Last week I spontaneously decided to refinish a pair of chairs I grabbed at a yard sale a couple years ago. They’ve been collecting dust in our garage and taking up space (Emmett has been beginning me to move them or get rid of them). We’ve been shuffling furniture in our home and office space, so when I needed a couple extra chairs- I pulled these from our garage. They needed some serious help though. I’m pretty sure they were headed for the dumpster before I saved them at the yard sale. Click through to see the before & after, how they evolved, and I’ll link some of my furniture and upholstery tutorials within this post as well! You can also watch the chair makeover saga in video form here.
This is what they looked like before. They were pretty banged up, dirty, and were begging for a makeover! I’m a sucker for a quick, easy project. Many of you messaged, pleading for me to restore the wood, and while I love the idea and the wood tone is actually really nice- these felt too far gone for the amount of time and energy I had to put into them. I tried furniture polish, oil, my stain pens, and nothing seemed to help the wood. There was chipping, minor splitting, and scuffs- and honestly I just didn’t feel like putting THAT many hours into these chairs. I stuck to my original paint plan to keep things moving forward. I wanted to paint the chair frame black to really emphasize the beautiful curvy shape- high contrast is a great way to do that! The seat cushions also needed reupholstered, as there were multiple snags, stains, and wear.
Then things became interesting… I shared an Instagram poll asking which fabric you liked best- animal print or a wavy textural fabric? 70% voted for the wavy fabric and the remaining 30% voted for the animal print. Sometimes it takes asking or someone choosing the thing you DON’T want to realize what you DO want. This happens all the time when Emmett & I are deciding on dinner… it annoys him to no end.
Emmett: What do you want for dinner?
Me: I don’t care.
Emmett: Ok, tacos it is!
Me: Actually, I think pasta sounds better.
Emmett: Ok, so you DO care!!
This was the same scenario. Haha! Can anyone relate? I’m sorry to the majority who voted for the beautiful wavy fabric. Animal print just felt like me… it was the right move for these chairs and our home.
I had leftover paint from another project, so I just ended up using Krylon Specialty Lacquer in black. I liked the idea of a glossy finish. I have tons of paint tutorials (feel free to scroll through them here). I just applied the paint in thin, even coats. I suggest lightly sanding beforehand, but sometimes I’m lazy and skip that step (that was the case here)… no regrets so far, but do as I SAY not as I DO. Haha!
Next it was time to upholster the seat. This is my favorite part of the process! Here is my tried and true tutorial for reupholstering the seat of a chair.
I did a fabric check one last time, and was still convinced the animal print fabric was the right move for these chairs, so I moved along with the plan. I had a lot of questions about the fabric source, and this one came from a local shop- I’m sorry!
Ready for the before & after? Boom! They look a LOT better. I feel like they have more style and personality! I have to say, they’re even better in person.
This was a fun creative project for me. Remind me to step away from my computer and do more of these in the year ahead, ok?! Hold me to it!
What do you think? Are you into my chairs- even though I went against the majority? Don’t hate me! I know animal print isn’t for everyone. Haha! I hope your week is off to a fabulous start. Have a good one!