Weekend DIY: The Chair Project

As you all know, I’ve been counting the  minutes until spring, so when the temperatures arched up to the 70s last week, even getting nearer the 80s, you better believe I took full advantage of it, spending nearly every second outside.

It was perfect, though, because I needed some nice weather to finish up a project I had been meaning to tackle for quite awhile. About a year ago, you see, I had picked up this chair for $2.00 at a garage sale. And, honestly, it NEEDED a revamp.

It had all of these very cool details, like the back of the chair.

I love how it has those loops and ovals! They add quite a bit of character to the chair. But, while the chair had what I call “good bones,” it needed a lot of work. First off, there was no seat. A good chair needs a good, cushy seat. Particularly one that I planned to use for an office chair! I also didn’t like the color– it was not my style, and the stain was quite worn in many spots. I considered staining it, but realized that paint might be a little more fun, especially since I wanted color.

I let the chair sit for several months as I waited for inspiration to strike.

Then, I discovered fabric, on sale, for half price at my local Hobby Lobby. I am a HUGE fan of Hobby Lobby, by the way. I love how they stand for what they believe in, and it is always a pleasant experience shopping there, in my opinion.

After finding the fabric (around $3.00 half price for a yard) and purchasing a seat cushion (around $5.00), I decided that I would check out the paint selection at Ace Hardware and find the perfect paint to match my chair and fabric!

I got lucky, because I had been looking for the perfect paint for my home, and found out that Ace Hardware was offering a special offer with Clark and Kensington, where you could find your Soul Paint by getting a free quart in almost any color, to try it out and find out exactly what paint you wanted! That meant that, not only was I one step closer to finding my perfect color, my Soul Paint, I had a free quart to work with when renovating my chair!

I found that the blue in the fabric was an almost perfect match to the Benjamin Moore Color, Scuba Green!

Zach inspected the chair before I got started on it.

I asked if it needed a change…

He said, uh… duh mom, with excess disgust.

I just used a trim brush and set to work. Because this Clark and Kensington paint is primer and paint in one, there was no need to prime my chair before starting! I did a light sanding, and wiped off the sanding dust, then began painting.

You can see how big a change the new color is from the old one! Brighter, with a lot different personality.


The first coat left some of the original finish showing through, so there had to be a second coat.

It also helps to view what you’re working on from every possible angle. When I initially thought the first coat was done, I decided to check my piece from all angles, just to be certain. Turns out, I missed a few important spots!


By the second coat, all of the old finish was done peeking through. The chair was ready to dry overnight and get fitted for the seat!

While it was drying, I decided to go ahead and upholster the seat. I have a few tips to help you out if you’re looking at doing the same:

1) If your seat already has padding, you can go ahead and wrap your fabric over it. However, most padding that comes with chairs is only intended to last about 5-10 years, so if your chair is older, it is worth considering starting with new padding from scratch.

2) Doing a layer of batting between the fabric and the seat cover can really help with the support and help with wear and tear. I opted not to add any batting, but it is something to consider for the strength of the chair.

3) Upholstery or furniture fabric options are the best for longevity. You can use a duck or calico fabric, but if you use your chair often, those won’t be quite as strong as a fabric made specifically for furnishings. I chose to use calico because I like to change my mind quite a bit, so I’m sure I’ll be reupholstering this chair more than once. Consider your wear and tear when you select the fabric you’d like to use!

I layered my fabric, then the padding, and then the wood. If you were choosing to use batting, you would layer it between the padding and the fabric.

Pull it tight, then use a staplegun to staple your fabric on.

Take care of the corners by folding them neatly, like you would when giftwrapping a present.

When the chair had finished drying, and I had finished upholstering the seat, it was time to screw the seat onto the chair and make sure it was securely attached.

Viola! Done!

It is like it isn’t even the same chair anymore!


Today, I have two questions for you:

1) Did you pick out your Soul Paint at the Ace Hardware Clark and Kensington Event? Which color did you choose?

2) If you had a warm weekend, what DIY project would you tackle?

Let me know in the comments below, or tell me what else is on your mind!



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