Folding Chair Upcycle

Mitch Couch
by Mitch Couch
4 Materials

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

The next time you see a folding chair by the curb, grab it! You can turn it into the perfect game-day chair.

I had one of these old metal chairs that I thought was ready for the garbage, but then I thought “no way”. I bet you I could bring some new life to it.  

It did have some rust stains on it, as you can see here, but that was easily remedied.  

The first thing I did was to go ahead and shake up a can of primer and spray the entire chair. Primer can come in white, gray, or anything like that. 

What you're going to do is put the primer on and it's going to go as a light coat. Primer does not have to be thick or anything like that. The reason we put primer on is you got to make sure that the paint you're going to put on has something to adhere to. Without primer, you run the risk of your spray paint or any other type ofpaint peeling or just basically flaking off. 


Once you get a nice, good coat of the primer on, you're ready to apply your paint. The reason again we use the primer is it helps cover up the rough spots and keeps them from showing through in the paint.  

My kids, go to a local high school, and their school colors are purple and gold. So we want to make this chair something that we can take to sporting events. So we're going to give it a good coat once over of good purple paint. It looks really good when you get a good color on there after that nice white base prime. 

Once we get this all painted with a good first coat, we're going to see how it looks. If it needs a second coat, put on another light coat. Remember, it's always better when using spray paint to make sure you use a light coat, even if it requires two or three coats because it will puddle up and make drip marks.  

Once the paint was fully dry, it was time to add some stencils and make it look good. I create my own stencil putting the letters together to spell Tigers. That's our mascot for our local high school. 

I placed it against the chair and dabbed it with just a little bit of spray paint. 

I also took a paw print, laid it on the seat, and sprayed that as well. You can decorate it any way you want.

We're sports fanatics with our kids being in high school sports so I opted for a sports theme.  

Here is the final project. I took that old rusty chair and instead of throwing it away, I was able to refurbish it and make it look brand new. 

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Shuganne Shuganne on Aug 06, 2023

    Mitch! It's great to see you. I was just thinking that it's been awhile since I've seen you post something.

    Here's my question: with the rust on the back, did you need to sand it, either to keep the rust from spreading, or to eliminate an uneven finish?

    Thanks for another great project!

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Aug 16, 2023

    Does this happen to be the tigers from Lodi? Same colors and name as ours 💛💜🤩

  • Marilyn Marilyn on Aug 16, 2023

    Are these the Tigers from Sherrard Illinois. Purple and gold are our colors too. Great idea and I have a couple of old metal folding chairs in my barn. Going to have to refurbish them.

Join the conversation
2 of 41 comments