How to paint and cover a set of dining room chairs – makeover

chair makeover

My mother-in-law asked me a while ago to paint a set of four chairs for her, we went and bought a matching set of four chairs for £4! Yes, £4!!! They were old and a little damaged (or so I thought..) but as you may know, I like a bit of a challenge, so was definitely up for making them all nice and pretty!


I had these chairs in the shed for ages as I was so busy with other things that I never had time to do them and as I was using eggshell on these and not chalk paint, I needed to sand, prep and prime them first.  Unfortunately the weather has not been kind so I had to put them on hold.  One day the weather was so lovely I decided to finally start working on them. I knew they will be challenging but didn’t realise just how challenging…Tip of the day – Check the furniture before you buy it, if it is too good to be true then it probably is!

I started by cleaning the chairs, making sure they were nice and clean.

I then removed the seat pads.


The seats were in an awful state, the fabric was nailed to the chair, which turned out to be a bit of a challenge to get off, but it did come off ion the end.. Underneath there was an old tatty seat pad which I immediately threw out.


I filled all the visible gaps and cracks with some wood filler and once they were dry I sanded the chairs.


I then wiped the dust off with damp cloth.


Then the chairs were ready to be primed.  As I was priming the chairs I noticed small little holes appearing.  As the wood was dark I couldn’t quite see them before. At first I thought it was just the wood grain, but as I primed them all I saw that it was definitely not the grain… It was official, these chairs had some wood worm damage!

Damaged caused to timber by common furniture beetle

I checked the internet and read about wood worm, the treatment and how to fix the damage.  After checking there was no wood worm still alive in the chairs, I knew I had to fix the damage before I painted them. Back to square one!

There was no easy way out, I had to fill ALL the holes with wood filler.  So I went on to fill all the holes with the wood filler, let me tell you once the chairs were white you could clearly see the little holes all over the chairs.. It was quite upsetting as I didn’t realise just how bad they were. I was so upset I didn’t even take any photos of the process!!

After feeling sorry for myself I just went on with it.. One chair at a time, I put a generous layer of the wood filler over. I let it dry and came back to the chairs the next day to sand them and put a coat of primer on.


Then it was time to paint.  We chose a nice cream colour by Craig and Rose in shade Adam Cream.



I had forgotten how lovely it was to use this type of paint, as recently I have only been using chalk paint.  This paint was a dream to work with.  I put 2 coats on and as I missed a few bits, I went over and put an extra coat ( I think I was enjoying it too much!)



The paint was so nice, it wasn’t sticky and it didn’t have an awful smell either, it dried very quickly and left a nice smooth finish.


Then came time for the padding.  I ordered some tapered seat pads online and they were lovely.


As they were slightly too large so I had to cut them down using a Stanley knife.


I then put a layer of batting over it and glued it using hot glue gun.






When this was done, the pads were ready to be upholstered.

The chairs were going into a conservatory and my mother-in-law chose this fun fabric by Ashley Wilde  in seaside.

Elsie - Seaside Blue - £10.95 per metre

I put the fabric around the chair cushion and made sure that the pattern was placed nice and central.


I then cut out four pieces of fabric, making sure I give myself extra inch or so, just in case!


Make sure your fabric is nice and neat.


Place the fabric over the seat, turn it over and pull one side of the fabric and staple onto the wood. Make sure you hold your fabric so it is nice and tight. Once you have stapled one side, I normally go over to the opposite side and start there, so first I would do the top and then the bottom, followed by the sides. Again, make sure you slightly pull the fabric so it isn’t loose.


Pay extra attention to the corners, just pull and fold them over neatly and then staple in place. Then cut off the excess fabric.




Repeat the same steps on the other three seats.


Then it is time to attach the cushion to the wooden seat.  I used Gorilla glue to do that. First I sprayed some water on the seat and then put the glue on, the gorilla glue is activated by the water (please read instructions on the glue you use before you use it).



Then press the foam cushion on top of the wooden seat and put something on top of them, so they are fixed in place and leave them for an hour.

When the seats were firmly attached, it was time to glue them on the chairs themselves.  For this task I used my E6000 glue.


I put the glue on and then pressed the seat pads on.  I put some heavy books on top to press on and let it dry.



And then after a couple of hours when the glue was dry, the chairs were ready!!







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From Evija with Love SIGNATURE NEW

15 thoughts on “How to paint and cover a set of dining room chairs – makeover

  1. Another amazing transformation! Love the color of paint you chose for the chairs, and the cute whimsical fabric! All your hard work truly paid off! Thank you for sharing! It’s a pleasure to co-host #OhMyHeartsieGirlWW with you! Have a fantastic week!

  2. Hi Evija, your chair makeover project turned out so well, I love the fabric you chose, so cute!!!
    Thank you for Co-Hosting with the #OMHGWW this month again, I have loved getting to know you. I hope you enjoy your week!

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