Upcycle: Giving chairs a new lease of life

The more thrift stores and tip sites I visit it is confirmed to me that there are an abundance of lonely, forgotten chairs just waiting for a new lease of life out there. I could simply keep myself busy revamping chairs alone.I came across this one abandoned on the streets of New York on holiday earlier this year! If only I could have fit it in my suitcase.


Each time I see a chair I find myself thinking about it’s story, it’s possibilities and it’s ideal use; perhaps in a nursery, hallway, bedroom corner or home office. Another bonus is a chair can be a relatively simple and easy project and there is plenty of inspiration available such as these below.

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 7.48.18 PM

So, when I came across an old worn chair in my local Vinnies store for $10 I knew exactly what I was going to do.

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 8.21.56 PM

I am drawn to the stark contrast of black and white and wanted the detail in the back of the chair to pop against the white walls in my house. Consequently I used a black gloss for the frame and geometric type fabric from Spotlight (Japanese Chevron 6753) for the seat.

What did I do?

First step sand and clean. Don’t rush this process as it really will compromise a smooth finish, especially if using a gloss paint. I unscrewed and removed the seat in order to get in and around the seat frame easily.

I then simply used a black gloss spray paint. 2 coats. Make sure you allow adequate drying time between coats.

Finally I didn’t feel the foam seat needed replacing just a good cleaning/dusting. You can use an antibacterial furniture cleaning spray if you wish. So I went ahead and covered the seat with my chosen material. Make sure you pull tight evenly from all corners to ensure your pattern isn’t warped or twisted. I trimmed the left over fabric off and then folded the edge before stapling under the seat to ensure a neat finish. Screw the seat base back on and tada!

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 8.23.14 PM


11 thoughts on “Upcycle: Giving chairs a new lease of life

  1. I love this! I like to stalk thrift shops myself, always looking for that wonderful item to repurpose into a new treasure. ~Joanne

    • Oh Iโ€™m very flattered Karlie ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you already got a chair that needs a new lease of life? If not, I can definitely keep a look out for one for you and we can chat about what kind of look you would like! Exciting ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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