How to Paint and Reupholster an Old Chair

You can often find old chairs at garage sales or thrift stores and often they don’t look like much. But when you visualize them with a new coat of paint and bright, colorful upholstery, then you may have found a real bargain. It takes very little to transform a chair, as long as it is in sound condition and needs very little, if any, structural repair. If it has an upholstered seat, all the better.

Many people buy mismatched chairs to paint and reupholster for their dining room table because it adds more visual interest. Start by deciding what fabric pattern you want to use and then choose a color paint to go with it. There are a few tips to both the painting and the reupholstering so that you love the results.

Let’s start with the painting because that should be done before the upholstery. Take the upholstered seat off first; usually it will be just set into the chair frame. Here’s what you will need to get started.

  • Palm sander
  • Sand paper
  • Primer
  • Paint – best to use an indoor or outdoor Hi-gloss enamel
  • Paint brush

See the painting instructions on the next page.

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