Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This idea is great if you have old chairs that you want to spruce up, or you can purchase a chair pretty cheaply at antique stores or flea markets. In my case, I needed a chair for my sewing table and wanted something pretty and decorative too.

Choose a chair with a good solid structure and whose seat you can remove and recover. The one I chose is an old dining room or kitchen chair.


Items needed:

1 old chair
Sand paper
Paint and pain supplies
Fabric (enough to recover the seat)
Staple Gun
* You may want to enhance the padding on the seat as well with foam batting

First, remove the cushion from the chair. Using sandpaper, sand as much of the old paint/varnish off the chair. Start off with a heavier grit of sandpaper and finish with a fine grain to make it as smooth as possible. I also removed the medallion on the back of the chair since it was damaged.


Prepare your paint. I wanted something bright and cheerful and LIME GREEN.


It may take a few coats, here's my chair after the first and last coats.



Make sure paint dries thoroughly between coats, before starting additional coats sand off any drips. Let dry completely after last coat before re-installing the seat.

Now it's time to cover the chair. Trim the fabric so there is a 1 1/2 - 2" overlap on each side. Place the fabric right side down on a table and center the cushion over it. If necessary, add the foam batting. Wrap fabric around and staple, making sure to pull tight and that the corners lie flat. If there are screw holds to hold the cushion to the chair, make sure they remain unobscured.


I have to admit at this point when I originally covered the chair it didn't dawn on me to take pictures of the seat reversed to show how to do the fabric. It was many years ago before I was invited to blog here. I think I took pictures to amuse a friend of mine.

Once chair is dry and cushion is covered, it's time to bring them back together!



So this is where I sit when I work on my sewing projects. I'm not confident enough yet in my skills to share how to do anything but mend a seam or make a hemline or sew replacement buttons


  1. Ms. Rheya,

    Our dining room set is hand carved mahogany with silk cushions. The silk has many stains from frequent family use. Martha's book is not much help here, when silk is the fabric needing to be cleaned. Do you have a suggestion or do they need to be reupholstered?

    thank you.


  2. Sorry for the delayed answer! I was out of town at my niece's graduation :)

    I'm not sure what to say about cleaning silk cushions, without knowing what you've tried. There is a cleaner available at some stores called Carbona, it's in a small yellow bottle and they have different formula depending on the type of stain, you may want the one for grease, since it is food stains. Spray and Wash stain stick might be a good option too, you can rub it on and let it sit before wiping it off. Of course both of these could do more harm than good too.

    But if the chairs are similar in construction to the one I show here, recovering is an option that is fairly easy. If you need more help with it, I'll be happy to assist.

  3. I love the chair! The color and the fabric you used!

    SH - I think I am with Rheya about needing to know what you have tried first. But silk really doesn't like to get wet - it becomes weaker. This is what it says in Home Comforts by Cherly Mendleson. But she suggests using Upholstery Shampoo. And using it according to directions. But also read to dip the cloth or soft brush into the bucket of solution/suds and then work that on the stain. So that you aren't getting the cushion so wet.



Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin