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Chair: Fun Upcycle In A Few Steps

chair project with fabric

Hey there! So this is a fun, quick chair upcycle project that anyone can do in just a couple of days!

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I found these two chairs at a garage sale but they were originally dark brown with maroon seats. Don’t hate that I completely forgot to take a real “before picture”! Let’s just say, they were dated and U-G-L-Y!

So, I picked up a couple of cans of two different colored spray paints. I prefer Rust-Oleum because of the nozzle and it generally doesn’t get all over me! I gave both chairs an all over spray, making thin passes. For good, even coverage, I did two coats on each chair; one spray and then another an hour or so later. I didn’t worry about getting the paint on the chair cushion, because it doesn’t really matter. The neat and detail oriented stuff comes later! haha 😉

spray painted chairs

The next day, I cut some fabric in a square a few inches bigger than the seat cushion – the bigger you do it, the more ‘wiggle room’ you’ll give yourself, which is super important if you have a pattern that you’d like to lay a certain direction. Next, I took a foam brush & spread Outdoor Mod Podge liberally all over the top of the seat. Be sure to get the sides of your seat, to be sure your fabric adheres so when you go back and trim around the edges, it’s good and stuck!

chairs with mod podge on them

I pressed the fabric on the Mod Podge and try to get all of the wrinkles out. I started with my hands flat in the middle and just worked towards the edges. I didn’t use a squeegee but I guess you could if you felt you weren’t getting a good enough stretch and making it flat. At this point, I left the edges just hanging out and didn’t worry about the excess. Again, we’ll worry about that later…

chairs with fabric

The following day, I took a foam brush again and the Mod Podge and coated the top of the fabric with it. Yes, the top! Remember, this is outdoor Mod Podge so it will help the chairs to be more water resistant, the fabric hold up better and you’ll be able to wipe them down with a soft cloth and dawn dish soap, if need be. The Mod Podge will need to dry overnight again on top.

The next day, I took a pair of scissors and cut the majority of the excess fabric away from the chair. Then, I took a sharp X-Acto Knife and went around the edges. If your chair has a way to kind of ‘tuck’ in the fabric, that’s a bonus! With these chairs, I think I had a little bit of an area to tuck and I just used a small flat head screwdriver to help push the fabric in. If you need to apply some more Mod Podge, in areas you maybe missed around the edges, now would be the time and let it dry. Then, step back and admire your work!

chairs finished project

So, next time you see an ugly chair at a garage sale or thrift store, don’t walk by it! Chairs are one of the easiest things to do and a quick, simple project! Mine are just used as accent chairs but four years later, they still look like they did the day I did them! If you do this project, send me pictures to I wanna see your pictures!!

Want to see more upcycled or reclaimed DIY posts? Click here to see the reclaimed wood shutters we made for our cabin!