Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vintage Chair Upholstery

 I found these chairs at a flea market in August. Over the past six months I have been building up the courage to tackle this project. I only paid $18 for the pair. The low price made me less apprehensive about botching the upholstery.

The chairs were not in fantastic shape, but they do have some nice details.

The less than ideal condition comforted me in knowing that perfection was not the goal for my makeover. 

Just in case the pretty summer photos fooled you into thinking the chairs were appealing as is, I wanted to show you that these chairs were DIRTY.

 I was apprehensive about what I would find underneath the blue bird upholstery. I had visions of dirt, mold and other griminess. I was pleasantly surprised to find clean batting.  It appears that the chairs were once pink.

 My naked chair.

I found a gallon of blue paint in the “oops section” at Menards. I used the bargain paint and Plaster of Paris to make my own chalk paint. I followed No MinimalistHere’s directions and was pleased with the results. 

The first time I upholstered the chair I used bleached drop cloths, which many bloggers have recommended. Unfortunately I was not happy with the way it looked. I ripped off the drop cloth and headed to Joann’s.

I found both of these fabrics in the red tag section. The cream fabric was $3 a yard and the damask fabric (which I will eventually use to cover small pillows for the chairs) cost $4 a yard.

 This is by far the most challenging upholstery project I have ever tackled and I still have a lot to learn. I know that my chairs are quite flawed, but I still like them.

Since I am a novice at this craft, I am not about to give anyone direction. If you are looking for some upholstery advice check out Miss Mustard Seed’s blog.

I want to eventually make small pillows to sit on the chairs. I hope the pillows will add some contrast…and possibly hide some of my mistakes : )


  1. I love your chair. Pillows in that red fabric will look great on it. :)

  2. OH my goodness gracious, that BLUE YOU PICKED OUT!
    These look FAB!!!

  3. Hi Lynette, The chairs look fabulous and what a deal you got on them. I am so happy you like the chalk paint recipe and I appreciate the mention and sharing this at the Open House party. Hugs, Sherry

  4. Love the chair! Great job, I wish I could find some chairs like that. Gotta keep looking.

  5. I'm in LOVE with the chair! You picked great color and fabric!!! Please come link up tomorrow over at!

  6. Wow, You did such a fabulous job on these chairs. What a great find.
    Thanks for sharing, Jules

  7. They don't look flawed to me, I think they look great. I like the paint, I'm going to check it out, thanks for the link.

  8. Adorable!! I love the blue color! I've always wanted to upholster something, but still looking for the right thrift store find!

    - Shauna

  9. It turned out beautiful! I love the bold peacock or cobalt blue that was used! I'm working on a couple of wing back chairs right now. It's intimidating me already.

  10. This rocks! Amazing job. I have always wanted to do a project like this because I love this style chair, but I can never find any chairs to re-do! Thanks for sharing.

  11. The chairs are fantastic! And, what a bargain. Good work.

  12. These have come out gorgeouss and you've gotta love the price tags. I saw a black one with a striped black matterial the other day in the exact same shape, someone was selling it for $899 I nearly fell on the floor!

  13. Amazing, I don't think you could have transformed them any better than that!

  14. Darling chairs- and what a great price for them too! Thanks for linking up at FNF! :)

  15. How beautiful! Great update!

    If you're interested, we're hosting our first ever link up party. Please stop by and link up!

  16. Love the round back on that chair--looks great!

  17. The chair turned out great, love love that wonderful red graphic print! thanks for linking up to the VIF party!

  18. Looks SO good!!! I really like your fabric choice!!! Thanks LOTS for sharing at Overflowing with Creativity!

    XO, Aimee

    PS Did you sign up for my giveaway yet!?!
    Awesome Customizable Frames, Art & Home Decor

  19. Great job! You've encouraged me to try my hand at some reupholstering myself. Thanks for sharing your lovely "new" chairs with us at Inspiration Friday!


  20. Wow how awesome are your chairs! Love them!

  21. LOVELY job on the chair transformations, Lynette! : )

    I would be absolutely THRILLED if you would stop over at my place and link this up to Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL…going on right now!:

    So looking forward to seeing you there!

    P.S. I’m a new follower. : )


  22. Whoops! Wasn't signed in! It's Abbie from Five days...5 ways.

    Hope you'll stop by and share! : )

  23. Your chair redo looks great! I just started blogging in August 2011 ( am like you....apprehensive about tackling the reupholstry but your post inspires me! Thanks for sharing!

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