DIY & Crafts, Projects

Chair makeover

November 10, 2013

Once upon a time … oh, say about 6 years ago, I bought this chair on clearance from Target. I thought it was GREAT! Matt, on the other hand, was less than excited about it … from the beginning. I’m pretty sure it was like $45, and at the time … I thought it looked just great in our condo.

Here it is …

Chair ... 'before'

Chair … ‘before’. I guess it has seen better days.

Just look at that cute model on the chair …

Owen posing on the chair at 6 months old (back in our condo).

Owen posing on the chair at 6 months old (back in our condo).


Matt hates that chair for a variety of reasons, but number one is the fact that it’s ‘suede’. He hates suede. I once bought a suede Christmas pillow, and it did not last the Christmas season that year. I’m pretty sure the cushion on this chair is actually microfiber, but telling him that helped zero.

None the less, the chair survived our move from the condo, and now resides in a corner of our new house. It’s currently sitting in the room that we’re still trying to decide what to do with, and occasionally serves as the ‘time out’ chair.

Our 'time out' chair.

Our ‘time out’ chair.

Matt was threatening to bring it to Goodwill on the last trip. Good thing it didn’t fit in the car :). It was then I decided I had better update this chair, or it was unlikely to survive the winter in our house.

So … my plan? Paint it white and recover the cushion. Easy enough, right? Actually, this time this seemingly easy project really turned out to be just that … SUPER easy!

Here’s the details:

First … for the cushion cover:

1. Remove cushion from chair with 6 screws.

Secured onto frame with 6 screws.

Secured onto frame with 6 screws.

2. Measure top surface of cushion as well as depth and cut fabric accordingly:

This chair happened to be somewhat of a trapezoid (hello, high school geometry … ). Front was 29″, back edge was 25″ corner to corner, and the sides were 24″. The depth was just over 3″. Here’s the math I used for determining how large to cut the fabric: add two times your cushion depth + 2″ to each of the four side dimensions. This will allow you to cover the top surface, thickness of the cushion, and 2″ extra to tuck under and secure under your cushion.

Therefore, our measurements were:

  • Front edge: 29″ + 10″ (3″ + 2″ = 5″ x 2 = 10″) = 39″
  • Back edge: 25″ + 10″ = 36″
  • Side edges: 24″ + 10″ = 34″ each
Fabric cut to size (extra 10" on each side)

Fabric cut to size (extra 10″ on each side)

3. Cut squares out of each corner. These squares should each be the thickness (3″ in our case) + 2″ (= 5″ in our case).

Cut squares out of each corner.

Cut squares out of each corner.

4. Sew edges on each corner together, right sides facing, to create corner seams.

With right sides facing, sew a corner seam.

With right sides facing, sew a corner seam.

The corner seams will look similar to those on our current cushion cover:

Corner seams

Corner seams on current cover

5. Fit new cover over current cushion (and cross your fingers that your math was correct, and it fits …):

Perfect fit!  Hooray!

Perfect fit! Hooray!

6. Flip over cushion, pull fabric as tight as possible, and staple along edges.

Now for the frame:

1. Sand all edges that will be visible. Matt did the sanding in the garage (thank you!!!). I just brought it in to paint it … on the kitchen table, obviously.

Sand all edges that will be visible

Sand all edges that will be visible

2. Wipe down all sanded edges to ensure they’re dust/debris free.

3. Paint! We used Benjamin Moore’s Cloud White (left over from kitchen paint project).

I used a mini roller made for cabinets or doors. I ended up applying three coats.

mini rollers

mini rollers

4. Next step, remove toddler from dog’s water dish:

Hi mom, how's the painting going?  Just thought I'd put my foot in Molly's dish ...

Hi Mom, how’s the painting going? Just thought I’d put my foot in Molly’s dish here for a minute …

Oh, wait … that one had nothing to do with this chair project, except for distracting me from my painting ..

5. Let dry, and reattach covered cushion … mission accomplished!



So much brighter, and better, right? And best of all … no more suede! Actually, Matt was slightly disappointed that the suede was still under the new cover. He was hoping I ripped it off before recovering. Seriously … I’m hoping he was joking :)

Add a bright pillow? Yes, please …

Back in it's corner

Back in it’s corner

Let’s recap:


Before and After

Before and After

Chair makeover complete!


Want to see more furniture make overs? Check out this link party for more great inspiration:

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Corey @ Tinysidekick November 11, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Love this transformation! I used that fabric on my dining chairs when I reupholstered them! Love it. Great job! Pinning :)

    • Reply Katie November 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks, Corey!! I love this fabric! I bought enough for several more projects around the house! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment!

  • Reply the cope on the corner November 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    that chair looks awesome now, you have totally saved it.

    • Reply Katie November 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks! I love how it turned out … glad we didn’t donate it! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Mandy Hank November 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Katie, I love this chair- Your fabric choice is awesome! I am featuring this on my blog tomorrow! Thank you for linking up to Get Your DIY On this past week. I hope you’ll join us tomorrow with your Holiday Signs :)

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog

  • Reply Bette @ Somerset Lane January 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I love the after! Great fabric! Good thing there was no room in the car! :)

  • Reply Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney January 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    That chair looks great!! And I love the material you choose. This is a great tutorial, I’ve been wanting to recover my dinning room chairs for awhile now and have to to scared to attempt it.

    What was I thinking getting chairs with white fabric! But that was BK (before kids). They have stained up those chairs, and I’m to embarrassed to even show them.

  • Reply Sonnet @ SohoSonnet Creative Living January 10, 2014 at 2:31 am

    GREAT JOB! This is the cutest chair! I didn’t absolutely hate the original chair so I was excited to see what you did with it and WOW you really took it up a notch. Bravo, it is great. Love love love.

    You should really submit the final chair picture and your XOXO pillows to, both would be accepted no problem. Do it do it!!

    • Reply Katie January 10, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      dwellgawker … this is a new one?? I’ll check it out now … thanks (again) for the tip! :)

  • Reply Carol January 27, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for the pointers on the corners. I was wondering if you tried to just pull the fabric around and staple it without the corners (that’s what I was planning to do for my dining room chairs)? I don’t want it to be bulky, but there are 8 chairs and if it’s an unnoticeable difference it might be worth saving the time…opinion on that?


    • Reply Katie January 27, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Hi Carol …
      Thanks for the question. Hmmm … I’m not entirely sure how it would work without sewing the corners like I did. I think the thinner the cushion pad, the less need there is to sew a seam. If your chair cushions are relatively thin, I think you could get away with just pulling it tight, wrapping like a present, and stapling. You could always try with one corner first and see how it goes???

      I’d love to know what you find out. Good luck, and keep me posted!


  • Reply 15 Modern Furniture Makeovers - SohoSonnet Creative Living January 31, 2014 at 10:02 am

    […] 2. View From the Fridge – Modern Chair Makeover […]

  • Reply Amy W March 2, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    What a stunning transformation! That fabric is so lovely. I’m so so glad you shared this post with us all, it’s such an inspiration. Please be sure to share at our link it or lump it party if you haven’t yet!
    Amy W recently posted…Link it or Lump it, No. 28My Profile

    • Reply Katie March 4, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Hi Amy! Thanks for stopping over. I’ve already linked up several projects at your party, but why not add another?!? :) Thanks for the great party, and I’ll be stopping over! Have a great week!

  • Reply 25 Amazing Trash to Treasure Projects! {Get Your DIY On Features} - Just a Girl and Her Blog March 16, 2014 at 4:01 am

    […] Chair Makeover by Katie at View from the Fridge {Abby’s pick} […]

  • Reply 25 Amazing Trash to Treasure Projects | Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer March 16, 2014 at 4:01 am

    […] Chair Makeover by Katie at View from the Fridge {Abby’s pick} […]

  • Reply Amazing Furniture Makeovers April 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    […] at View from The Fridge saved this Target clearance chair from being thrown out by her husband with paint, reupholstery and […]

  • Reply 20 Awesome Upcycled Projects - The Happy Housie July 11, 2014 at 5:56 am

    […] Chair Makeover at View From the Fridge […]

  • Reply Kristi September 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Oh wow! SUCH a fabulous transformation!!! LOVE the crisp white with that gorgeous blue!
    Kristi recently posted…A Look Back at our Mountain Top WeddingMy Profile

    • Reply Katie September 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks, Kristi! It was a project I did last Fall, but I’m SO glad I did! Thanks for stopping my!

  • Reply Sonja @ SustainMyCraftHabit July 29, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Great choices for paint colour and cushion fabric. The new chair is way more fun!
    Sonja @ SustainMyCraftHabit recently posted…Five Math Games with ShopkinsMy Profile

    • Reply Katie July 29, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks!! I agree … new chair is WAY more acceptable in our home!

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge