Reupholstered Chair Before and After

Reupholstered Chair Before and After

Check out my chair before and after pictures!  I have a bit of a chair obsession right now.  So far, poor Matt has helped me collect 4 chairs plus a desk chair.  BUT, at least I’ve finished one of them.  I don’t plan on keeping them all (not like we have the space anyway), but I will keep this one.    Here’s what I started with:


Reupholster Chair Before and After - An ugly before pic

I got this chair on Craiglist for only $25!.  I don’t think it’s old or anything, but it was definitely dated.  The fabric was ugly, it had little chips all over the wood, and it had a slightly musty smell.  The seller told me that he got it in a storage unit auction.  That explained the musty smell.

Anyway, I stripped all the trim and fabric off in one night using a screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers.  The hardest part was getting the trim to come off with the screwdriver.  I found that the easiest way for me was to try to find a small pocket in the trim, slip the screwdriver in, and then pull it both from the handle and tip at the same time towards myself. Once it was naked, I very very lightly sanded it and got to painting it.  I used two coats of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite and then waxed it with her dark wax, and sealed it with the clear wax.

Here’s a look at the paint close up:

Reupholstered chair before and after - closeup of the arm

After everything had some time to dry, I buffed the chair with a clean, soft rag and started stapling.  I kept all the old fabric to use it as a pattern to cut the new fabric, paying attention to where the pattern placement would be.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the cutting or stapling process for two reasons:  (1) because it was late and (2) I really wanted to get it finished.

The last step was was to make and apply the double welting in order to hide all the staples.  I bought a double welting foot for my sewing machine, but I probably could have gotten away with using my regular piping foot since I didn’t use double welting.  I used single piping in order to make all of the welting, using the method described by Timber & Cloth.  Essentially, I cut out 3″ bias strips and sewed the first bit of welting in on the right side and then laid the second next it and wrapped the tail around and secured the 2nd bit of welting while hiding the original stitches.

Reupholstered Chair before and after - sewing double welting

All in all, I’m thrilled with the way this chair come out.  In truthfulness, I’m surprised it came out this well.  We’ll see if it was just beginner’s luck; I’m going to tackle the second chair this weekend.

Reupholstered Chair Before & After:

Reupholstered Chair Before and After





Laurel House Project


    • Kirsten says

      Thank you Maureen! I ordered three yards, but I also used the fabric to cover the seat of another chair. I think I probably could have gotten away with using 2 1/2 yards or maybe even 2.

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