Repurposing a Dining Chair


By Margaret Riley
You’ve inherited a couple dining chairs with fabric seats. What do you do with them? Put them out by the curb? Set outside? Fear not! You can redo those chairs and place them by your front door to put on shoes, boots, or place your purse. You can add a basket under it to hold shopping bags (stay tuned for upcoming decorated shopping bags in future issues!), toss in gloves, and have house slippers to put on after trudging through the outside elements. You can learn how to upholster only to find out how EASY it really is! Let’s get started!

1. Using Dawn dish soap and water, wipe down all the chair areas, except the fabric on the seat. Remove the screws that hold the seat in place. Be sure the washed wood is completely dry before going on.  

2. Place fabric on a copier to copy the pattern or trace it onto tracing paper if you are going to paint the design onto the chair anywhere.


3. Let’s do the seat next. Remove the fabric carefully as this is going to be your pattern. There will probably be foam under the old fabric. If it is falling apart, replace it. You can purchase the foam at a fabric store. Lay the old fabric onto the new fabric to cut out the replacement. Use a staple gun to attach the foam and new fabric to the wooden seat. Lay aside.



4. Choose what paint you want to use on the chair. The sample was done with Plaid’s Chalk Paint. Trace the design onto the chair back (use graphite paper) and paint the design.

5. Optional: Add a wooden decorative scroll to area on the front of the seat.

6. Finish with Plaid’s Gloss Varnish, if desired.

7. Reattach the newly upholstered seat.

8. Add a basket under the chair, if desired. 

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