Office Chair Overhaul: Part 1

Today has been busy! I scored a ton of supplies at Walmart for future projects, and then went chair hunting for this project. I also finished the wicker drawer makeover, started this project, and now just waiting for the paint to dry. So here goes!

My office is a room I figured only I would use; you know, for filing bills, sewing, and crafting. Somehow, I've needed a second chair for someone more than anticipated, and I never have one on hand. I'm still dreading the thought of ripping open my wingback chair to reupholster it, so I needed a guppy project to help me out (I'll still probably spoil myself with this year's tax return and just get it professionally done, but I can tell myself I won't until then).

I knew I wanted a chair that the bottom would just pop right off of after removing a few screws, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on said chair. Well after perusing the neighborhood thrift stores and resale shops, I ended up with two matching chairs for a total of $10. And man, were they uuuuuuuuug-LY. One has a busted bar on the bottom, and I haven't even begun on that one yet, but for $10, I'd take both.

The backs on them were kind of interesting, and somehow, they could support my big butt, so they were winners in my eyes. They just needed some serious updating.

The office was still draped like a scene from Dexter, and the drawer frame was still drying, so I popped the seat off of one, dropped it down on the poster board, and got out the spray paint. I used the same Heirloom White that I used for the drawers, and put the first coat on. 

Once it started drying, I noticed that it started having little bubbles, and that I probably (read as: definitely should have) sanded the frame down a bit, because there were very clear lines from where the wood grain was deepened, and not even with the rest of the surface. Whoops. Um, it adds character, I guess? Sure, we'll swing with that.

The bubbles led me to believe one of two things. Either this was cedar wood, which you're advised not to paint because the oils in the wood make painting it virtually impossible...or I hadn't totally dried the frame after I'd blasted it with the hose and scrubbed it down.

I decided to let the coat dry and decide a course of action. Once the coat dried, I sprayed the back panel again to see if the bubbles would appear again. If they did, I'd suck it up, sand it all down, and start over. If they didn't, I'd run with the wood grain as natural aging, and finish the second coat.

Luckily, the bubbles did not make an encore appearance, and I simply put another layer of paint onto the entirety of the frame.

The seat of this chair could probably have used some extra padding from being squished down by many butts before mine, but it would have looked funny with the frame, and so I decided to ditch the idea. I cleaned the seat off, grabbed some fabric from my stash, and cut out a piece. This fabric is actually the fabric I originally wanted for the wingback chair, but the store didn't have quite enough. I bought it anyways because it's downright beautiful, and left none for anyone else. All for one.

I also grabbed my heavy duty staple gun (these run about $20 at Hancock fabrics). They're great for heavy materials, like wood, and fabric, so I knew it'd be perfect for the job!

First I lined up the seat cushion on the underside of the fabric, to make sure my pattern was straight. Took a few minutes to get it where I wanted it, but with a larger repeat pattern, you have to line it up correctly. I cannot imagine doing this with striped fabric. That would be an absolute nightmare. Once you staple the first edge on in a few places, you're golden. Just make sure you don't cover up the screw holes on the bottom so that when you put the seat back on, you can easily screw it back into place.

Aaron and I fought with the tension of this staple gun for a little bit, but we finally got it down. More tension, the better, at least in this case. If I'd read the back of the packaging before these first staples, I'd have known that already. Whoops.

Failing. So much failing.

Getting there. Still kinda janky though.

Boom. Got it. After what felt like a million staples, a lot of fabric pulling and arranging (corners are not my friend, you should see the way my Christmas presents look after I wrap them), the fabric was tight, straight, and in place.

Holy crap. This didn't turn out awful. I'm actually really pleasantly surprised at how well this turned out.

Now I can't wait for this to dry so we can all see the final product when I can marry the fabric seat and the freshly painted frame! And I have a whole second chair to experiment with! Now that I know more about the staple gun, can decide whether I want to sand it or not, I'll definitely be trying another combination on that one too (that one will be more for decoration, since it's a little less stable, but it'll be cute nonetheless)!

Come back tomorrow to see the complete chair reveal!


  1. What I appreciate most about office design is how chairs and sofas are decorated to match the colors of the walls and other equipment. You redecorate your office chair with fresh fabric and a few coats of paint. The color combination is incredibly stunning. After reading your blog I will differently use these tricks for redecorating my old home office chair. You used fresh and quality fabric. A few days earlier I purchase brand-new, office chairs online from value office furniture for my office. The office furniture I got in accordance with the color of my office walls and the available space is quite well-liked by my staff.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts