My first chair makeover *

My first chair makeover *


chair makeover- after details

There’s nothing like a before picture to validate a makeover project.

The blog-sphere is full of furniture painting and upholstery makeover projects. These are my favorite kinds of home decor projects because not only is it great to see the beautiful finished product, one can also measure and appreciate the amount of work that went into the process based on the before condition.

This project was long overdue, I kept putting it off because I imagined it would take forever but much to my pleasant surprise I started and finished it in one weekend, sweet!

Let’s have another quick look at the before and then the process that got this chair into its current state.


chair makeover-before

So this is what the chair looked like before..

DesignELement - post dividerHow to paint and reupholster a chair


  • An old chair for the makeover
  • Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Fabric – check to make sure you have enough for the project
  • Nails
  • Fabric glue
  • Ribbon trim

I knew I wanted to change two things, the color of the chair and the upholstery fabric.  Earlier this year when I was making the laundry wire basket, I wanted to cover it with a linen cover. I was looking for fabric in 2014′s color of the year -radiant orchid when I saw this fabric and it was love at first sight.

I began with the paint job first then covered the old fabric with the new fabric. Before painting on previously painted furniture, it is very important to sand it down. Here’s my chair all sanded. In this picture, I had painted the fabric in one coat of sunburst yellow but it got soaked up. I wanted to test this painting thing I was seeing all over and I knew that I didn’t like the feel or look of a painted chair very much

chair makeover- after sanding


After sanding I wiped all the dust and did three coats of Crown’s brilliant white matt emulsion. At first I felt Like I was making a terrible mistake covering up the natural wood color and to be honest I didn’t quite recover from this until I finished the project. It was a leap I had to take and I’m glad I did. Bye bye boring brown and hallo color!

chair makeover- matt paint

chair makeover- after painting

At this point I called it a day and let the paint dry completely overnight.

The reupholstering took me about an hour to complete. I had spent so much time thinking about exactly how I was going to add the fabric that when I got round to doing it, it was a breeze.

I folded the fabric about an inch and simply nailed the folded part all round the chair. Around the corners, I tucked the fabric in and nailed some more.

chair makeover- nailing the fabric

When I finished nailing the fabric all round, I trimmed the excess at the bottom leaving about two inches allowance. I folded and tucked it in neatly and nailed it as well.

chair makeover- excess fabric

A chair with its fabric nailed bits showing wouldn’t make a pretty sight but I had that covered, literally. I covered the nails using ribbon trim. I glued it on using fabric glue. I would advise you to follow your manufacturer’s instructions for this.

I dabbed glue all round the nailed edge and let it sit for a few minutes. I then started laying the trim while applying pressure for about 10 seconds before moving on. The curved part was a challenge as the trim kept coming off. I had to hold it in place for about two minutes for the glue to set.

chair makeover- trim

I feel Like a ninja you guys, I was telling a friend of mine that when I grow up I want to be a carpenter and I was accused of having mid life crisis, Cah! I don’t care because I know my dream is valid, just wait till my new saw arrives and I’ll swing into full carpenter mode.. Anyway, here’s the after picture of the finished chair. I would love to hear what you think about it so please leave a comment.

chair makeover- after

If you liked this post then you should definitely download a copy of my free ebook where I talk about painting furniture and fabric and lots of other DIY tips.

As always,



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  1. This is amazing! I have been wanting to get my hands on an old chair for a makeover forever and this project has really inspired me. Great job!

  2. Oh wow! That chair looked like it was at the point of no return but you came out with such an amazing transformation! Beautiful!!

  3. Wow. I like your new chair. If you did not post the before and after, I would have thought your purchased this chair brand new. It is amazing what you can do with a little TLC

  4. What a transformation! I love the beautiful fabric you chose. It absolutely does NOT look like the same chair. Great work!

  5. Oh my goodness! I love this chair sooo much! I want to swing in like a ninja and snag it! :D The fabric choice was great! How awesome a weekend project! :D I prefer projects that can be done in a short amount of time. LOVE!

    • Thank you Heather, I also prefer quick projects that don’t drag out for a long time. I guess it’s the attention span.

  6. Wow! the makeover is amazing. You literally gave it a new lease of life. What I love most, apart from the fabric, is that you can even do several chairs in one morning (if you are not painting them) and surprise people coming home from work in the evening!!

    • Thanks Almasi, and you’re right, you can give people a great surprise just by easily reupholstering your chairs. You could also do the same if you have an upcoming house party!

  7. Amaizing! Love how the white goes with the fabric u chose.

  8. This is a fabulous job! The chair is oh-so-gorg! I have been thinking of painting my coffee table for the longest time but was not too sure how or even where to start with the paint! Thank you!

  9. Epic. You are insane my girl.

  10. WOW! What a transformation!

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