megan: dining chair upcycle

+Megan Williams is a dear luxe|wise friend featured on the blog today. We hope you enjoy reading about her nifty thrifty way of life, and as always feel free to comment with any questions that pop up as you read on. 


Hey y’all! I’m coming to you from the great state of Texas, and I am super excited to share with you one of my favorite things to do:  spruce up some old furniture.  And I am thankful that my husband (Joey) also enjoys doing this.  We have repurposed (or upcycled) many pieces of furniture in our home, and it has given us some very unique things for a VERY low cost! And so I would love to share with you how we do it!  So, I’m gonna jump right into it….

A couple of weeks ago Joey and I bought a desk.  I am a photographer, and I needed a place to keep things organized to work on editing.  Long story short, we found a desk at First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas (it’s a MASSIVE three days of trade every month with hundreds of booths selling antiques, crafts, furniture, clothing, etc., and it is one of my ALL TIME favorite places to find things.)  We got a steal of a deal on a very cute desk (that I am currently sitting at), but realized I now needed a chair to fit with it. 

My mom had this chair (the one on the left) sitting in her garage and so she gave it to me for FREE! (woot woot!)  And I had 2 of these chairs (on the right) from First Monday Trade Days that I purchased a couple of years ago, both for $20 total. 

             First, I purchased some fabric to cover the seats from Hobby Lobby.  You need about half a yard of fabric per seat cover.  I spent about $5 on two different pieces of fabric to cover the seats.  I already knew I wanted to do a bright blue color on the chairs so I picked fabrics that would be a good match. 

To take the seat cushions off all you have to do is flip the chair over and unscrew the 4 screws holding it in. To do this, you only need a screwdriver and your hands.
After the seats are off you can either pull off the current fabric on the seat, or you can just put the new fabric over the existing. My cushions had been recovered before so I pulled off the old fabric before adding mine. I wrapped the cushions with the new fabric and then cut it to make sure it fit, and then I used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the seat. 
** Make sure you pull the fabric tight and staple all around the outside of the seat to ensure that it stays and doesn’t move around.  Here are my recovered seat cushions…

Next, Joey sanded the chairs down.  We have an electric sander, which helped since we were doing three chairs, but it can be hand sanded as well.  You mainly want to make sure that you rough it up as much as possible so that the new paint will adhere to the chair.  Roughing up basically means taking off the smooth finish on top.  After it was sanded, we wiped the chairs down to get all of the dust off to so that the paint would go on smoothly. 
This is what we used to paint and antique the chairs.  They can both be bought at Home Depot.      

We used a can and a half of spray paint on the three chairs.  This spray paint covers very well but make sure you let it dry a little bit and then check on it again to make sure you didn’t miss any spots.  

It takes about 24 hours to fully dry (less time if it’s hot, more if it’s cold.)  
*Make sure the paint is fully dry (not sticky) before the next step.

If you want that “antique” look then the next thing you will need to do is sand down some areas of the chair.  I focus on the edges and some small areas on the flat surfaces of the chair.  The reason we do this is because when you put the glaze over the paint it will sit down into those sanded areas and give it that cool worn look. 

After I sanded down the areas I liked, we glazed the chairs.  You will need a small throwaway non-foam paint brush and you will paint on a thin layer of the glaze to a small area of the chair.  Then you take a rag or an old t-shirt and lightly wipe off the glaze.  There should be a darker tint from the glaze left on the chair.  The harder or lighter you wipe the glaze off will change the contrast on the chair.  So play around with a small area and see what look you like. 

* The glaze will change the color of the paint a little bit.  We used a brown glaze on these chairs, which darkened the blue.  There are also more colors of glaze available. We have also used a black glaze on other pieces.

After the glaze is dry, reattach the seat cushions the same way you took them off.  This was a super easy, super inexpensive weekend project.  And the most time consuming part was waiting for it to dry!  And now we have some beautiful unique chairs to add to our dinner table and to use as my desk chair. Here are the before and after pics of both chairs…

Thanks for checking out this blog post!! If you upcycle or repurpose a piece of furniture make sure and share it with the luxe|wise family!