Accent Chair Makeover!

Categories: Chairs, DIY Projects, FurnitureTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

We have this wonderful little accent chair that has been in our dining room for years, but we were getting bored with the way it looked. At the same time, we also wanted to add some color to the room…so, for a while now, we were wondering what to do with it. 

Once again, we were walking through the fabric store, when we saw a great bright paisley. One of Alberto’s favorite design ideas is to add bright colors to an otherwise conservative room palate, or use unconventional items in a very conventional way. This is exactly what we needed to do with the little chair!

We decided to paint it orange, upholster the seat with the bright exotic paisley we found at the store and place it in a prominent place in the dining room!

Here’s what we needed to recreate the chair:


  • Fabric (We bought 1/2 yard.)
  • Foam (You’ll need enough to cover seat, so measure.  We reused what was on the chair.  As the guy in the fabric store said, “If it’s still good, use it!”)
  • Batting (We needed about 1/2 yard.  Try asking the fabric store if they have remnants.  Sometimes they’ll sell you these pieces for less so that they can get rid of it.  We just used what was left over from other projects.)
  • Paint (For this chair, we only needed a quart, but we bought 2 quarts because oranges and reds usually require at least 3 to 4 coats!)

This is what we needed on hand to finish it:

  • Staple Gun
  • Paint Sprayer (You can use a brush, or a can of spray paint.)
  • Pliers

Let’s makeover the chair:


  • The first thing I had to do was remove the cushion from the chair.  I had originally upholstered the seat about five years ago, and never attached it.  So I simply removed the bottom of the chair.
  • I took the chair base outside, loaded up my paint sprayer with the paint and proceeded to paint the chair.  (I always paint first because you always need multiple coats of paint.  You can work on the rest of the project while the coats dry. If you don’t have a paint sprayer, [and why would you?], you can use a paint brush or a can of spray paint.)

Upholstering the Seat:


  • After removing the old fabric from the seat bottom, I place it face down on the batting to use it as a template.  Then, I cut the batting about 1-inch larger than the template.  (We chose to have the batting go to just the bottom edge.  You could make it longer, and wrap it around on the bottom.  Personal choice.)
  • Then, we needed to decide on the pattern for the center of the seat. After picking a bright flower, I tacked a few staples on the underside to hold the fabric in place and turn the seat over to ensure that the pattern is centered on the seat.
  • I finish off by pulling everything taught and stapling the fabric all around the seat.

Time for a cocktail!

We were waiting on the paint to dry, so what’s left to do but have a cocktail?!!!  We were watching a TV program that showed a drink called “Garden in a Glass.” It’s basically muddled vegetables with liquor (think Bloody Mary.)  Unfortunately we needed to go to the supermarket… If you know us, laziness certainly won out, and we decided to just have a glass of Pinot Grigio.  Maybe next time!

Putting It Together (Sondheim is a god and we must get his new book!)

  • At this point, all we need to do is make sure that the chair is well painted. (Paint as many coats as necessary, and be careful of drips.  If you see any drips, use very fine sandpaper and reapply the paint.)
  • All that was left to do was placed the cushion on the chair and secure it down.

Now all we need is a dinner party to show off our new chair!

Well, the holidays are approaching . . .

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