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July 17, 2012

Thrift Store Chair Makeover

Let's talk birthdays. For most girls, a birthday involves getting a snazzy new outfit or maybe a trip to the spa. But no, oh no, not me. I get chairs from thrift stores.

A new very old chair is like a little piece of heaven. 
And my momma knows this.
For my birthday, she gave me this.

In my head I could see how awesome it would be after a little work.

Here's what I ended up with.

So, here's what I did.
I took it outside, primed it, and then spray painted it white.
Then I took all of the fabric off the chair with a pair of scissors and laid the pieces out flat. 
I used the old pieces of fabric as my templates for the new fabric. Once I cut my new fabric to match each piece, I used a heavy duty staple gun and glue gun to secure the bottom piece, top piece, and back piece. 
As you can see below, the seat cushion is one big piece, just wrapped around the edges and stapled underneath. For the part around the legs, I cut the fabric close to the edge and tucked under and stapled. I knew I was going to use upholstery trim around all of the edges so I wasn't worried about any imperfections. The trim covers it up!

I did the same thing with the one big piece on the front of the backrest cushion. I just wrapped and stapled the fabric to the back. 

Then, I used my last piece as a back panel and just stapled and glued it over everything. Do this last so that it covers up where you stapled the front piece of the cushion on.
I also decided to use the upholstery trim along every single seam.
I've never done that before, but I love the way it turned out. It feels almost nautical! 

So what do you think? Not bad for $15, right?!

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  1. Wow, those Biore pore strips work miracles! I'm totally with you on the fixer-uppers making the best gifts. Great job!

  2. I would luv for you to share this tut on the beautiful chair reupholstered with our readers at

    Thanks a lot,

  3. Fabulous transformation. I love Krylon paint! I struggle using anything else.

  4. beautiful refashion. I love it!!! I would love for you to link to The CSI project this week for Refashions/Upcycles week. Each week we have a new challenge, new judge and new tutorials so come on over and link up!

  5. so cute! she is a classic beauty now and up to date!

  6. It's beautiful! I just finished a similar project myself and I am feeling quite proud. I love what you did with yours.

  7. It's a whole new chair now! Seriously, though, it looks great, I love what you did with it. Totally worth all your blood, sweat and tears.

  8. Love it! I too would prefer to go thrifting than having a spa day for my bday.

  9. Magnificent!!!! That turned out amazing!!! LOVE the stripes and the colors. The pillow is soooo pretty too!

    You are planning on sharing this over at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality.. right? :)

  10. The stripes look so pretty! I love the trim too! What a transformation!

  11. Wow! That is gorgeous! Great work :)

  12. Virginia-

    I wish I could buy that off you! It's gorgeous and would fit perfect in this little nook in my front room...

    Should you be in Chicago... :)

    Sharing @ Pinterest,

  13. I have the exact same chair , very poorly painted in white with a shredded purple velvet upholstery and brass nailhead trim. You've inspired me to do something with it. What was the fabric you used It would look great sitting under the desk in my bedroom as well!

  14. Hi Virginia: My first time to your blog, and I love the lines and refinished look of your chair--lovely! Well done!

  15. This is gorgeous!!
    Congrats on the CSI win :)


  16. Very nice and fun! I love a good chair redo, I had to stop buying them at the thrift store, no more room!

  17. Sigh. I love this! You make it seem so easy but I know it would not be for most {normal} people. BEAUTIFUL!

    Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

  18. Did you strip or sand before your primed? I so want to do this, but the 6 dining room chairs I have are a little too much to take on if I have to strip and sand first....

  19. Nope! Not at all. Painting and priming alone will hold up for years. You may have to touch it up where it gets knicked over the years, but I've found you still have to do that even if you sand! Get spray primer and spray paint if you are doing 6. That way it will only take an hour to get them all painted rather than 6 hours by hand!

  20. Love this chair looks brand new! where did you buy the fabric? it's great.
    I am picking up 2 wing-back chairs tomorrow for $25.
    Can't wait to get started!

  21. It looks absolutely amazing! And you're hilarious with the running man...need to read your other posts STAT! :)

    aimee @

  22. LOVE this fabric! Where did you find it?

  23. Many firms develop office table furniture designs and offer in different prices. I hope you will post some president chair designs in your next blog.

  24. After stumbling on your blog I am super inspired! How much fabric would you use for a project like this?

  25. Saw this on pinterest how it turned out!! I will be repinning this!!

  26. Hi there! It's my first time on your blog, I'm just learning about blogs..Anyway, I have the same chair! It was my grandmother's and she recovered it many years ago with an old green velvet dress of my moms. Originally it was from their dining room set. My problem is, the foam has rotted and leaves piles of yellow dust... Was your foam in tack? Any ideas on how I would replace the foam? I've never recovered anything so I'm all ears! Thanks!


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