Saturday, 29 January 2011

How to Upcycle a Chair

Way back in December 2009, I wrote a post about upcycling a chair and using it as a unique Christmas present. Upcycling cheap furniture has been at the back of my mind ever since, and so when I found this chair in a charity shop for £3, my thoughts turned once again to paint, sandpaper, staple guns and spare fabric.

This time, I wanted to avoid shabby chic and instead go for something more sleek. I had a sample tin of black matt wall paint left over from when I painted a black and white scene earlier in the year (shhh... wall paint is cheaper than artist's acrylic and basically the same!), and thought it could be put to excellent use on the chair. I had also just purchased a scrap of fairly thick material from another charity shop, which just so happened to go well with the matt black! So the project was born.

Upcycling a chair takes about 2 hours from start to finish. Here are some basic instructions!

  1. Find a chair with a seat that can be removed (test it by pushing up under the seat).
  2. Use sand paper to remove the layer of gloss on the outside and to make a nice surface to paint on. You don't really need to be too thorough.
  3. Wipe all of the sandpaper dust off using a damp cloth.
  4. Paint all the wooden parts of the chair - you may need to give it a second coat, especially if you are using pale paint. Then leave to dry!
  5. Cut your fabric to size so that it fits the seat area (remembering you need enough to wrap around to the underside and possibly fold over for a neater finish).
  6. Hold it in place and use a staple gun or a hammer & tacks to nail the fabric to the wood on the underside of the seat. Mind your fingers!
  7. Once the chair is dry, slot the seat back into the frame!
  8. Find a nice corner to put your chair, for everyone to admire :).

I've just found a house to live in next year for uni (the most stressful thing ever!), and I'm looking forward to incorporating the chair into the room design - hopefully it won't be such a 'small space challenge' as this year is :).

Sadie xxx

P.S. Have any of you upcycled anything? I need inspiration for my next project!
P.P.S. I recently did an interview over at Dirt on Your New Shoes. I'd definitely advise having a look at Chloe's blog, which is filled with great outft inspiration!


life in the wendy house said...

I have always admired chairs like that in charity shops and thought about how nice they could be (: Thanks for the tutorial I may well give it a go!

Cherry Pullinger said...

It looks great!

Bethany said...

I read all of your posts but rarely ever comment (shame!) - your blog is SO unique compared to the rest that I follow, I love it. :) I love your fashion and your photography - keep it up! And maybe think about doing a video sometime so we (I'm in the US) can hear your accent? :D

katieafox said...

Love this! I'm looking out for a cheap chair like this to do the exact same thing as a project for the magazine I'm working on. Never seem to find them though! x

Helen said...

What a great idea - you've done such a fab job! Unfortunately I'm lacking in the similar ideas department ha. Also congrats on finding a house, it's such a massive weight off your shoulders isn't it x

Style and coffee said...

well done!

Sarah said...

I love this project! I'm always a bit terrified of doing things to furniture, but I'm definitely going to look around for things to upcycle now!

Sarah x

Gem said...

Looks fab, you did a great job! such a cheap way to create an expensive look xx

Victoria said...

Great post, I've got a few old chairs in the cellar, I may have to give this ago xxx

Merle said...

what a lovely blog! <3

Jade said...

This is such a great idea xx