Saturday, May 5

Bamboo Chair Makeover

I have always had a penchant for the "five dollar chair." Blame this on my BFF, Rachel, who coined this phrase long ago in our days of yard sales stemming way back to college days of dumpster diving. When I see a chair that is under $25, and is screaming for a makeover, my pulse literally starts to race. I have actually run to grab a few at various places.

You can imagine how much my heart fluttered when I was in Thrift Town, and stumbled upon this $24 gem.

Now, I know what you are thinking, who would want this southwestern atrocity in their house? But you have to choose to see the potential in the piece. (I think this is a good lesson for people, too.) So, I snatched it up and proudly carried my purchase to the car. 

Next came the tough decisions. What color and fabric do I want? If you read Young House Love, you'll know what I mean when you debate these sort of things. Also, their office chairs were my true inspiration for this makeover. My dining room was already painted a similar shade of lettuce leaf green, so I knew I wanted contrast. Also, my Anthropologie tablecloth, an AMAZING gift from the man friend for Christmas, had to be taken into consideration. So, I purchase some lovely peacock blue fabric on clearance for a mere $6, and settled on a high gloss red for the chair. 

Another small problem was the fact that one of the decorative pieces was missing on the front right corner of the chair. After a week long trip to my mom's chair guy, he recreated the piece for me and repaired the wobbly arm for a mere $30. Well worth it in the long run. 

So I flipped this baby over, unscrewed the seat, and went to work on the reupholstery. 

Here she is with her new corner piece and the reupholstered seat. (Please excuse the pink pig behind the chair. Apparently Molly was having a play day when this picture was taken!) Unfortunately, I had a problem with my iPhone, and lost the pictures of the reupholstery steps. Needless to say, this wasn't hard. This is the perfect type of job for someone new to the world of reupholstery. 

  • Remove all the staples from under the seat of the upholstery you want to remove. I used needle nose pliers to do this. 

  • Once all removed, lay your old piece of fabric on top of the reverse side of your new fabric. It may help to pin this in place. 

  • Cut out the same shape in your new fabric. 

  • Center your new fabric on the chair and flip over. Carefully fold the edges around like you are wrapping a package. You'll want to use special attention to the corners. 

  • I used a Stanley SharpShooter Heavy Duty Staple gun and 3/8" staples. You'll want to pull the fabric as tight as possible. It would be helpful to have someone to help you, but I did this all by myself.

  • You'll need to fold the corner to create the best looking creases from the front. Again, it's sort of like wrapping a Christmas present. Make sure your staples are close enough together to keep the fabric from gaping or bubbling. 

Once you are all done, your hands will be a little sore. Nothing that a cold glass of ice tea can't quickly correct :)

Once I finished the seat, I took the chair out to spray paint. I used Krylon Dual Pain + Primer in Banner Red. It did take 2 cans because of all the detail work on the chair. This can be purchased at Walmart for about $4 or $5 a can. 

Remember to do several light coats with even strokes that slightly over lap. You don't want drip marks. I let the paint dry about 10 minutes between coats, and I had to apply 3 for the main color. I then went back and did some touch ups to some of the crevices after I did a full inspection of the chair. 

Here is the chair while drying. I'm sure my neighbors really appreciated my art project while in progress. But hey, my front yard has way better wind protection than my back yard, which is very important if you don't want dust or dirt sticking to your wet paint! 

And here is the final result once she was all dry and back in the house! 

And the before/after shot: 

And with the perfect pillow to tie is in with the table cloth. IF you look closely, you can see the edge of it in the top of this picture.

So, after the 
$24 for the chair
+ $6 fabric
+ $30 for chair repair, and
+ $9 for spray paint
$69 for a chair that I LOVE!! 

Again, a bargain compared to the one's that I love from Jonathan Adler or even Ballard Designs

I hope this inspires you to go out and find your own chair to makeover for your house. I promise that with a little hard work and imagination, you can have the perfect chair for any space in your home.


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