Garage Sale Chair Makeover


This is the story of four neglected, filthy, rickety dining room chairs.  I don’t know what possessed me to buy them except they were super cheap. Do you do that? Do you buy things sometimes just because they’re a super good price?

I read somewhere that if you wouldn’t be willing to pay $100 for something, you shouldn’t buy it because it means you don’t love it enough. In other words, only purchase things that you love enough that you would pay good money for them (not that those things have to be expensive).  Does that make sense?

Okay so back to those chairs. I found these at a yard sale last summer and the gal was asking $5 for each chair.  They were really dirty looking but for some reason, I couldn’t walk away from them. I asked if she would take $15 for all four and she agreed.

Here is one of the chairs before:



See what I mean about dirty? Gross!



This was before I had ever tried chalk paint. So I sanded every one of these babies:



Not so gross now…

Then I painted them, applied  new foam to the seat panels, and covered each one.

Here is how they turned out:

Dining Room Chair makeover


I love the fabric. I was prepared to pay the sale price of $18.99/yard for it but when I got to the register, it rang up $8.99/yard! Woot woot!



Here they are in my teeny tiny dining room:

Dining room






This little lamp got a mini makeover to match:



The parson’s chairs were a Craig’s List find. I made coordinating slipcovers using the chair fabric as piping:

slip covered parson's chair


My two year old loves mirrors. He dances in front of them, rides his car past them, you name it. This was from my old house and just hanging out in the garage so we brought it in here for him. Its just his size!





Much better?  I’m a bit glad I sanded them because I know there is no grime hiding under the paint!  They really brightened up my dining room. Here is what I used to have in here. This picture was taken a couple of years ago at Christmas:



And now:



Much better. I might even pay $100 for them now:)






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  1. Beautiful job sis

  2. I love the fabric you used! The chairs are totally transformed. Plus, the piping on the parsons chair is such a great touch!

  3. I love it! What a find. That fabric really sets everything off. Very cute!

    Feel free to link up with me for {MoonSHINE Monday}!

    Amber @ The Honeysuckle Bus Stop

  4. Hi Christy! Wow! I’m so excited to have found you just now on NotJustaHousewife! You can’t imagine how timely your post is. Last year I picked up the ugliest chairs (seriously, they make your’s look like thrones) and they’ve been sitting around getting uglier by the minute. Last week I decided I HAVE to do SOMETHING but my challenge is the seats can’t be removed. Anyway…this post has motivated me and while I don’t imagine they will come out nearly as pretty as yours (they’re occasional chairs used for extra seating), you’ve inspired me to get my butt in gear.

    The fabric is lovely and you did such a great sewing job with the piping, etc. And the lampshade! Geez, you’re one talented lady. I’ll be back for more 🙂

    • Thanks Doreen for that very sweet comment! Comments like that seriously make my day! These chairs were so dirty and ugly before but I really wanted to lighten up my dining room. The chairs I had in there were so heavy! This was an inexpensive solution. I’m really happy with how they turned out! Good luck with your chairs:)

  5. My daughter has chairs similar to this and yours are in 100% better shape than hers. The caning has fallen apart. She is currently using chair covers on them. However, I want to help her refinish them. I am thinking of putting in some board where the caning was, and then cover that w/foam, and reupholster the back along with the seats, and of course give them a fresh coat of paint too. I also thought about using webbing or old ties or something like that for the backs. What are your thoughts. You do awesome things.
    your sectional sofa was OVER THE TOP!! Well done.

    • Thanks for that vote of confidence Kris! I usually just go for it. I think your plan could totally work! What does she have to lose if they’re already in poor condition? You could upholster the front and back right over the caning if its not too damaged and trim it out with some pretty trim to hide your edges. Have you tried to google “How to replace caning”? It seems intimidating but it may not be too hard of a task once you see how its done. Go for it and good luck, I bet you’ll make them look beautiful!

  6. These came out great! But what really caught my eye is your shutters on your window – I adore those! Beautiful dining room!

  7. Your chair maker over is awesome. They look like new! Pinning:)

  8. Good job on the chairs, they look great! I have a small amount of that fabric and have been hoarding it because I love it so much!

  9. They are beautiful! I love the new fabric. What a difference…grunge to gorgeous for sure!
    Saw you sharing at EC2 link party.
    Debbie 🙂

  10. These are beautiful! I’m working on a cane back settee right now. Just looking around for inspiration. I’d love for you to come link up to our party where we can show off all of our old projects! 🙂– Jessica

  11. Hi Christy! I just discovered your website and love it! Wondering if you be putting up a tutorial on the slip covers for the parson’s chairs you did! Those are so beautiful!

    • Funny you should ask… I took pictures step-by-step, by have yet to put together a post! I actually slip covered a couple of similar chairs for my mom and that’s what I took photos of. I guess you’ve given me the push I needed to get that post done lol! I’m working on recovering my outdoor cushions, but will get to that soon, I promise:) I’m so glad you found me! 🙂

  12. My husband and I have the SAME chairs! They are the same color and everything with old baby blue cushions, we are definitely trying to do something with them. BUT, we have the whole set, table included. The table top is brown and the rest is the same color as the chairs. And it’s pretty big, there is a leaf included so it stretches out quite a bit, also the legs are bulky. I really like the white and black look, that’s what my husband had in mind, but, he only wanted to paint the table top black and leave the rest alone, but seeing your results makes me want to re do it all! We are both in our mid 20’s and our apartment started to feel like our grandparents house with the antique like furniture lol. I love this idea a lot.
    Were the cushions hard to take off? Thanks in advance! Soooo glad I found your webiste! 🙂 Cheers from San Antonio.

    • Another thing! The back of the chair, “cane back”, is really old and starting to tear and come apart, do you have any suggestions on how to take it all off to add make like a cushion back, or just repair it. Thanks!


      • The cushions weren’t hard to take off at all. They are held on by screws on the bottom. Replacing the cane seems difficult, but google how to do it. It isn’t as hard as it sounds and the cane back is what I loved about these chairs. I used spray paint for these. I would recommend priming first if you decide to spray them, especially the cane part to prevent paint from flaking off. I’m actually on my second set now, a dining set I redid from the thrift store with chalk paint. You can check it out here: I also share how to recover chairs and add piping which I include a link for in that post! I wish I was just starting out again. There is so much cool stuff out there that can be found for cheap and made gorgeous with paint! 🙂

        • Thank you for responding!! I have searched how to take thw back off and you are right, it doesn’t seem that difficult. I can’t wait to start on them. I will share the process on my Google+ profile like I have with the coffee tables. I really love how your chairs turned out! 🙂