Chair Makeover

chair makeover title

I purchased this preloved Cane-back barrel chair from Craigslist. I think I paid $15 for it.  It is in excellent condition but I believe it was the previous owners’ cat bed.

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Needless to say I had to completely strip the material and cushion from the chair.  I had another chair that will be updated at some point and it’s cushion was in perfect condition. So I used that cushion and altered it to fit my chair that I was working on. If I didn’t have this free one on hand I would have used a coupon from JoAnn Fabric or Hobby Lobby. They always have coupons online or through their phone apps.

I purchased this fabric on sale at JoAnn Fabric. Did you know that you can use the same coupon on two separate transactions?  Also they will accept competitor coupons that you can use in addition to their coupons. 

Here are the steps to the transformation

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1. Remove the existing materials-

I used a flathead screwdriver to pry the staples from the chair. I used pliers to pull the stubborn ones that broke halfway. Try and save the thin fabric that covers the hardware underneath the chair. It is usually grey or black.

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Examine the existing cushion and batting condition- Is it peeling, dusty, moldy etc? Then you should Replace it! If it is slightly discolored then that is ok. As long as it is not a health hazard, we can save it. If you need to buy a new cushion, measure your seat (LxW and down the front and right and left sides -where the back of your knees will touch). You will need to buy High Density Foam in 2″ or 3″ thickness and enough batting to cover your foam.  As I mentioned earlier this was used by a cat, so I discarded the cushion and batting then shopped in my garage for more. I cut it to size using sharp scissors to fit my chair.

2. Paint your chair-

I used spray paint because I found it was faster and easier to use with the cane weaving.  (One of the best spray paints for furniture is Krylon. You can quickly make second coats and it sticks very well.) Let the paint dry for 1 hour before moving on to step 3.

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To save my hands I use this spray grip for my paint can. Here is one similar that you can buy.

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3. Seal the Finish-

Apply a wipe-on Polyurethane with a clean white rag or staining sponge and rub the polyurethane into your furniture like you would with furniture polish. You want a thin but even coat. Wait another 2 hours or overnight to let the sealant dry.

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4. Add your cushion and your batting-

IMG_5972I have enough overlap for the (behind the knee) area. I also overlapped the cushion on the right and left sides.

5. Now reupholster-

Load your gun with plenty of staples before you start. Cut your fabric to the shape of your chair. Be very careful around the legs because you want to make sure you have plenty fabric to tuck in these tight areas. Pull the fabric taut and staple very well all around and underneath to secure it properly.

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8 thoughts on “Chair Makeover

  1. Hey Melissa! Great tutorial! I love what you did with the chair! The gold looks great with the fabric you chose.

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