A Quick and Easy Chair Makeover

It’s summer!  We’ve been busy with baseball, pool time, yard work and all the fun things summer has to offer.  Since last summer was such a blur and we were working so hard on the house we made a conscious decision to really focus on the kids and their activities this year.  It’s left very little time to work on any of my little side projects but summer goes so fast – I’m not too worried about it.  (oh who am I kidding! I always worry a little!)    Also I’ve had complete project ADD right now- I have about 6 projects started and I keep flitting about from one to the other – never getting very far on any of them.

I decided for my mental health I needed to take one and just get it finished.  Even if its not a big project. I just needed to feel like I have accomplished something.  In an effort to relieve my overflowing basement of some of the treasures I brought back from my grandma’s house I decided to start with a chair.  I’ve made kind of  a little desk area in my dining room.  I wanted a place where the kids could use the computer where I could still keep an eye on them.  I used a little table that had been left at our old house in town.  It’s a cute little 50’s style table that had drop leafs.  I took the leafs off and painted the table white.  But now I needed a chair so I thought this one would do:


It was in tough shape but man look at the craftsmanship.  One of the things that usually takes me the longest in projects like these is just deciding what exactly do I want to do.  Do I leave it natural, do I paint, if I paint what color do I paint.  I look online for inspiration but sometimes it gets overwhelming.  When you look up farmhouse style on pinterest of instagram you are going to see that everything is very neutral – a lot white. If I was going with today’s standards of farmhouse style I would have painted the chair white and probably done a grain sack or burlap upholstered seat.  While I’m sure that would have looked beautiful it doesn’t really go well in  my house.  My family likes color and I would have hand prints EVERYWHERE.  So I went with my gut.  I don’t like to paint furniture if it has beautiful old craftsmanship that isn’t in too rough of shape.  I like to keep a mix of wood and color in my rooms.

Since a lot of the stain wasn’t in too bad of shape I decided I didn’t want to strip the whole thing so I took a chance by applying a stain over the whole chair as is –  I didn’t do any sanding or anything.  I color matched it has best I could to the stains I had on hand.  I removed the seat cushion and simply used a rage to wipe the stain over the whole chair. It was a little nerve racking because until it completely dried, some parts where I had covered the existing stain were pretty tacky.  It took probably 3 -4 days for these parts to really dry out but they did!

Extreme closeup!!! Showing the stain test spot.



This is better – you can uncross your eyes now!




Next I  chose a pretty blue fabric to reupholster the seat. The color really pops off the dark stain.  I used the fabric as well as  a thin piece of cotton batting to go right over the existing fabric. If your fabric has a design make sure it is straight before you start stapling everything down.  I used a pneumatic stapler.  I really love that thing – it has so much more power than a electric stapler.  Warning though its loud!





Here’s the before and after!


Looks all shiny and new!  You can still see some imperfections but that’s part of old furniture.  They have  story to them.


And here is my new little desk area all set up in front of the big window in the dining room.  It wasn’t a big project but it didn’t matter.  It felt wonderful to get something finished and  to make a dent in my project list.   Now it’s time to get back to summertime fun (and a little bit of craziness) with the kiddos!


Ignore the dirty windows. That’s also on the to do list – but since it’s not a very fun project will probably get moved to the bottom of that list! 🙂


LOL (Lots of Love) everyone!





  1. Ann Berg

    Heather, I love the fact that you did not paint the chair as you said the craftsmanship is to beautiful to paint over. Keep up the great job of keeping everyone updated on your projects. You are a inspiration to all of us DIYers.

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