Office Chair Upcycle

by OceeB
3 Materials
2 Hours
I have this old blue office chair that I wanted to lighten/brighten up. Painting the fabric was an option and I even asked questions on HT when leaning in that direction. However after an 'Ah-ha' moment, I decided I would try my idea, to see how it would look and if it would work - so far it works! The lightbulb idea was to cut fabric to match the shape of seat and back chair cushion area, use spray-on adhesive and a chopstick. The cost is seriously low as I already had the adhesive, material, chopsticks and scotchguard and the chair was a thrift store purchase 2 years ago for $7.
Start with one office chair that is boring but comfortable; and a frustrating feature such as non-removable seat and back cushions. I could have changed the dark grey color of metal and plastic components; but all was in good shape so decided to leave as is.
I had purchased 4.5-Yds of medium weight material on clearance for a fireplace hearth cushion and decided to utilize some of the extra material here. I cut the fabric larger than chair by 2 inches all the way around.
I then sprayed on adhesive in small sections on the seat cushion first, working my way from center to edges and then front to back, smoothing out the fabric to get as taut as possible.
After the large area seemed to have adhered, I focused on the edges.
I sprayed adhesive onto the remaining seat edges, grabbed my chopstick and began working the folded/rolled up material (more or less/2 inches)l into the crevice where cushion meets chair plastic. It was a method of pushing and shoving the material in as far as it would go.

I tried to direct some adhesive into the crevice as well prior to pushing the material in; I think in retrospect - painting some mod podge into crevice with a thin brush would work just as well. Make sure to smooth out fabric and pull material tight while securing it in the crevice.
Pushing into the crevice went pretty quickly. I did break the chopstick at one point icon
Tucked in and ready to go to work! You can see more of the hard plastic here.. A new complimenting color would have been nice but I just didn't see how new paint would hold up well with the abuse an office chair can receive.

Maybe, if there is a next time, I will pull the paint trigger; maybe a cool teal blue color with sporty fabric and then this old chair will have a second facelift.
So here it is finished.. I did spray with Scotchguard to hopefully protect the material for awhile.

I still like how much brighter the new fabric makes the chair and lightens the mood when you have to work granted working remotely is awesome!

This reupholstering was a breeze and I believe that when I tire of this fabric; I will easily be able to remove and recover one more time. The fabric paint would have been a good option too; but I know that fabric paint provides a different feel and I still wanted the chair to remain semi-soft.

I am also wondering, if I should use a double sided interfacing and steam the fabric onto the chair before using my chopsticks. This will be easy to redo down the road and not a lot invested.

Hope you Enjoy!
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 5 questions
  • Ivy Ivy on Aug 27, 2018

    I’ve wondered about using spray adhesive this way. My question is when you sit on it does it pull or detach from the seat from weight and not having enough give?


  • Brenda Brenda on Sep 02, 2018

    how did it hold up..did fabric loosen at all?

  • Saundra Hayes Saundra Hayes on Sep 03, 2018

    Where did you get Scotchguard.

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2 of 79 comments
  • Emily Harris Emily Harris on Mar 28, 2024

    Great idea!

  • Omaifi Omaifi on Mar 28, 2024

    Currently looking for a comfortable office chair as I spend much time sitting and working. Any recommendations? What about x chair customer service? I need decent support, adjustable features, and would be great durable as well. I hopeto find affordable option but I know it can't cost $100 so share your ideas and recommendations, please.