I snagged these chairs on the cheap from Goodwill, and while they’re super outdated they were actually in great condition and just needed a little love. Re-loved furniture can add so much personality and interest to your space. Not to mention you can get an amazing custom look for the fraction of the price.
Modern farmhouse Chair Makeover
I started by removing the seats. They came off easy by flipping the chair over and removing the 4 bottom screws. Not only did they need re-upholstered, but removing them made it way easier to sand and paint just the frame.
I initially thought I would stain these with my favorite grey stain that I used on this DIY Corbel Sconce Light, but once I got started all the little grooves were taking forever. I decided to go with a more light and bright farmhouse style and opted for chalk paint in a creamy white. I can’t find the specific brand I used online, but this one is pretty similar in terms of color. (I haven’t used the brand though, so I can’t speak to how it goes on or holds up)
It took me a few coats, and a decent amount of time to get into all the little ridges, but chalk paint goes on fairly thick and is super forgiving so the painting process wasn’t too bad. After a few coats, I sealed the chalk paint with a clear wax (I LOVE Annie Sloan’s). Wax is great because it gives you a nice matte finish, which I really like, but it does take a while to fully cure – like even months depending on where you live – and it does need to be re-applied. Especially on high-traffic pieces like chairs.
The next step was to re-upholster the seats. I lucked out and they were in great condition so I didn’t have to totally strip them and start from square 1 – instead I just re-covered the existing upholstery. I really recommend this if you aren’t a seasoned upholstery person since it can be a bit tricky at first to wrap corners or circular pieces and get your fabric beautifully smooth.
the existing fabric is in good condition if it looks like it & smells like it. 😉
If it’s worn, torn, ripped or smelly you probably have to start all new. My one great trick if you’re keeping the old fabric is to mix 1/2 fabric softener and 1/2 water in a little spray bottle and give it a good spray. This will help lock in some freshness and give it a better smell.
I used a piece of basic white felt from the utility fabric section to go under my decorative fabric. Since my gold and white fabric was thin, I didn’t want any of the color or texture from the old fabric showing through. Make sure you choose upholstery fabric as its meant to take more tension than more common clothing or crafting types.
I used a basic manual staple gun and stared on one side, then the side across from it before moving to the top and bottom. I go overboard with staples, because you can’t be too secure with a fabric that is a little elegant and thin like the one I used.
One tip for a newbie: make sure you dont upholster over the holes for the screws that attach the seat to the chair. Those can take a while to dig out and re-upholster.
The last step was just to re-attach the chairs to the frames.
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