Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Before and After: Thrift Store Chair! (And TUTORIAL)

So Im finally finished my thrift store chair re-do and I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome! It went from this old ugly chair BEFORE:

To this fabulous chair AFTER

Here is an up close view of the back of the chair.  I used silver nailhead trim around the edges to give it a more polished and funky look.  Initially I was planning on doing double welt cording, but decided I would like this look better and I'm glad I went with it.

So lets see how much this project cost me: 
Thrift Store Chair       $7.50
Spray Paint (2 cans)   $10
Fabric (1/2 yd)          $22.50
Nailhead Trim (the kit was $30--including shipping-- but I only used about $2.00 worth of it and still have alot of it left to use on other projects)
Batting ($8.00 for a bag of it but just like the Nailhead trim, I only used a little and still have alot left over for other projects so lets just say I used about $2.00 worth of it for this chair)
All together this chair cost me about $44 to paint and reupholster!  Not bad at all especially when something like this could easily run anywhere from $129 to $199 at Home Goods and even more at a high end furniture store!!

I still have to do the twin of this chair.... check them out side by side. Big difference right?

So how did I do this? Well here is my tutorial on it:
First thing you want to do is gather all your supplies: 
Spray Paint- I recommend Rust-Oleum Lacquer from Home Depot
Sanding paper (optional)
Staple Gun
Spray glue 
Rubber Mallet
Batting - Here is a picture of the batting I used but you can use any kind:
Purchased at Joanns
Nailhead Trim kit or some type of trim - Here is a picture of how the kit comes with the nails and trim:
Purchased online
Next thing you want to do is remove your seat from the chair frame.  This is easy... just flip chair over and use screw driver to unscrew nails that are holding seat cushion in place.  So now your chair should look like this:
After this, you can sand down your chair a little. I didn't do this but it is good to do because it will help remove any polyurethane and dirt on chair which will help the spray paint stick better.  I plan to do a little sanding on the other chair.  

Now its time to paint! Take your chair to a well ventilated area (preferably outside) and get to painting! Your chair may need a couple of coats.  My chair used 2 cans of spray paint.
Now pull out your chair cushion.  If its in bad shape, you may need to add some extra batting to your cushion.  My cushion was in good condition so I was able to get away without adding anything extra.  Get your fabric and cut a piece big enough to cover the cushion. Flip fabric on opposite side and then place cushion face down. Get your staple gun out and start stapling fabric around your cushion tightly.

Once you are done, you can attach your cushion back on the chair frame (once paint has thoroughly dried).  It should look like this:
If you are happy with the outcome of your chair at this point, you are done!! BUT if not, this is where it gets a little tricky.  If you decide, as I did, that you also want to cover the back of the chair as well, this next part isn't really hard but just not quite as easy as what we just went over.  I'm sure there are tons of different ways to do this but this is how I did it.  

Measure out a piece of fabric thats big enough to cover the back of your chair. Now this part may be a little hard for me to explain so bare with me. Basically I just used some spray glue and sprayed the center of the fabric and stuck it to the back of chair. Then I used a needle and thread to sew the fabric at the top in place a little.  

Next I got my batting out and cut a piece out and repeated the spray glue step. I sprayed some glue in the center and stuck it on the back of chair under the fabric I just sewed to the chair at the top:
  Then I took scissors and cut around it to fit the area i was covering like this: 
I used a little more spray glue and stuck the fabric to the batting. Then I got my nailhead trim set out and started putting that on like this:

This trim is really cool because every 5th stud, there is a hole and thats where you put the individual nailhead. If you look closely at the pic above, you can see the hole where the nailhead goes.  

Half way done with the nailhead trim...see below:

Finally, ALL DONE! Hope my tutorial helps someone out a bit!


  1. That chair is sooooo FLY! I love it. Sure wish I was as talented :(

  2. Where did you get your fabric? It is very nice!

  3. I have almost the same chairs. However, the woven like back of the Chair is breaking apart. How could i replace the back panels? Any sudgestions??


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