how to upholster a chair

Upcycling and antique chair three times. Can you actually upcycle what has already been upcycled once? Yes, you can…even if it has been upcycled twice! Keep reading…

For those of you who have been IC fans for a while you remember back in September when I got this chair at a Salvation Army store for $20 for my guest room. 

Salvation Army antique chair

How Do You Revamp an Old Chair?

In this post How To Reupholster An Old Chair’s Seat, Jamie showed us how she did it and I fell in love with it. So easy and so satisfying to ‘create’ your own chair design! I absolutely love revamping stuff (anything really!). It is a great way to breathe new life into an outdated piece of furniture.

If you are new to upcycling, here are the steps you can take to revamp an old chair:

  1. Assess the condition of the chair: Check for any structural damage or loose joints that need to be repaired before proceeding. Sometimes might not be worth the effort.
  2. Clean the chair: Thoroughly clean the chair to remove any dust, dirt, or grime that may have accumulated over time.
  3. Sand and refinish the wood: If the chair has a wood frame, consider sanding it down and refinishing it with a fresh coat of stain or paint. This can give the chair a whole new look and protect the wood from future wear and tear.
  4. Reupholster the seat: You can either do this yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. I vote for number 1! haha

First Upcycle

I sanded and cleaned the chair really well. Then I spray primed and painted it with two coats of American Accents Heirloom White. The fabric was from Joann’s. It is part of their new collection of home dec fabrics and it complimented the fabric I chose for the pillows. It cost $15 for the three yards. The padding I had on hand.

First upcycle antique chair

I took apart the cushions and used that for a pattern and then I sewed it up and restuffed it. I had to whipstitch the opening shut and it was done. I didn’t do any fancy piping like the original cushions had.

That would have taken more patience and sewing skill than I have. Let’s have one more looksie..

That is what I did with that $20 bargain and upcycled it until it looked like this…

Second Upcycle

I love how the chair turned out. However, the more I look at it in the room the more I was unsatisfied. The Heirloom White color is not white at all it is cream all the way. It should be called Heirloom Cream.

The fabric is definitely not a true white but not cream either. The problem was that sitting next to the stark white comforter and the white headboard it just looked off. I should have taken a picture of it for you guys to see.

So I did something daring…potentially hideous to some of you. I am still not sure what I think of it because it is so bold.


Second upcycle in Pink

Are you freaking out? Cringing? Crying? Smiling? Loving it?

Some of you loved Miss Berry Pink and some of you loathed it.

It helps to see it in context, it was not thaaaat bad. Just kind of girlie.

Pink Chair in Bedroom

Third Upcycle

Since the girly pink room which Miss Berry Pink used to reside is now occupied by a teenage boy we had to find a new home for her.

The only fit was the game-room. So she needed another refab. 

The third one! (Not that I mind ;-))

I decided this was going be my “chair.” One day being at a church service at Willow Creek (awesome church in the Chicagoland area), the pastor Bill Hybels encouraged us to find “our chair”. A chair where we would spend time daily reading and praying. 

I needed to find a spot in our home that was mine to take time out of my day for that. This chair now sits right by a window and in the morning it is the perfect space to quiet my soul.


I used the same drop cloth fabric that I used here for the curtains. 

I embroidered the “F” on the back and added black piping around all the edges.

Third upcycle in black

And if you were not sold on it yet what is not to love?

Here are some more wonderful chair refabs:
Design Intervention
Living With Lindsay
Centsational Girl

Similar Posts