chair redo tutorial, no sewing needed!

chair redo tutorial, no sewing needed!

Good morning, and happy Monday! I hope your week is starting off good. I have had a busy weekend painting up a storm. Today I am sharing a little to do about a chair redo tutorial, no sewing needed I redid for my daughter Nora’s room this weekend. Total hours spent was maybe one, one whole hour. That is it! I found this chair on the side of the road with a lovely free sign attached to it. Ah, yes please. I could not believe my luck, I was actually on my way to go chair hunting to look for a chair exactly like this.
Now when I found it, it was not this adorable pink chair. It was, well ugly, old, worn, and in need of love. But a really sturdy chair. I think the people who put it out could not see the appeal. I hope to reach all of those people eventually so no more chairs are down on their luck in a dumpster or on the side of the street anymore. One chair at a time!
I don’t know if this was for sale in a rummage sale at one point,
it had a price of $4.99. I would have paid that too
 I like wild life, and birds but this cushion is a little too rustic for me
 and that is saying something
So first on this chair redo list would be, take off of the cushion so I can paint. It is really simple, there is some screws under the bottom of the seat itself that you unscrew and take out. Done!


the cushion out


this is all actually in great shape

Next comes the sanding. I always rough wood furniture pieces up a little. It allows the paint to stick to the chair much better. A smaller chance of it coming off so soon. Of course it is painted wood. It will need to be touched up, but sanding helps it last a little longer. I never go crazy with sanding, just enough to make it feel slightly rough. To know if the sanding is done enough a good gauge is to one, feel it. It should be rough enough to not feel the smooth, glaze finish that was on it. And two, it should be dusty and scratched up. I always have to fold the sand paper over to get into the corners. Otherwise it can be tough to get in there. And the corners will not be sanded properly otherwise. Be sure to get it all sanded.


action shot of sanding, use those muscles!


The sanding was done, notice the little scratched and dusty appearance. That would mean it is enough to have the paint stick to the surface. I scrubbed off any glazing or finish. Now… painting. The fun part. The one you get results with. We used a very subtle, beautiful, simple pink…. Uh, no. We used a very bright pink spray paint. It is a Rust-Oleum gloss, Berry Pink. And it is BERRY, VERY pink. This was my compromise to Nora who wanted her whole room painted in this very pink, pink. I would give her other things in this pink, but not the walls. No way, no how. Re doing furniture when she is over pink is a lot quicker then a whole new wall color.

When spray painting I always go from side to side lightly painting the surface. Keep in mind always with spray painting that more then one coat will and should be needed. The first coat will have a lot left to be seen. Going slowly from one side to the other. If you get too close to the chair or put too much paint on at first you will get running paint. Not what most are going for. The spray paint can should be at least 6 inches away from the piece you are painting. This is to prevent it getting layered on and dripping. I did one coat, let it dry and then did one more coat. It usually does the trick quite well.

some how this is the only freshly spray painted picture I took,
sorry for the no in the process pictures of painting. Also notice a little drip-age on the top.
I got too eager for the project to be done, oops

So while the second coat of paint dried I went to work covering the chair cover, getting rid of ducks and adding some bugs of course. I used a left over curtain that I bought from Goodwill a while ago. I found these great curtains for my daughters room. From Pottery Barn still in the package, for $5. I used two for her room but there was another one I bought, not sure what my intention would be for it. Well it turns out I intended to use it for her chair.

the curtains on her window


this is the one I am using for the chair, it is slightly different
with no pink but it still works and goes great

I started by laying the curtain out. It is much longer then the cushion so I set the cushion on top of it to determine how much fabric I would need. It was a little over twice the size of the cushion. I left 2 inches of fabric on the side of this cushion. This allows the fabric to be folded over onto the cushion so you have material to nail it into the cushion itself on the underside. It is a fairly thin cushion so not much was needed to fold over the side. Always double check and fold the edge over before cutting just to make sure. Especially if you have limited fabric. I have enough leftover to sew a pillow, which is awesome.

the long curtain


seeing how much I need


cutting the curtain, no sewing for this project!


I stapled the side not needed to be cut before I cut the other side,
but it was not needed to do the project

Now the folding of the fabric and the stapling. This is a fairly pain free endeavor. To fold onto the bottom of the cushion I always start on the straight side. Pull the fabric snug, but not too tight and use a staple gun to attach the fabric going down the row. Holding down and using a staple gun to punch the staple in. Putting in one about every 3 inches or so. There should be no lifting of the fabric between staples. If there is just throw in another staple. You will hate yourself later if you choose to put on different fabric and have to pull out the million and one staples, but here and now and this particular project… staple away!

The one tricky part is the corners and curved edge. There is always something right?  The corners needs a little more attention. I simply take the already nailed in  straight side and hold tight, smooth it out. Then the left over fabric, (maybe 2 inches worth) that is on the side of the cushion, I fold over onto itself, example below.

Folding, and keeping it all neat and tidy while doing it. Keeping it as smooth as possible.

ignore the painted hands, I told you we painted a lot

Once it is folded, pull tightly. I always try to keep the folded piece as thin as possible so there is not any gathered or bumpy parts to the side or even under the cushion. You never know how it will lay once done. So the neater the better.

Folding it down tightly, making sure the fabric is not too snug.
Hold down while a trusty assistant staples is down, watching closely at the fabric and fingers
ready to be nailed down

The curved edge is what I was worried about. I have done them before but always with a chair where the curved edge was hidden with the back of the chair. This curved edge is also in the back of the chair, but with little to no back to hide my not so neat folds. Time to bring out my mad folding and stapling skills. I started by just moving the fabric and folding it sporadically to see how it would fold and lay. Once I got a feel for it I began by folding the piece closest to the already stapled side. Folding the small edge and flattening it down myself.  It began to get an appearance of ruching, holding down each fold and moving along the curved edge. Then my husband Dale came in and staple it down. Always right along the edge, just under the cushion bottom. You can go in after and staple the extra material afterwards so nothing catches.

The folding and ruching begins
keep it tight and clean


Then I slowly move around the curved edge, pulling, smoothing, tightening and then stapling it down.
Notice the staple, just at the edge. Also staple over the fold as well to make sure
 the fold does not come undone
This shows the staples being put into the fold as well as the flat part. Go staple crazy!
Once I was happy with the results, I had a new cushion. It looks sloppy and ugly from the bottom but nice and pretty on the top. Where it matters.
The stapled from here to kingdom come curved edge


I should also add when laying the fabric down and before stapling make sure the fabric is straight on the cushion.
No leaning bugs here

So now I have a redone cushion and  painted chair. Time to add the two together and call it done. For this I sat the chair upside down on our coffee table. Which you can read about that redo here, if you are interested. I put the chair on the coffee table so that the cushion could sit on the seat but upside down so I could screw in the screws to the chair cushion. For this I also made sure the cushion lined up properly. Was not sitting too close to the edge of the chair or one, side more back then the other.
my kids being bored while we work. We got in some fun outside
time after this project was done
Make sure the fabric is out of the way of the place you will be screwing in.


And once that is done, securing the seat into place it is done. My old throw away chair is now a new and improved pretty, pink chair. Bugs and all. It turned out adorable. And was exactly what I was frantically looking for.
After spray painting the chair I always inspect the detailing of the chair. Making sure it all got even coverage of the paint. A quick re spraying is sometimes needed for some pieces with lots of small details or cracks.


a happy girl, my job here is done

I paired the chair with a old desk my Grandma gave me. It was actually my Mom’s and mine growing up. It was white and very old when we got it. It also came with no drawer knobs or a chair. I got and redid it pre blog so I don’t have any pictures of the process of painting it. I can probably dig up some old pictures of it before the pink police got a hold of it. I will update if I do. The two together look like a match made in heaven, a pink heaven. Perfect for my 6 year old Nora.


Some smaller details of her desk, since I don’t have any pictures of the process I wont be doing a tutorial on how to paint this desk. It is basically the same as the chair, just on a larger scale. I will try to find some before pictures of the desk. I made the glass butterfly hurricanes myself, you can find the tutorial here.

The drawer knobs were purchased at Target
Yes, there are two different kinds of drawer knobs. The owls are left over from the ones I purchased for the kids bathroom. Nora adored them and wanted them. And the pink is left over from a dresser that is in her room. They work for now being mismatched. Right now it does not bother me, but it may (will) later I am sure.

Her bed curtains are hanging from floor to ceiling, you can see the full tutorial here
So there it is, the pink, lovely, chair redo. All total I spent $5 on this project. About $2 for the curtain (I spent $5 for all three panels so I guesstimated the amount for one panel I used for this project), and then $3 for a can of spray paint. Not bad for a adorable piece of furniture that brightens up her room, and makes it just that much girlier. My girly Nora loves her pink, and I love her. So she gets pink. I hope you all have a great start to this here week, and I hope you were inspired to use and redo those old chairs and not throw them out. Easiest and cheapest redo ever, I am going to start a save the chair campaign or something. Who is with me?!
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  1. Save the chair campaign? We'll join you! I love that you paired up the chair with your childhood desk. That's so sweet.

  2. Awesome, one more on my team! You at The Salvaged Boutique have been savings chairs, tables and what not for a while. I love your work, and thank you for stopping by!

  3. Great chair redo! I love that shade of pink!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party

  4. Thank you so much, it is such a fun color!

  5. Is sanding a must if you need to repaint a wooden chair?

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