Upholstering and painting an old chair

Recovering an old chair

I do love a good chair makeover and those of you who have followed me know that I can’t resist them I have literally pulled them out of skips and I hate to see them getting dumped. Today I have a fun chair makeover to share. What is different about this one is, I recovered the seat pad with some fabric. This was my first attempt at recovering a seat pad. This chair was rescued from a charity shop and I just loved the shape of the chair. It is solid wood and I really like the shape and style of the legs. I gave it a makeover as I wanted to style it up to match the other painted pieces in my master bedroom. 

The before

The paint 

You may have seen my china cabinet makeover that I did before Christmas. I used some Farrow and Ball estate eggshell paint on the cabinet and I had loads of the paint left over from that project. I wanted this chair to sit in my master bedroom alongside the other painted pieces in my room so, I decided to paint the chair in the same color as the cabinet using the left over paint. 

I prepped the chair by cleaning it with sugar soap. This removes any grime and dirt build up. I then applied one coat of Farrow and Ball primer. I allowed this to fully dry before applying the top coat. I gave the chair one coat each day after work. I allowed a full day between coats but follow the instructions on the back of the tin for drying time. I applied two coats of the estate eggshell. The color I used was called Calamine. This is a gorgeous pearl pink shade. The estate eggshell also leaves a lovely sheen. It is durable and wipeable and I have had no chips or issues with my cabinet that I painted a few weeks ago. 

Reupholstering the seat pad

This was my first time to dabble with recovering fabric on a chair. I simply copied how it was originally done. The great thing about this chair was that the pad could be removed from the frame of the chair. Using a screwdriver I removed the base from the chair. This also allowed for a professional looking finish to the paint job. 

Once I removed the seat pad I cleaned the fabric. I hoovered off any dirt and then I cleaned it. The original fabric was in great condition but it just didn’t match the style of the chair I wanted. I decided to cover the original fabric with some floral poly cotton fabric I had from my fabric stash. This fabric is from Michael Guineys. The fabric I used was on the thin side so I decided to keep the old fabric and cover it. You could remove the old fabric if you wanted by unpicking the staples and then applying the new fabric.

 Using a staple gun I stapled the new fabric over the old. The key thing to getting a smooth finish is to pull your fabric tight. I started on one side and then went to the opposite all whilst pulling the fabric really tight. I then worked my way around the chair going from one side to the other all whilst pulling the fabric really tight. You can have a look at the Youtube video below to get a better look at how I covered the chair. Once I was happy with the finish of the seat pad I then screwed the base back onto the frame of the chair. 

Adding some detail 

I recently got some mouldings from shabby.ie. My piece was looking a little plane and I wanted to make it more ornate. Using the rubber moulds I applied these to the legs. I cut them to size and I glued them onto the chair. I then gave them two coats of the Farrow and Ball topcoat in the shade Calamine. I also applied a resin mould to the top of the chair, this moulding is also from shabby.ie. Mouldings are a great way of adding some ornate details to an ohterwise plane piece. You can use any strong glue to apply your moulding to your piece of furniture, you can also use some frog tape to hold your moulding in place whilst your glue dries. 

The finished chair 

I hope you enjoyed today’s chair makeover. I love seeing your DIY projects so make sure to tag me in your pictures over on Instagram or comment below with links to your blog posts. Also, check out my Youtube video below to have a better look of the chair and don’t forget to subscribe. 

Thanks for reading,

Chat soon, 



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