DIY Chair Refurbish

I’m gonna be honest with you.

I love DIY. I’m inspired by DIY.  I long to be a DIY person.

The reality?

Unless I jump on the project the moment I become inspired, and finish that project right away, it will sit for ever and a day before I finish it.

Like most things in my life, I’m easily inspired but have a hard time to start and finish.  Whether it be because of time, money, energy or lack of materials for me to actually get a project done is a miracle. My sons room is a perfect example of DIY for me, it took until a little over a month ago to get it finished and I started in August 2013….. excruciatingly slow!

My friend Renee though?

She’s a go getter (along with her husband).  They have an incredible gift of creativity marked with amazing talent and motivation.


Today with Renee’s permission I’m featuring a DIY chair refurbish that I had a (very) small hand in helping with.

In fact, I have a chair that is going to be handed down to me from my father, which was his fathers that is similar to this one and although it may take a LONG time to get it done, I’m planning on doing a similar refurb.

This was done months ago, before this blog or the thought of this blog so this isn’t going to be a proper tutorial because I didn’t photograph each step in detail.  It could probably serve as a very rough outline of how to accomplish it, paired with some youtube tutorials you could get this done as well! We used some Youtube videos as a guideline, and were very happy with how it turned out.  It was definitely a lot of work, but well worth it!

So without further ado:

This is what the chair was before she started.

Chair Refurb Chair Refurb

They took the chair completely apart, sanded down the frame and re-stained it, the reassembled it with better reinforcements then was there before.

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This is when I come into the picture.  One summer day we set aside the entire day to drink coffee and work on getting this project finished.  Renee brought the chair and all the materials over and we got to work.

The materials we used were (I’m not sure of all the technical names, so hopefully you get the drift with the pictures haha):

  • Staple gun
  • Small nails
  • Foam
  • Batting
  • Vinyl
  • Burlap
  • Nail spacer (the white spatula looking tool)
  • Hammers.
  • The metal strip in the picture was for the back of the chair – no idea what it’s called but she bought it at a furniture refurb supply store.

Chair Refurb

The night before coming over Renee made some piping for the back of the chair out of the vinyl material.  She also made wide strips of the burlap for the back of the chair.

The first step was covering the seat and the back with burlap.  We used small nails to secure it.  This doesn’t have to be nice or fancy, it’s all getting cover anyway.  The important part is making sure it’s tight and secure to provide some resistance when sitting on the chair. To get it tight enough we secured it to the outside of the frame.

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Next we cut out the foam and covered that with batting.  The batting was secured with staples. Chair Refurb Chair Refurb

Then we weaved the strips of burlap onto the back of the chair, taking care to make them as tight as possible.  Again this doesn’t have to be nice or fancy, just tight and secure. We used staples for this.

Chair Refurb

Now onto the vinyl.  This is when you’ll need to refer to some youtube videos or other tutorials for a real good step by step.  I’m missing several step by step pictures because we were so focused on getting it right I forgot to take pictures!

It was hard for us to cut the corners of the vinyl and understand how it needed to be cut to be able to lie nicely and look good.  We watched and re-watched this video to help us.

First we laid out the vinyl to get a rough estimate of where to cut it down to a better size for the seat of the chair. Then we put some anchor staples in the front and back.  You’ll want to secure it to the bottom of the chair. After securing the front and back make the cuts in the corners and tuck them in at the frame.  Once that’s done, alternate pulling the fabric and securing it with nails or staples on each side.

Chair RefurbChair Refurb

We weren’t sure how to do the back of the seat around the frame so we left that until the end.  Next we did the back of the chair.  We put foam and then the vinyl.  Again we put some anchoring nails to hold it in place while we figured out how to secure it.  This was tough because of the rounded top and the arm rests.  We decided to take the gap out of the bottom back of the chair and extend the material to the bottom of the seat.  We had to do a lot of playing around with the vinyl to make it lay in a way that looked good.

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Next up was placing the metal band with the piping around the back.  We used the staple gun and stapled it every couple holes.

Chair Refurb

Then cover the back with batting on the inside of the metal band.

Chair RefurbThen putting the vinyl on the back.  This is where the metal band comes into play, the side of the band sticking out has teeth on it to catch the fabric and secure it again the chair.  Starting at the top middle place the edge against the teeth and use a rubber mallet to gently (very gently) bend the teeth in.  Do this all the way around the back.

Chair Refurb

Once that’s done flip the chair and secure the bottom.  Then we used black fabric to hide the bottom of the chair and make everything look polished.

Chair Refurb

The final step was putting some embellishments along the legs.

Chair Refurb

That’s it! Here’s the finished project.

Chair Refurb Chair Refurb

This chair is so comfy and one day it’ll look great in a nursery!

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