My 3 Monsters: Thrift Store Chair Makeover

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Thrift Store Chair Makeover

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Easy DIY Thrift Store Chair Makeover at /
I love finding a really good deal at the thrift store!  When I saw this old caned-back chair at Goodwill several weeks ago, I couldn't believe it was only $6.  Sure, it was dated -- and the upholstery had seen better days, and it was covered in cat hair -- but it was sturdy.  And it was just the right size to fit an empty corner of our living room, so I knew it had to come home with me.

Easy DIY Thrift Store Chair Makeover at /
I debated the best way to freshen it up.  Paint, obviously, but what color?  White was safe, but maybe a bright color would be cool.  We already have several colorful painted furniture pieces, so should I try to match one of those or throw a whole new color into the mix?  I've learned that sometimes in life you have to make a wrong choice to get you to a place where you can see the right choice clearly, and such was the case with this little project.  

I had decided to use a gorgeous navy and white Amy Butler fabric I found on closeout, so I originally painted the frame with a pale turquoise chalk paint that matched our coffee table beautifully.  When I was finished painting and laid the fabric across the seat of the chair, it looked nice, but I knew instantly that the frame should be painted the same color as our armoire -- a deep grayish navy blue tone called Relic in the Americana Chalky Finish Paint line.  Funny how that happens sometimes.  I just barely had enough paint left over from the armoire to finish painting the chair.  {But I was really scraping the bottom of the can to get through all that caning!}  

Easy DIY Thrift Store Chair Makeover at /

After the paint dried and I had applied the wax, it was time to reupholster the seat.  I removed the old fabric and used that as a pattern to cut a new piece of fabric, which I attached with my staple gun.  This fabric is just a quilting cotton fabric that I would usually not recommend for upholstery, but since this is really only going to be used occasionally, I thought it would be OK.  I liked the chair a lot with the new paint color and fabric, but it still needed a little "oomph".  

Easy DIY Thrift Store Chair Makeover at /
I pulled out a pretty celery green print fabric that I had in my stash and made a narrow piping out of it, then sewed a small pleated skirt out of the navy and white fabric.  I attached that all the way around the seat with my staple gun, and LOVED the result.  The green piping gives it just the perfect finishing touch, and hides any less-than-perfect edges this amateur upholsterer may have left around the legs.  Mixing patterns and colors is my favorite thing for making a room {or a little accent chair} a whole lot more interesting. 

Easy DIY Thrift Store Chair Makeover at /
It has a perfect cottage-y feeling now, which is EXACTLY what I'm going for in our home.  It's amazing to see this brand-new pretty chair next to it's former self:

Easy DIY Thrift Store Chair Makeover at /
Such a fun transformation!  Now this sad, cat-hairy, forgotten wallflower of a chair is the belle of the ball.  My kids pull it out to sit in while they play PlayStation now instead of laying on the floor with pillows like they used to, so already it has classed this joint up a bit!

If you are interested in learning how to sew piping and reupholster a chair like this in more detail, leave a comment and let me know.  I'm always looking for future tutorial ideas!

Have a great day, friends!


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  1. This is darling! I have so many "good deals" all around the house, that I INTEND to recover, my husband is ready to BAN me from the Goodwill! I got a heavy-duty staple gun for Mother's Day, so I'm ready to tackle of few of these ugly chair projects, as well as help my daughter recover her vintage couch "find"... thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Absolutely adorable! <333

  3. Thanks so much, ladies! I really should be banned from Goodwill, too. It's just so much fun . . .


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