7.19.2012

Side Chair Makeover

In the last few posts I mentioned we moved.  This was a big deal.  It had been 7 years since I moved last and that move didn't really count. I was a carefree single girl finally moving in with my fiancĂ© with my handful of kitchen items and a futon. Puh-leeeze. I could do that in my sleep now.  This was a real move.  Complete with two kids, and their stuff, and 7 years of stuff my husband and I had collected, and more stuff on top of that stuff. We were leaving the house we came home to on our wedding night and the house we brought both of our babies home to. It was a stressful week to say the least.


On top of the move, we showed up to our new house with a U-haul full of furniture only to find the previous occupant left the house a complete disaster.  Mess and smell on top of garbage and furniture all left for us to deal with.  There were points that day that I wanted to cry. What does this have to do with a chair makeover?  This chair was left amid the piles of garbage. Pretty much the highlight of that day... even in this state.
After we got semi settled, I made a trip to Home Depot for a few supplies and JoAnn's for the fabric.


Here's what I used:
• Light grit sandpaper
• Elmer's Wood Glue
• Elmer's Wood Filler Max
• 1 can of Kilz Spray Primer
• 2 cans of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Spray Paint
• Staple Gun and staples
• About 1/2 yard of fabric


Step 1: Remove the seat. (4 screws right under the seat)


Step 2: Fix any large repairs. I repaired the broken arm with wood glue and clamped that over night.
On top of a broken arm, there was a lot more damage to this chair (this is where the wood filler will come into play).  I thought about refinishing the wood first, but decided against it once I realized how damaged the wood was.  No stain is going to cover this up.
 


Step 3: Lightly sand the entire chair and wipe the dust off with a damp rag.


Step 4: Give the chair a light coat of spray primer.

It won't be completely white. That's fine.  Better to go light than to have drips.


Step 5: Fill in any missing chunks with wood filler. I'm guessing I could have done this before the primer but I still had some sanding to go so it didn't really matter.


Step 5 and a half: Not really step 6 since not everyone will have to do this, but my chair needed a lot of sanding. The finish was in bad shape and the wood filler was bumpy. So I went back and forth between sanding and priming sanding and priming... until I had a smooth finish. (The spray paint I used is in that picture)


Step 6: Reupholster the seat.  While the final coat of primer dried, I went inside and reupholstered the seat. Lay the seat face down on the wrong side of your new fabric and staple away! I just went right over the old fabric, stapling on opposite sides while making sure it was pulled tight.  This seriously takes like 10 minutes. : )


That's the old fabric... held on by tiny little nails.  Yup... not pulling those out.
I got my new fabric at JoAnn Fabrics.  It was $50/yard which is crazy! However, I had a 50% off coupon and I only got 3/4 yard.  So it came to about $18. Much better than $50 and I love it!
Staple, staple, staple. I made sure to line up my pattern so one of the circles fell right in the center of the chair. Optional, but something to keep in mind.


Step 7: Paint! In my experience many light coats gets the best results. Here's what coat 1 looked like.
Better to have missed spots than drips.  You can always spray it some more.
Here is my chair mocking me from the yard.  I wanted to bring it in so bad but I knew it had more drying time to go. I think I did 4-5 coats over several hours. All very light.


Step 8: Reattach your new seat and admire your work. Done!
So what do you think? Inspired to try it?

28 comments :

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this chair. I'm envious of your find and am now on the hunt for a chair to makeover for my home! Thanks. lol

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    1. Thanks! I'll keep my eye out for a nice dumpster chair for ya! :)

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  2. I love everything about this project. It inspires me to go find a sad chair and make it happy again.

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    1. Thanks! You can usually find these chairs cheap since I think this was part of a dining room set. Once the set gets broken up, the chairs get cheap! Or... you can casually peruse people's curbs on garbage day. ha.

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  3. Oooh! I would love to do a chair like this for my sewing table. Must. Find. Chair.

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    1. This is going to be for my new sewing desk too! Great minds think alike ;) Thanks... Check goodwill. They always have random dining chairs in bad shape.

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  4. We have those same chairs at our place - but in original condition! Our dining set belonged to hubby's grandparents (who bought it in the 60s), and his grandmother gave it to us a few years back. It was in pristine condition back then and we warned her that it would be used for craft/homework/eating/drawing/life but she still wanted us to have it. It's still in pretty good nick, but I guess I know what I can do once the chairs start giving up the ghost! How nice for our three kids to maybe leave home with one each of those chairs, all personalised :) Thanks for a lovely tutorial!

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    1. How cool! I love furniture with a story. And I understand the "life" that happens to furniture. During the move my brother even made a comment that everything we have has some sort of scratch or nick or dent. Welcome to actually using your furniture with two kids! Haha. I bet those chairs look awesome when they're not all damaged :)

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  5. I did this to an old set of dining room chairs, and used oil cloth for the seats. Now I don't worry about the kids spilling stuff because it just wipes off. Great tutorial!

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    1. Oil cloth! Great idea. I have a set of parsons chairs in my kitchen that look like they've been through war. Reupholstering them/covering them has been on my mind lately. Never thought of oil cloth. The kid's yogurt won't stand a chance!

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  6. I have a chair I picked up on the sidewalk. It has been painted and painted and painted! It's an ugly brown and the paint is peeling.
    How do I get it all off?
    Also - is has no seat but I guess a piece of plywood could be used and then some foam added.

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    1. I'd use a orbital sander to get lots of thick paint off. Or, you might want to try some kind of chemical stripper if there are lots of details you can't get into with a sander (people at Home Depot or Lowes would know what kind). If you're going to paint it again, you don't have to get all the paint off (just the bumpy peeling parts), and prime it before you paint so it sticks. Yep, thin plywood would work for the seat... that's what mine has :) I love free sidewalk chairs! Go for it.

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  7. I am wondering if I can use any type of paint for the yellow part. I have some wall paint left from painting my room.

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    1. I don't think regular latex would hold up very well on furniture. Although, they make crazy primers that make anything stick now, so ask the people at Home Depot or Lowes (or wherever you buy paint). They might have something that will make it work. I know I've dripped some wall paint on some of my cabinets in the kitchen before and didn't notice until the next day, and it just peeled right off. You don't want that to happen to your chair! :)

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  8. This is so cute and a lot simpler than some other processes i've seen. I love the fabric you picked.

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    1. Thanks! I actually went to JoAnn's for another fabric I found on their website. But, when I got there, this one was hanging just above that one and I liked it so much better : )

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  9. Your chair is beautiful,love the fabric. Nice job. I have recovered the seats of my dining room chairs probably 4 times over the years and it always makes them look like new. Wood filler and spray paint may work on that old dresser I found at a yard sale. Thanks

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    1. I know... covering chairs like this is so easy and cheap! Love it. And this was the first time I ever used wood filler. It was easy too. (The waiting for it to dry was the hard part). Thanks!

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  10. I salvaged an old metal high chair (no tray) for my grandaughter to use when she visits. I painted it and used bright oil loth for the back and seat (big pain to cover the back!) She loves it and still wants to sit in it- she is 5 now.

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  11. Love it! Nothing like taking something broken down and giving it a new life. I found 2 chairs in an alley that have similar issues (big chunks of the wood missing and discarded). This is an inspiration and gives me confidence that I can salvage them... can't wait to try my hand at it.

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  12. what a fun, trendy chair! i have that same fabric in my kitchen and love it!
    pinning now and sharing on FB Monday!
    Thanks so much for linking up to support Habitat. Good luck and hope to see you again next week!

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  13. I love the chair and you make it look so easy. I have some old dining room chairs that need a facelift and have some similar fabric I also bought at Joann's Fabrics. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  14. just found this on pinterest, thanks for the tutorial and the chair looks great!

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    1. Thanks Marie! I think I find everything on Pinterest. haha Glad you found me!

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  15. Great chair love the bright happy colors

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  16. Did you take the cushioning off, the seat cover?

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