Update a Harp Back Chair!

2 Materials
$20
3 Hours
Medium

Hubs picked up this harp back chair for only $5 when he was picking up a sewing machine for his new sewing machine repair hobby. Undoubtedly, he was too awestruck by the ugliness of the fabric to notice it needed a few repairs!

The missing piece on the bottom of the back leg wasn’t obvious until looking at the chair from the back. Seems like we’re becoming experts at how to fix a broken chair leg! For this one, we fashion a brand new piece.

First, Hubs made a template and cut a new piece to repair the leg.

When he rips off the outer fabric, it’s always fun to unveil the layers of fabric hidden underneath.

At this point, I took over to pull out the staples with a staple remover. While I did that, Hubs sanded back the finish on the chair to prep it for paint.

Before we get to paint, we glue and clamp the missing piece:

For an invisible repair, add the wood filler along all the joins and sand.

Wood filler hides a multitude of problems :). We also touch up a piece of missing veneer on the harp with the wood filler.

How to Get Away with NOT Staining

Here's a great tip to blend it in without re-staining. Get yourself a set of stain markers. Find one that closely matches the colour of the wood by testing on a paint stick. Then touch up where you filled the missing veneer. You can even blend if necessary.

Colour Inspiration

Do you ever get stumped by what colour to paint your furniture finds? In the case of a chair makeover, I think the easiest way to find a colour is to take inspiration from your the fabric. I chose green to match my fabric (which you'll see in the reveal).


To use milk paint, mix equal parts milk paint powder to water and mix until combined.

Protect the parts you don't want to paint, like the harp detail.


Start with the chair lying down horizontally. I like to use a large round brush for applying milk paint; I feel it gives me more control.

To seal and protect the milk paint, I apply hemp oil.

Hemp oil brings out the richness of both the natural wood and paint. Isn't the contrast beautiful?

The last step is re-upholstering the chair seat. No skimpy padding for me! I’ll show you how to reupholster in a future post.

Before and After Wooden Chair Repair

Here’s a reminder of what we started with:

And here it is now. What do you think?

As you can see, there are so many colours that could have been be pulled from the fabric. Which colour would you have chosen?

Crochet for a Cure

If you haven’t heard, we’ve just launched a pattern shop, where we’re donating 100% of our proceeds to Alzheimer’s. You’ll find patterns, like our Air Planter Pods and tooth fairy pillow (both shown below), available to purchase as a donation to our Alzheimer’s fundraiser.

Air Plant Pods

Come visit us to purchase a pattern; with 100% going to charity, it's a win-win!

Tooth Fairy Pillow

There are more details about the repair work we did if you're ever faced with something similar. Visit our post to learn more (link below where you see our logo).


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Suggested materials:

  • Material 1
  • Material 2

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