Chair Makeover (Reupholstered & Paint)

3 Materials
2 Days

An old & very worn barrel cane chair got a new makeover.

I bought this chair along with two others for next to nothing in the hopes of updating them. This was the first one I just did. With fresh paint and a new fabric, this chair is now stunning! Checkout this complete transformation for this little old chair and get inspired to save a chair!!!

The before and after pictures showing the extent of worn fabric prior to getting the makeover. I call it my French Country chair now.

This worn fabric needed to be replaced and it was definitely dated!

The back side of the chair was in better condition.

Started by removing the hundreds of staples exposing the inside backing, foam, and upholstery hardware. I recycled the upholstery hardware as well as the frame work and foam which was in excellent shape. If yours isn't, then just replace it with new ones from JoAnns or any fabric shop.

Seating frame was in excellent shape so we just removed all the fabric to reupholster with new fabric. The pliers, staple remover and small screwdriver were my best friends while removing all the staples.

Frame was ready to be cleaned and painted. When removing the fabric and staples, take extra caution as to not damage the caning on the chair. It's extremely delicate.

Once the 2 coats of chalk paint were dry, we sanded to expose some character. We added antiquing medium throughout before applying the sealing wax.

On to sewing the new cushion and cording to finish it all up.

The new look!

The thicker fabric will hold up for many more years.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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4 of 29 comments
  • Flipturn
    on Jul 21, 2019

    Thank you for showing clear, close-up, and in-focus pictures of the stages of the project, especially the particular upholstery tools and the presser foot that you used. Often when sharing projects, folks neglect to show the specific hardware used, which is an important component to achieving success.

  • Andrea Peterson
    on Aug 4, 2019


    Great job, looks perfect!!

    Love, love the fabric!! I used the same to make custom drapes, pillows and lamp shades 15 years ago. Can not find it anywhere. Where did you get the fabric and how long ago?

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