair for five dollars. After a little DIY upholstery work, it turned out even cuter.


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!



Here's how the chair looked when I first brought it home. It was a dark, scratched up wood and the seat cover was covered in a strawberry print.


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!

Pretty much awesome.


Strawberries or not, I thought it had the sweetest little shape and I loved the detail on the wooden frame.  I decided to paint the frame a light blue and recover the cushion. I used a $6 tablecloth for the seat cushion fabric. It was a heavy duty canvas cloth and was a much cheaper option than paying $40/yd for normal upholstery fabric. (See my tips on choosing a print here.)



Upholstery Tips & Tricks You Should Know!



Here's how this cute little chair turned out.



How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!



I trimmed the seat cushion with silver nailheads to add a little extra glam!


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!



Where do you think I should use this cute little chair? I'm thinking maybe the bedroom office/sitting room.


Now, let's go through reupholstering a seat cushion step by step. It's so easy and truly anyone can do it.

Here are the supplies you'll need.


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!



First,  flip the chair upside down and use a screwdriver to unscrew the seat cushion from the frame.


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!


Then haul the frame outside.



How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!

Now it's time to paint.



How To Paint the Perfect Chair in 6 Steps | LiveLoveDIY



Here are my 6 easy steps to painting the perfect chair.

1. Lightly sand
 (use 150 grit sandpaper).
2. Use Spray Primer to coat the entire chair.
 (This will keep the wood stain from seeping through your paint, and will make the paint stick to the chair. I love using spray primer on chairs because it's so quick!)
3. Lightly sand when dry
 (use 150 or 220 grit sandpaper).
4. Paint 2 coats of your chosen paint
(sanding between coats).
5. When dry, do final light sanding to get the smoothest finish.
 (220 grit).
6. Coat with your choice of either wax or varnish. 
(I used Blair Spray Varnish because it's quicker than brush on and it's durable enough for a chair. See more about how to choose a clear coat here.)

For my paint color, I bought a sample of Behr Light French Gray. It's the perfect color of gray-blue and I've also used it here and here.


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!


Now that your chair frame is painted, it's time to reupholster the cushion.

First, lay your cushion upside down on the underside of the fabric. Cut around the cushion, leaving roughly 4'' or more on each side.


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!

I like to make my cushions super-plush, so I chose to pull the stuffing out of an old pillow and put it between the cushion and the fabric. Next, fold your fabric over each side, pulling as tight as possible, and staple around the edges. For an in depth step by step on making corners, please see this post.



How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!

Do this all the way around the cushion.


After the cushion is upholstered, it's time to add the nail head trim.


How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!

Simply hammer the nailheads in one by one in a straight line around the edge of the chair.



How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!

And that's it! You have a brand new upholstered chair for a fraction of the cost! To see my top 10 favorite chairs I've redone, please visit this post.


Don't forget to pin this post so you'll have this info when you need it!




How To Reupholster A Chair: an easy step-by-step tutorial anyone can do!



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11 comments:

  1. looks good! I love your idea of using a clearance table cloth. I have a few chairs that are sitting in my garage that need reupholstering ... You'r post is swaying me towards starting!

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  2. WOW!! BEAUTIFUL! LOVE THE COLOR TOO. I am going to go buy some light french gray paint today. Love it!!!

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  3. Lovely! I've done this project a bunch of times. However one thing to add: if the fabric is quite heavy-weight, you don't have to cover the bottom of the seat. Sometimes you'll have a hard time having it fit snugly when fastening back onto the frame.

    I love that tablecloth fabric! But another place to look for great upholstery weight fabric is the discounted bins. I just did a bench with $5/yd fabric. (Only needed one yard.) For chairs you'd get two seats for that price :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Stopping by from The Grant Life. Love that color, I'll have to keep that one in mind! What a great find, and good tip on the table cloth!

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  5. Your chair looks so good. I love that trim and such a good idea to use a table cloth. I'll have to remember that!

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  6. You did such a great job re-upholstering this chair. It looks divine! Thanks for the super Tutorial. Lets be blog friends, I love to DIY also, I followed and subscribed to your blog, it's AMAZING!!!
    xoxo
    Claudia
    http://deliciousspaces.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Virginia, what a score! I love the details on your chair. And, that's a great tip, using the tablecloth as fabric. Thank you so much for sharing it in the DIY Talent Parade!

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  8. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. My mom has some truly ugly chairs that she has been wanting me to redo, but I wasn't sure how. Now I just have to find the time!

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  9. I love that you used a table cloth... where did you find it?

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  10. I have two red faux beautiful chairs i purchased from overstock last year. I wish i would have read all the reviews but anywhoo. The stitching started coming out causing the material to rip. Im going to try the table cloth. I read also you can use a fitted sheet. This will be my first project. I will post pictures when its complete

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

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