Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dining Chair Makeover

Our refinished 70's table has been working perfectly in our space! its so nice to sit close together during meals instead of spread out amongst a long table. Clean up is much easier too.  A finished table definitely motivated the completion of the matching chairs

I have never refinished chairs or attempted to reupholster anything so it was an interesting experience. First I unscrewed the cushions from each chair and the germ freak in me thought it would be best to use new foam and batting before putting on new fabric.

Taking the old cover off was painfully time consuming and I realized pretty quickly that if I wanted to get these chairs done this year I needed to recover the existing chair pad rather than starting from scratch. Next,I attempted to paint over the existing wooden chairs using the appropriate primer and paint just like I did when I made over the base of the table Revisit table post by clicking here. Unfortunately this method took forever and the end result was very sloppy and chalk looking. Below explains the method that worked best for us.

How to bring life back to an old chair

Step 1
Remove existing seat from the chairs and give the wood a wipe down to remove dust and dirt

Step 2
Using a glossy primer + paint spray (love this stuff) give the chair a thorough spray and let dry

Step 3

Once the paint is dry you can leave it as is or do what I did and scuff up some of the edges with sandpaper. Next apply a tinted gloss or stain and immediately wipe it off with a damp cloth for a dirty aged look. You can visit the table post by clicking HERE for specific techniques.

Step 4

Our seat had tufts and to ensure that the fabric didn't sink or rip in those areas I inserted batting in each of the holes to fill them up

Step 5

Lay the seat face down onto quilt batting, cut the batting so that you have about 3 inches extra around the perimeter. Using a staple gun, gently pull the batting around the base of the the seat and staple the excess batting, next do the opposite side and so on.

Step 6

Neatly fold the corners and staple

Step 7

Once the batting is secure, cut away any excess batting leaving approximately one inch from your staple

Step 8

Follow the above steps but this time use fabric in place of the batting, the end result might look like this. its always a good idea to make sure the fabric will reach before making cuts.

Step 9

Screw the NEW seat back onto the chair

hello beautiful

distressed detail

When choosing fabric for these chairs I went with function over fashion This is an outdoor fabric with a plastic coating... which means I don't have to gasp when the kids drop spaghetti sauce or juice on it.

We are all enjoying the new table and chair set and Alex prefers the captain chair with arms so he can be the" King" of his castle

Kitchen / Dining
Cabinet Trim
spray current light fixture
find new Light Fixture
Refinish 70's Table
Refinish and reupholster chairs
Growth Chart

Thank you so much for visiting and if any of the instructions left you scratching your head feel free to contact me. Enjoy your week!


  1. I love it, but then again what doesn't your mom love what ever you do.

  2. Wow! Well worth the work. It looks GREAT!

    1. thank you so much, lots of work but we are loving them so far.

  3. They turned out beautiful & did I not I tell you they would need to be sprayed hmmm???

    1. Ha ha, yes you did suggest spraying and I did want to spray but didnt think I could afford to until I found this amazing new primer and paint spray on sale at walmart!! The chair which I primed by brush did not take the spray well and ended up in the trash :( Glad you like them.

  4. Very pretty and smart move with the fabric! I always say you can't have anything nice wiht kids! Thanks for linking up!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  5. Thanks Stacey,
    it was a bit of a leap to use the "plastic" material. I worried it would add a cheese factor but I dont regret it at all. I cant even imagine how stained they would be by now!
    thanks for following :)

  6. I have come over from Feathered Nest Friday - Link party. This is awesome. I love it.Karen.

  7. Those chairs look great! You did a beautiful job!

  8. These chairs look amazing! Great choice of fabric! Looks great, and no stains, what could be better?

  9. Amanda, you made a lot of work look easy!!! I have TWO dining sets to refinish and might copy your spray paint primer idea!
    Just found you at The Foley Fam party!

    1. hey claudine
      finishing the chairs was pretty easy, the hardest part (for me) was the time it took to wipe those babies down. too many little crevaces (spelling?) etc.
      good luck and i look forward to seeing yours when they are done!

  10. Just love your fabric choice, would never have known it was anything but cotton if you hadn't told me! Oh, and the batting into the tufting crevices... so smart!

    I'm your newest follower, won't you join me at Planned In Pencil somtime.

  11. Amanda, you, my dear, ROCKED this chair makeover! From adding the batting into the tufts to using outdoor fabric! Thanks for sharing this at the party this week! I will be featuring your chairs on my Facebook page ♥

  12. These chairs look does that table! Fantastic fabric choice. :) Megan

  13. Gosh, an amazing transformation. It's wonderous what a lick of paint can do!

  14. Oh WOW!!!!!!! LOVE IT!!!! It's great that nothing can stain it!

    Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  15. Love the fabric you chose to complete your chairs! So bright and refreshing! Thanks for sharing at tip toe thru tuesday!

  16. Wow! What a transformation! Gorgeous & stain free?! Yes please! Thank you for sharing at our
    Pinteresting Party!

  17. amazing! My husband and i are looking for an awesome dinning set. I think we will just have to get something secondhand and make it our own!

  18. It's gorgeous, I agree, and the stain free part is the BEST part!!!!
    You did a really good job. :)

  19. WOW!! She looks so fresh and perky now! Love it. Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create!

    <3 Christina

  20. Amanda I bow to your awesomeness! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop linky party. Sorry I'm a bit slow getting here xo

  21. I love love love the after. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday. Hope to see you tomorrow!


Thanks for your comments!!