A new chair or sofa is a great way to revamp your home and give your interior some much-needed style. But a new chair or sofa often comes with a hefty price tag.
Luckily, it’s quite possible to spruce up your furniture without breaking the bank. There are plenty of ways to keep the cost of your new chair or sofa to a minimum – from DIY chair refinishing to simple makeover tips.
And if you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve rounded up five awesome chair makeover ideas that won’t break the bank.
1. Time for a Paint Job
There are plenty of creative ways to give your old furniture a new lease of life, but a new paint job is one of the easiest, and often the most budget-friendly. If you’ve got a few hours to spare, there’s absolutely no reason not to give your old chair a fresh new look with just a lick or two of paint.
We love the French chic look that the painted white furniture gives this room.
All it took was a nice paint job and a bit of creative imagination.
Tips For Paining Furniture
- Try Chalked by Rust-oleum which you can pick up either at your local store or get a can from Amazon to achieve a soft matt finish for hand-painted wood. For under $20 it’s a an inexpensive way to get a chic pinterest worthy look for tired old looking wooden chairs – or you could get some to just paint the chair legs and frame on a partially upholsered chair.
- For an ultra smooth professional finish, a good way to go is to invest in a good HVLP paint sprayer. I really recommend one of these. I’ve created a post here with a round up of the best ones on the market. Plus on that page I’ll give you a more in-depth explanation of what they can do, to help you decide if it’s worth getting one for your makeover project. Price-wise you can get a good paint sprayer for furniture for around just $45. I posted a photo of the great results I got with an HVLP sparayer.
- Whichever way you decide to go – preperation is key! So start with a sanded, clean, and grease-free suface. If you are spraying or painting outside, bugs and flies will inevitabley see it as the ideal place to land, so if you live in an area which is prone to alot of them, you should consider puting up a canapy of some sort to work under.
2. Rustic Chair Refinishing
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly makeover for your old chair, refinishing is a great choice. All you need is some wood filler, some sandpaper, and one or two coats of paint. Once you’ve given your old chair a new coat of paint, you can apply your own stain and finish, or simply let the natural color of the wood come through. This chair makeover is a great example of how to do the rustic and distressed furniture look.
One easy way to get the look is to lightly dip a sponge into your paint to apply, and then wipe off the excess with a cloth to allow the wood grain to show through. This is my go-to method and that’s how I got the look on my wooden floorboards below. (The photo was taken to show my Diamond Painting Kit, but you get the idea).
3. Old But Loved Chair? – New Fabric Make Over!
A new fabric chair cover is a great way to get a clean, unique look for your old chair. It’s a simple look, and perfect for adding a touch of style to a plain old chair that has seen better days.
This is not the cheapest option for revamping your old chairs but the choice of fabric you go for can make all the difference to the look of your room – so if you go down this route choose your fabric wisely. Get a couple of quotes from professional upholsterers and ask them for advice.
If your budget can’t stretch to having a professional upholsterer recover your chair or sofa you can have a go yourself.
A DIY fabric chair makeover is a great way to give a plain old chair a new look, without having to invest in any new furniture. You can really tailor your new look to suit your own style. This DIY fabric chair makeover above makes use of plain linen fabric and a sewing machine to create a unique look.
One way to get cost-effective fabric is to buy Ikea bedding (like linen, for example, not anything too thin) and make your own covers from the fabric. You can even use pillows for seat cushions.
So why not get out your sewing machine and make your very own stylish fabric chair?
4. Dip and Strip ‘Em
This method works well on old wooden chairs that have maybe had one paint or varnish job too many. The dipped and stripped effect will be vintage, rustic, and very chic looking if the wood is then left untreated.
I had a couple of bentwood chairs that I owned dipped and stripped and they came back looking gorgeous, bespoke, and shabby chic vintage, instead of just ‘seen better days’ old.
A word to the wise, the process is quite harsh so if your chair is delicate or slightly broken in any way the process may not be suitable and it does tend to dry the wood out so using wax or oil to treat the wood afterward would be a good idea.
5. DIY Upholstery
Now we’re getting into the more advanced territory – but don’t worry it’s perfectly possible to reupholster an old chair yourself. The key is to take lots of before shots, and then carefully disassemble the chair.
Remove and save the tacks and all fabric so that you can use the old fabric as a template to cut your new fabric choice to the correct shape. You may even be able to reuse the stuffing so check it first for its potential to be re-used before you decide to throw it away.
Treat the wooden frame first, a simple coat or two of chalk paint may be the easiest and most effective method to give your chair a fresh high-end designer look. And don’t worry, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials out there that can help you to make a good job.
5. Dress it Up
It’s not always about painting and reupholstering your furniture, and a chair makeover using fabric can be a fun, creative project. If you’re looking for a quick and easy makeover for your chair, you can use throws and cushions or throw pillows to decorate and dress a chair. Fabrics are a great way to bring a new look to a simple chair, and one that won’t cost you a fortune.
A good idea is to browse Pinterest for ideas before you buy. Choose a color scheme that you love, and that fits with your decor, and don’t be swayed by anything too cheap and cheerful.
Buy feather-filled pads for a more high-end look and a better overall shape. You’d be amazed at the difference it makes.
Do you have any photos of a chair makeover that you’d like me to show here or have you documented a chair makeover that you’d like me to feature? Just let me know below.