How to up-cycle a dining chair

Looking for a simple DIY project to flex your creativity muscles? Follow this simple DIY and create a beautiful new dining chair out of an old one.

Hello friends! How are you? I hope that you are all keeping well at this time. We are busy juggling home schooling, childcare/entertainment and work at the moment. Pretty much like everyone else! It’s been tough at times but also good to have such concentrated family time – and I’ve found out that my eldest (who is only 5 years old), is actually quite handy with a crafting paint brush. Who knew?!

With that in mind, I’m excited to share a DIY project that I completed over the May Bank holiday weekend with you today. If you are looking for an easy way to update some old dining chairs, then stay tuned as this project works well for beginners.

Before we begin, I must make a full disclaimer and let you know that the fabric I used was from The Yorkshire Fabric Shop and they kindly sent me some fabric as a gift to use in this DIY. The chair and all other resources used, such as the paint, were purchased by me. Anyway with that bit over, let’s get to it!

This is the dining chair that I started out with. It was in good condition but the seat pad had some stains on it and it was showing lots of wear and tear on the wood.

The first thing that I did was to wash the dining chair down with a wet cloth to remove any dust or surface marks (I have two small boys so there are always sticky fingerprints over things). After this, I removed the seat pad and then sanded the wooden frame by hand with some sandpaper. I got lucky with the seat as it popped out very easily and so this bit of the DIY was fairly easy. After that, I painted the chair in 2 coats of Neptune’s Charcoal paint in eggshell. I had some of this paint left over from a previous DIY I completed a few weeks’ ago as I had used it to paint our office desk. (I’ll be sharing the tutorial for this DIY too after we have finished re-decorating the office as it’ll be part of a bigger ‘before and after’ post).

Once the chair frame was painted, it was time to get to work covering the seat pad. My first job was to remove the previous fabric, which had been stapled into place with an upholstery stapler. I highly recommend that you use a staple remover and upholstery staple gun for this project. I bought both as a pack on Amazon for £17

I used a fabulous velvet fabric for this project. It’s from The Yorkshire Fabric Company’s Freedom printed velvet fabric collection in a chevron stripe. The main colours are pink, green and blue, which will brighten up my dining chair no end! The fabric is of a fairly heavy weight, which makes it perfect for upholstery or curtain making.

My seat had a piece of hessian fabric over its base. I removed this first as carefully as I could so that I could re-use it again once I had stapled the new fabric in place. It means that the underneath of the chair has a polished, professional finish as you can’t see where the fabric has been stapled around the seat pad.

It was really, really tricky to get all of the staples out as they had been stapled very close together and straight down instead of at an angle. Therefore after removing the hessian backing, I decided to cut the fabric off the seat pad as close to the staples as possible instead of removing each staple.

After I had cut off the fabric, I spread it out onto the wrong side of the new fabric and drew around it roughly. I added on an additional 5cm to the edge of the fabric before I drew my line to make sure that I had enough fabric to cover the seat pad and also go up around the edges to the base of the seat.

I used the staple gun to secure the fabric in place and then stapled the hessian backing to the base of the seat.

This is how the chair turned out. I was very pleased with it! It was a very easy DIY (apart from removing the original staples!) which is good, as I have a second chair to paint and cover now:

What do you think? Tempted to give it a go yourself? Let me know in the comments if you’ve been working on any DIY projects around the home recently.


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