Black, White and Striped All Over

One of the best ways to score an amazing set of dining room chairs is to not be so quick to judge when looking at antique chairs at a thrift store. Usually the chairs that you find have great bones but are faded or have been painted a color that you isn’t your taste.  I bought four matching wooden chairs and two chairs with a different shape to serve as a host and hostess chair at a thrift store recently and decided to give them a new lease on life using a satin black spray paint and some distressing to keep the antique look. I feel like I exceeded my goal and created a unique and chic set for my dining room. I complemented their new color with a graphic black and white striped fabric to really give them a Hollywood regency feel and I think these ladies are my new favorite pieces in the house.

Before I got my hands on her…
In all her distressed striped glory!












This project is a very easy transformation using very few tools and but makes a huge impact. You can do this to any type of chair that needs a new look to it dining chair, wing back chairs, even a wicker chair for your porch.

You will need:

  • screwdriver
  • staple gun/ remover
  • fabric
  • sand paper
  • spray paint
  1. Find your chairs. If you don’t already have them, find your fixer uppers using thrift stores, Good Will, or even Craig’s List to find a set of chairs that you like the shape of that can be repainted and reupholstered. You can even purchase four or six different chairs and connect them into a unique set by painting and recovering them the same way.
  2. Detach the seat from the frame. Each chair cushion should be held by screws that can be unscrewed from the bottom. Using the appropriate screwdriver, unscrew all the screws.
  3. Paint your chairs the desired color.Use long strokes and constantly move to avoid drips in the paint. (I did not sand my chairs but I did use Krylon black spray paint that has a primer and paint in one. It was about 4 dollars a can and totally worth it in my book not to have to sand . If you are not using a primer, lightly sand your surface and wipe down with a wet damp towel or tack cloth to remove debris before painting.) Use a mask and a well ventilated area. Sand in areas that you want the wood to show through.

    Lighly sanded in places where natural wear would show and to make the details stand out.
  4. Purchase Fabric. For my chairs I purchased 4 yards of fabric and it covered all 6 chairs perfectly. If your cushion is fine and just needs recovered you can place the new fabric right over the old. If the cushion is deteriorated, however, you will want to follow a few extra steps. Using pliers or a staple remover,  remove the old fabric from the cushion. If you need to replace the cushion, you can buy foam at Wal-mart or a local craft store. Cut the foam to size and place on the seat before covering. Place the seat onto your new fabric and cut  two inches away from the seat to allow enough to cover and staple under neath the seat.
  5. Recover the seat. Center the fabric onto the seat. Flip the seat over and pull the fabric tight stapling in the center of each side. Continue to staple every two inches around and make sure to fold in corners.
  6. Reattach seat to frame. Using a screwdriver and the screws you removed earlier, make sure the cushion is center before securing.

I chose to add a few extra chairs since my table accomodates eight. I painted and sanded them the same way so they are a family of chairs instead of a matching set.

A family of mismatched but perfect chairs!

I hope this helps anyone who has been wanting to change a chair in their life or has been looking for a set of chairs. What kind of chair have you redone lately?


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