How to Upcycle Dining Room Chairs Into Fun Accent Chairs

13 Materials
4 Days

While emptying my mother-in-law’s home, we were clearing out old furniture and repurposing or donating them. No one wanted these two dining room chairs that were left behind. With their design and sturdiness, it would be a shame to trash them or give them away. So, I asked my relative if she wanted them for her home. She said yes! And was willing to allow me the chance to upcycle them to make them more attractive and fun for her. This post talks about how I upcycle dining room chairs into fun accent chairs.

Here are the before chairs. They were in pretty good shape. I just needed a little TLC. On the front feet, there are brass covers. See below for how I cleaned them and made them shine again.

I removed the chair seat first to examine what the wood looked like.

Some areas needed TLC. So I glued them and let them sit. I took off the brass feet. There was only a nail holding most of them in, and I could easily slide it out.

I couldn't take off one of the brass feet, so I had to clean it while on the chair. The other three I was able to clean on a paper towel with Ketchup. I let it sit for at least 1 hour. Then used a soft scrub sponge and added a little elbow grease to clean the rest off. It cleaned up nicely. I also used Cameo for the stubborn dirt.

Here are the three brass feet.

Here is the other foot on the chair. It didn't clean up as nicely but that was OK.

Here's the transformation video. Feel free to watch it and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

I had to repair the wood arms with wood filler after we cleaned them and let them sit until completely dry. The legs also needed some wood filler to fill in holes.

I left the fabric and plastic and added the new fabric to the top of the chairs. Stapling the bottom to hold the fabric in place. First, the sides then the corners were stapled. I set this aside for later.

Then, using a rag, I added the gel stain to the cleaned, dusted, and dried wood. It took a while to dry a day or so. I then added a spray poly (I don't recommend spray Poly. for the final coat). But, it worked for this project. I then let that dry completely before adding the seat.

This is the chair after the gel stain and poly topcoat were added.

Here's what the chairs looked like now that they are accent chairs. This is after I added the brass feet back to the chairs and screwed in the chair seats.

Here's another view of the after accent chairs.

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  • Mary Mary on Jul 16, 2021

    Ketchup as a brass cleaner? I have a brass mail box that started getting weird soft light black marks on it, so I bought a brass cleaner at Menard's. The cleaner did absolutely nothing. Do you think if I removed the mail box off of the pillar that it's screwed onto, then put it into a pan of some sort, then pasted ketchup on it, wait awhile, then clean it off as you did with the brass foot covers, that it would work? I'm just about ready to spray paint the mail box, but would prefer to keep it as the brass color as when it was new. Your chairs came out beautiful! So glad you didn't trash them!


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