D-I-Y Reupholstered chair

Who knew DIY projects were literally easier than baking a pie??

Forever and a day ago I saw a do-it-yourself project for the first time. It popped up on facebook and I remember thinking how gorgeous it was! It was a reupholstered dining chair. It had a classic wood frame with a patterned cushion. The DIY project was re-covering the pattern with a more updated look. I thought it looked easy enough but I kind of brushed it off.

Fast forward to the present. Recently, I was home for 5 days because my son was out of school sick. In between taking care of him and disinfecting every touchable surface in my home I looked at a boring, basic black diner chair that I had been using to sit at my writing desk.

It was horrifying to look at and was so out of place. It just didn’t fit the decor I was going for. With holidays on the brink, I was on a budget so purchasing a chic, new chair was out of the question. After staring at it for hours, I realized I had plenty of time on my hands while my boy was on the mend so I took on my first DIY project!

It was a no brainer what I would use to reupholster it. I had a canvas shower curtain laying around that I purchased at T.J. Maxx for around $16.99). It was gorgeous and happened to be the color scheme I was going for. The only thing I needed to get was a can of spray paint from my local hardware store. I ended up getting Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint and Primer. Very inexpensive ($4.99 + tax) and they had plenty of colors to choose from. I chose a gloss finish in the color ocean mist.

I’m not going to lie, I thought the project would only take an hour or so to complete. Boy, was I wrong! It ended up taking several hours from start to finish. It was no doubt the easiest project! It was just time consuming because I had never done it before and wanted to make it look the best I could. Not to mention I forgot to account for paint drying time. The Rust-oleum was quick drying but I put on 2 coats.

First thing’s first, you have to get a screwdriver and remove the backrest and seat from the frame. It was super easy! Just remove the screws from either side and pop both out. Set them aside for later.

If you have never used spray paint before I would highly recommend practicing on something else before going straight to your project. It’s easy to use but if you’re new to it you can easily cause blemishes in your paint job by spraying too close or too far away. You will also want to make sure to use a drop that is a great deal wider than your project as well as wear some less than perfect clothing. you WILL get dirty painting!

I painted the chair frame first so that while it was drying I could work on reupholstering the cushions. I’m an anxious person so if I had upholstered the cushions first, waiting would have been like watching paint dry (see what I did there?).  Anyway….

Doing the upholstery work was the most difficult part of the project. I didn’t have to remove the old upholstery I just went over the top of it. Otherwise I literally would have been removing the guts of the cushions. We didn’t want that! squishy, comfy cushions are preferable. For my tush anyway.

At this point I needed the seat cushions and shower curtain. I also needed my measuring tape, scissors, a piece of chalk, staples, and staple gun. I laid out the shower curtain (pattern side facing down) and first laid the back cushion down to trace an outline of it. Now you have to trace mirror images of the cushion so as to make sure you have enough fabric to cover the front and the back. I also doubled up the fabric because it was a bit sheer. So I measured and traced it out twice. You could measure separate pieces instead of tracing the shape as a mirror image but then you would have to sew the pieces together. I wanted to avoid any sewing so I made it a single piece of fabric that only needed to be stapled into place.

The next step was to staple the fabric to the cushion. That was much easier. Simply drape the doubled up fabric over the backrest appropriately then (as if wrapping a christmas gift) carefully staple it into place on the left and right sides as well as the bottom (which is the end that faces the floor so the seam is not visible.

These same steps need to be repeated for the seat cushion. That one is so much easier because you don’t actually cover the bottom of the chair since no one will see it. So it’s just a matter of tracing out the shape (2x since it’s sheer fabric and we doubled up) and stapling it to the underside of the cushion. Make sure to always keep the fabric pulled taught.

The last step to the project is to reassemble the cushions to the frame. Totally simple, just put the screws back into the same hole you removed them from. Since we did not cut out screw holes it will be a little tricky to get the screws to go through the fabric but if you put enough muscle into it they screw right through it.

TA-DAAAA! A BRAND. NEW. CHAIR. (Cue Price is Right prize model gestures)

So, as my first DIY project came to an end I was incredibly happy with the finished product! The color scheme matched perfectly and the color contrast was just right.

Don’t be fooled by the picture. This DIY is by no means perfect. There are some major imperfections in this project they just happened to end up in places that aren’t noticeable. Now I know what I can do differently and better next time (*cough, cough* there’s still 3 more chairs).

What started as a way to get through my unforeseen time off from work turned into a new hobby. It’s more time consuming than I knew but it was actually quite fun to do. I will definitely be taking on another DIY project in the future.

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