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How to Make Your Bargain Chairs Go from Boring to Beautiful

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My favorite projects are ones that are quick to do but make a big impact. Re-upholstered chairs definitely fall into this category.

I love giving life to old furniture. So when I wanted to add some seating to my dining room I started looking at thrift stores.

I had been on the hunt for some good chairs for a while. I finally found these gems in a thrift store in a small town in Oklahoma (small town thrifts stores are my favorite!).

Dining chairs makeover old chairs

They were pretty rough but sturdy and that’s all that matters. Look for chairs (or any furniture for that matter) that are still structurally intact for the easiest re-do.

To get started on this project, remove the seats of the chair. To do this, flip over the chair and on the bottom you will normally find four screws holding the chair on. They will probably look something like this.

Dining Chairs Makeover cleaning

I cleaned off the chair using my favorite go to cleaner.

Dining chairs makeover murphy soap oil

Then I used a low grit sandpaper all over the chair. I wasn’t trying to completely remove the current stain just want to rough it up some. Next I wiped the chair down and used my favorite stain color.

dinign chairs makeover minwax

Once that dried (normally overnight) and I was happy with the new color I used a seal over the entire chair.

Dining Chairs Makeover minwax clear gloss

Now to fix the chair cushions. Flip them over and pull out the staples that are holding the current fabric on. I typically use a long nose pliers for that. If the foam for the cushion is in good shape then you can use that. Otherwise, get some polyfoam. I get mine at Hobby Lobby in the sewing section.

dining chairs makeover cushions

Cover the polyfoam with some batting and staple that down in the same way you would staple the fabric (I forgot to get a picture of that!). I also had some extra fabric from a previous project so that’s what I used to cover my chairs.

dining chairs makeover upholstery

Make sure the fabric is tight with no wrinkles. I will typically staple one side and pull the other side as tight as I can and then staple that side. Finish and staple all the way around. Position the chair back on top of the cushion and make sure all the edges are lined up.

dining chairs makeover upholstery recover

Finally, tighten your screws back in at the corners and you’re done! Hope you enjoy the new look of your chairs!

dining chairs makeover finished

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furniture makeover

Originally published June 6, 2016

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