Beautifully refinished chairs can add the perfect accent to a room or hallway. Simple wooden chairs with or without fabric seats, are easy to come across and cheap to purchase. Once you find a chair that is calling out for a make-over, the fun begins! Take it home, clean it up, and go to town! Here are 7 easy steps to get you started.
Step 1: Find The Perfect Chair
Whether you are yard sailing or flea’in, you should be looking for chairs that have nice form and aesthetic appeal. Move past chairs that have missing rungs, wobbly legs, or hardware that is falling out. Sit in the chair and make sure that it is stable and feels good to sit in. Then imagine it painted and prettied up. Do you like what you see? Once you start playing this imagination game, you won’t want to stop. Every chair is just a project waiting to happen. You will start to see potential everywhere!
Step 2: Take It Home and Clean It Up
Take home your chair and clean it up. Use some warm water, dish soap, and a rag to get all of the surface grit and grime off of your prize. If your chair has Upholstery or Leather, you may have to do a little bit more than just water and soap. Check out this great article that talks about cleaning and maintaining the beauty of your furniture.
Step 3: Get Clear On Your Look
Before you dive into the make-over part of your project, you should get crystal clear on what you’d like your chair to look like. Sit in the room where you know it will end up, and think about the space. Are you currently remodeling, or will it be an addition to an already existing interior design scheme? Are you hoping to add a splash of new color, or would you like the chair to blend in?
Step 4: Gather Your Materials
Now that you’ve washed your chair, you should know what its surface is like. Is there paint on it? What condition is it in? If there is layer of old and flaky paint, you will need to use a chemical stripper. You’ll just coat the whole chair in a paste chemical stripper and wait for the paint to bubble, so that it will be easy to scrape off. You will need two types of sandpaper: one coarse and one fine. You will also need to gather brushes or a roller (unless you plan to use spray paint), some interior latex paint, a drop cloth, and a container for your paint. If you plan on doing some upholstering, gather up your fabric, staple gun, glue gun, and some trimming.
Step 5: Prep Surfaces By Sanding And Priming
Next, sand your chair. Use a rough sandpaper at first, and sand the entire chair. Next go over the whole thing again (I know! This is the hardest part, I think) with a fine sand paper. Apply a layer of primer if you wish, or you can go right for the paint. This depends on how you want your finished chair to look. If you’re not sure, you can always test a little patch, let it dry, and see what you think! For more tips on taking care of your wooden furniture be sure to read this article.
Step 6: Paint Your Chair
Have fun painting your chair! Foam brushes or rollers are awesome because they don’t leave brush streaks. Finer brushes can be used on corners and in nooks and crevices. Make sure to use a drop cloth underneath you, and don’t try to move your chair until the paint is really, really dry!
Step 7: Upholster and Trim
If your chair has a fabric seat cover, you can update its look and give it a fresh start with some fun fabric. All you need to do is cover up the old fabric with your new print of choice, and staple the edges. Read the linked tutorial above for more great information on this step. Cover your staples up by hot gluing on some nice trim. All done!
There you have it! Seven easy steps for giving a simple wooden chair a marvelous make-over. Once you’ve done this once, you will want to make twenty more! This artistic project is so fun, it becomes addictive! Have you already tried making over a chair? What worked, and what didn’t? Leave a comment below!
Lucy Tuazon says
I love that you talked about refinishing chairs. I believe this can help me save more money than buying new ones that are actually overpriced. Thanks!
Benjamin Andrews says
I like that you suggest sprucing up a chair refinish with some new style fabric on the cushion. My wife is doing a decor changing project for several rooms in the house, so I have been looking into what else she can do. I will send her this information, so she can start looking for replacement chair covers.