See How Our Editor Gave an Ordinary Dining Chair a Fresh Makeover

Living's home editor saw a chair at auction, then transformed it with glossy paint and a bold upholstery print.

reupholstered chair
Photo: Dane Tashima

Anyone knows that estate sales, flea markets, and antique stores are often the best places to discover your next furniture project. Living home editor Lorna Aragon knew that if this old chair she found at an auction was painted glossy black and reupholstered in a bold print, it would go from dowdy to chic. Here's her quickie makeover, broken down into three simple steps that you can follow at home.

Strip It

With an upholstery staple remover, carefully pull off the existing piping and fabric. Use them as templates to cut out new pieces, adding 2 inches all around. Our fabric is vintage; to get the look, try St. Frank Classic mudcloth fabric, in Ecru ($120 a yd., And if you're looking for more fabric ideas? We also like Calico Inma fabric, in Ink pictured left ($33 a yd., and Schumacher Brimfield fabric, in Cinder ($106 a yd., When you're unsure of how much fabric is needed, err on the conservative side: A single yard of fabric can do several seats and backs.

Refurbish It

Sand the wooden frame, then paint and let dry overnight. (Note: We used Benjamin Moore Advance Semigloss Paint in Black Satin.) Repeat to add a second coat.

Re-Cover It

Using a staple gun, secure the new fabric over the padding around the edge, stapling it down every 1/4 inch. Trim excess fabric. Fill the stapler with brads, and fasten the trim around the edge every 1/2 inch to hide the staples.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles