November 10, 2010 12:00 PM

Easy Elegance

We replaced the old tapestry seats with a linked geometric pattern fabric ($9.99 a yard, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft). A coat of white lacquer spray paint from Rust-Oleum ($3.89) completed the update.


Easy Weekend Project!

How to Make Over a Chair

1/Remove the Seat

Turn the chair upside down and remove the screws holding the seat to the chair’s wooden frame. Make sure to save the screws; you’re going to need them when it’s time to reattach the seat with the re-covered cushion.

2/Sand the Frame

Before you can paint, you’ll need to sand the chair frame using a fine or medium grade sandpaper. (For a distressed look, opt for a harsher sandpaper.) The sanding roughs up the wood so that the paint will adhere better.

3/Paint It

Skip the brush and go for spray paint (it makes filling crevices easier). First, lay down a drop cloth to protect your floor, then spray the chair with a primer. (We used Rust-Oleum’s white, $3.84, from Wal-Mart.) When the primer is dry, follow with color.

4/Remove Old Fabric

Turn the seat upside down on a flat surface and use a screwdriver to pry off the staples holding the old fabric in place. (Yes, you could just wrap the new fabric over the old, but removing it will give a smoother finish.)

5/Replace Padding

After years of use, chair padding can become compacted and not very comfortable. If you need to replace it, lay the seat cushion over a piece of foam padding and trace a line around the edges. Cut foam to fit.

6/Re-cover the Seat!

Cut a square of fabric to fit the chair seat, leaving an extra 2 in. on all sides. Place the fabric pattern-side down and put the seat cushion on top. Wrap fabric around the seat, pulling tightly in corners. Staple into place with ½-in. staples.

A Chair for Any Room!

Hot Houndstooth

This chic black-and-white oilcloth check ($12.99 a yard, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft) stands up to wear and tear and cleans easily. We finished the look with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor paint in Gloss Black ($3.84).


A Sweet Jester

Blue-and-brown print ($9.99 a yard, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft) and Krylon Peekaboo Blue gloss paint made this dining chair perfect for a child’s room.


Pretty in Pink

A delicate pink striped fabric ($9.99 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft) and Krylon Indoor/Outdoor paint in Satin Ballet Slipper ($3.84) transformed this armchair into bedroom seating.


Country Chic

A cute rooster fabric ($9.99 a yard, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft) and Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Apple Red ($3.84 from Wal-Mart) gave this chair new life in the kitchen.


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