Giggles and Glue Guns

Dumpster Diver's Diary: Dining Chairs

I’d say that around half of the furniture pieces and accessories in my home are from thrift stores, flea markets or best of all, from dumpsters! It really just giggles me pink to re-vamp things that I find for FREE on the side of the road. These two dining chairs were no exception. My boyfriend lugged them in one day in a sad state of  brown with some icky stained beige cushions. But there’s nothing that a quick coat of black spray paint and an easy home upholstery job couldn’t fix! Check it:

What You’ll Need:

  • Fabric to cover cushions – around 1 square yard per cushion, depending on size.
  • Spray paint (one can per chair for optimal coverage)
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper (optional)

Do It (refer to photos above):

  1. Unscrew the chair cushions from the base.
  2. Spray paint the wooden chair(s) with your choice of color. I roughed the chairs up a bit with some sand paper before I started painting to make sure the paint would stick. Make sure your can of spray paint says it’s suitable for wood.
  3. Lay your cushion face down on your fabric and cut around it, making sure there is ample fabric to wrap around side of cushion (photo 4 above) – much like wrapping a present!
  4. Start wrapping your cushion by folding the fabric around the edge of the cushion and securing with staples. Work at opposite sides to ensure a snug fit. Make sure you keep checking the top side of the cushion to see that the fabric grain is straight, etc. *Around the corners make neat folds, like hospital corners to ensure a snug and finished look. Remember the bottom of the cushion doesn’t matter, it won’t show – just concentrate on the top and sides looking perfect.
  5. Once you’ve securely stapled all four sides of the fabric around the cushion, trim the excess from the underside with scissors. Allow room for fraying if you’re using an unfinished fabric like burlap.
  6. Screw the cushion base back onto the freshly painted and dry chair base and voila!

  • Michelle Gilbert

    Love the rebirth you gave these chairs! So simple & chic. Some people see junk but it takes a real eye to see the second life something is meant to have :) We’re all about thrift stores, flea markets & free alley/dumpster finds in our house. Craigslist is a goldmine for stuff like that too – if you can get to it quick enough!

  • Jessica Day

    Love the chairs and all of the other great items around the room you can see in the pictures. I love going to a thrift store and finding something hideous and working a little spray paint magic.

  • Kathryn Potraz

    I’ve done this! Got a kitchen table and chairs for $25 at a garage sale, bought some spray paint and new fabric and voila! Easy and pretty.

  • Trudy Holtz

    oh my goodness! the couch is amazing for a kitchen! my favorite thing is thrift stores! i have a thrift problem. :)

  • Becky Campbell Collins

    Spray paint is a frugal decorator’s best friend! I recently updated some natural cherry looking mission style bookshelves that I’ve had for 1o years for 60 bucks worth of Krylon Everything paint (which is THE best) and everyone I tell can’t believe it. Great job! A little vision + free stuff = awesomeness!

  • Mr Kate

    Thanks for all your comments! So glad you like my cheap-chic chairs! Yay thrifting!

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