Antique Chair Gets a Makeover With Chalk Paint and Fabric!

5 Materials
2 Days

I love old antique chairs. They typically have good bones; and beautiful detailing in the wood! I was on the hunt for a nice chair to makeover, and happened to find this one on my local Marketplace. I paid $20 for her; and had all the other supplies on hand!

**NOTE: this was my first time attempting any form of upholstery! I looked on Pinterest to find an easy way to attempt it. You may be more experienced and have a better way of doing it. If so, please let me know in the comments! This way was definitely pretty easy and would be great for a beginner like me! **

This is what the chair looked like when I picked her up. She was in decent shape, just needed a face-lift!

**NOTE** I forgot to take step by step photos of the seat fabric removal. I just removed the seat from the Frame and removed the staples that held the fabric in place.**

After the seat was removed and the frame cleaned, I started painting. I used an antique white chalk paint.

I chose to use House and Canvas chalk paint in the color Champagne.

I wanted to keep the back netting of the chair in its original color; but decided to add a very light dry coat of paint to help blend into the chair a bit more. I did this by lightly dabbing my brush onto the paint, then wiping the bristles off. This created just the right touch of color I was looking for.

After I added two coats of paint to the frame, I applied a furniture wax to protect it. I chose to use House and Canvas clear wax. You can always choose to use a poly coat instead.

For the seat, I chose to use this fabric I had on hand. I had a good portion of it; but I would suggest measuring your seat, and allowing at least an extra two to three inches on each side. This will allow you to be able to staple the fabric underneath.

After measuring the length and width of my seat, I measured out the fabric.....adding two to three inches on each measurement.

I then cut my fabric. Since you will be pulling the fabric under the seat to staple, it doesn't need to be an clean cut.

After cutting my fabric, I ironed the piece I was using for the seat.

Once the fabric was ironed and wrinkle free, I place the fabric on the seat exactly as I wanted it. I then started stapling to the under part of the seat.

I used a heavy duty stapler to accomplish this. I started on one side of the seat, pulled the fabric taut, and added a couple staples. I then went to the other side of the seat, and did exactly the same thing.

After the fabric was secure on both sides, I double checked the fabric was still in place on the top before completely my staples. I then stapled around the sides of the seat, making sure the fabric was taut before stapling. The staples weren't pretty; but no one can see them. Lol

After stapling around my fabric, I worked with the corner pieces. These pieces will need to be folded under. In order to get a clean fold on the top, I cut a little length off the fabric, and kind of folder the corner in like I would wrapping a present in paper. It's a bit hard to explain. I hope this picture gives you an idea as to what I'm talking about. Double check the top of the seat to make sure your fold looks even. Then add your staples underneath. Make sure to really pull the fabric tight before stapling.

This is what it looked like after all the staples were in. You can see where I have folded the fabric on the front and back of the seat.

This is what the top of the seat looked like after the fabric was stapled on.

After the wax cured for a day, I screwed the seat bottom back onto the frame. I absolutely love how she turned out!!

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3 of 10 comments
  • CJ CJ on Feb 22, 2021

    This is a lovely makeover!

    For those who want to replace the caneing, you can buy the caneing material already woven, by the roll. My Dad repaired my rocker after my two little boys took a toll on it. Dad also purchased new spline, I think that is the proper name for the narrow wood strip that hold the caneing in place.

  • Linda Linda on Feb 20, 2023

    So pretty! Nice work!