Vintage style chair makeover

Moving home is busy and I seem to be spending more time browsing  pinterest then actually doing any work.  This is a quick tutorial on one of the few things I have actually done instead of pinning:)  New homes are expensive and it’s both smart and eco conscious to recycle and reuse.  This old chairs were long overdue a makeover and it was just the excuse I needed to start going through my fabric stash.

You will need:


  • Strong fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Foam -or use the original filling if it is ok
  • Paint – I used ordinary white wall paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Pliars – which I used to remove the old staples
  • Dining chairs


  • Wood glue and a mallet – which I used to repair the chairs

Remove the seat.  There are usually a few screws underneath holding the seat pad on which you may have to remove first.  Use a pliars to pull out the old staples or tacks then peel back the old upholstery.  You might have to replace the foam but I decided that mine was in good enough condition to use again.

Place the fabric under the seat pad and fold up to check that the fabric fits.  Start to staple.  It’s best to begin by placing one staple then placing another opposite – for example staple the right side, then the left, then the top and the bottom. Repeat starting at the right again.  This method ensures the fabric is even and correctly fitting.  Leave the corners till the end then carefully fold then over checking it’s not lumpy on the other side.

Meanwhile paint and repair your chair.  Sand lightly first so the paint has something to grip on to then paint in your choice of colour.


Use a sanding block to gently distress the edges and some random surfaces.  You can finish off by painting with a protective varnish but I didn’t bother – the more distressed they look the better:)  And now I have four new shabby chic chairs!

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