DIY: Turn an Old Chair into a Room Staple

DIY: Turn an Old Chair into a Room Staple

Give an old, sentimental chair some new life with these DIY tips.

By: Selena Cate

Whether it’s an old recliner covered in a slightly dated fabric, or a weathered wooden patio chair, inherited furniture sometimes has an unmistakable “grandmother” style to them. These pieces, handed down with love, can have sentimental value and, with a little work, fit into our homes and become a staple in any room — if it hasn’t already.

With a little elbow grease, we can add some creativity to help update that old chair without taking away from the nostalgia we experience when curling up with a book in it. Try some of these DIY ideas to add new life to an aged chair and maybe even get inspired to breathe new life into some old furniture around your house.

Pillow Time
Adding a few pillows of different sizes and shapes with a fabric that matches your décor can be a super quick fix. A touching option could be to use fabric from a family wool blanket or a handmade quilt and make your own pillow covers. If you are short on time or sewing skills, you could even hire a local seamstress.

A Fresh Coat of Paint
Buying a quart of paint in a color that coordinates with your room is a fun way to update a wooden chair. Painting it entirely is an option, or you could paint just the wooden seat for a whimsical feel.

A New Seat
If you have a wooden chair with a fabric seat that can be easily removed with a few screws, this gives you the option to reupholster. Whether it’s just replacing the fabric or giving the chair an entirely new feeling, reupholstering a seat works wonders if you can do it.


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Get Rolling
Metal wheel casters can be added to a wooden chair that has wide, round legs at the base. Casters can be found new in a hardware store or antique store, if you want that vintage look. Because attaching casters will raise the chair slightly, it could be just the right fit for a craft room or workshop.

Stripping Back the Color
Removing paint is another option for adding life back into an old chair. Vintage painted chairs can hide beautiful wood grains like oak and French pine.

Bringing out the inner beauty of aged wood by stripping away the paint and adding a soft coat of varnish can really make the grain stand out and shine.

A little decorative paper and decoupage glue (which can be purchased at a craft store) can brighten up a wooden chair, too.

If you work together as a family in fixing up your chair, it creates a set of memories for your children to add to the piece’s history. You will be pleased with not only the chair’s sentimental value, but now you have the additional special experience with your own children.

Selena is a mother and the founder of Apron Thrift Girl, a blog devoted to living stylishly for less. She's an avid crafter and a gluten-free food lover based in the heart of Sonoma County, Calif.

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