I found two, heavy metal patio chairs out on the curb in a richer neighborhood in my area with a sign that read “FREE” taped on them. They are really nice, sturdy chairs, and we have a tiny, empty patio that needed some sprucing up. So, this was a perfect start. I did some research and looked-up about how much patio chairs like the ones I found would cost and found pricing anywhere from $100 to $300.
The chairs I found are identical––this is a before picture of one of the chairs:
These are the supplies I needed:
1 yd of fabric – $8.99 at Hobby Lobby . . . with a 40% coupon found online = $5.40
1 bottle of outdoor/indoor black spray paint – around $4 (I had another bottle in my apartment, but depending on how much you’re painting, normally I would’ve gotten 2 bottles just to be safe)
Stapler gun – I didn’t have to buy a stapler gun. It’s normally pretty easy to find someone to borrow it from, or if you do end up buying one, it’s a good investment you won’t have to worry about again if you do a lot of crafty projects.
So, I spent about $10 to redo someone’s “trash” chairs that would’ve cost me $100+ to buy otherwise.
Steps to Revamp:
1. Measure the cushion to find out how much fabric is needed
Flip the seat over and measure starting where the fabric ends on the bottom, bring it across the top and end where the fabric ends on the bottom of the other side (so you’ll measure enough fabric to staple onto the back and cover the entire seat). Measure both ways across from the widest points on the seat. So, this seat was about 26 inches from left to right and 25 inches from top to bottom.
There’s 36 inches in a yard from left to right (and that’s the fabric folded over on itself… so you’re really getting 72 inches of fabric laid out flat).
2. Give your chairs a good scrub down or sanding so the paint will go on as smooth as possible and make sure they have time to dry or dry them off with a towel before you paint.
3. Paint your chairs outside either in the grass or I did it on my patio with old sheets under it.
Above was one of the chairs before I painted it and after I wiped it down. It’s rusty, brown and chipped looking. Below is the chair after I painted it…
I just went around each chair with the spray paint 3 times without stopping. Just be thorough and hit all the spots you can’t necessarily see from every angle.
4. Reupholster the seats.
Lay the fabric out flat, place the seat on top of the fabric and cut about 1 1/2 inches around the seat. This way you leave enough fabric to staple over to the bottom.
5. Keep your seat on the fabric and flip your seat so the bottom is facing up. Make sure the side of the fabric you want seen on the seat is currently against the ground, so whenever you finish stapling and flip the seat right-side-up the correct side of the fabric will be facing out.
Optional: I left the current fabric on and upholstered over it simply to keep the foam and backing compactly held together. However, you can remove the old staples and fabric and move onto the next step. It’ll be basically the same thing just a little more difficult and/or time-consuming.
6. Simply pull about every 1/2 inch as tight as you can and staple the fabric that way all the way around. Chances are it will bunch up and overlap on the bottom of the seat in order to keep it smooth and fitting around the sides.
This is a before and after of what it will look like after you staple on the fabric…
7. Place your reupholstered seats onto your patio chairs and you’re done!