Giving Grandma’s Chairs a Facelift

I’m so glad I took the time to make a list of the projects I wanted to accomplish this spring. I’ve apparently decided to completely ignore it. But at least it’s there if I ever need it.

Actually, this particular project jumped the list because my daughter went to sit down on one of our dining chairs the other day, and fell through. (No injuries reported, but she was not very happy.) I was waiting to screw on the seats until I got around to painting the chairs. That was a few years ago, so I figured this was a signal from the universe that it was time to fix them.

Here’s what they looked like before.


Since you can’t see them in person I’ll give you the run down.  They were old, they were wobbly and overall just ugly.

I wanted to change the look to make them a little more modern, so I decided to add some fabric and trim.

My supplies included some fabric I already had on hand, some inexpensive trim from Home Depot, a glue gun and a brad nail gun.

First I created a fabric insert for the back. When I say insert I actually mean the back of Cheerios box.


I cut it to size and glued the fabric onto the cardboard.

Then I glued the cardboard onto the chair.


After I glued on the cardboard panel, I cut a flat piece of molding and glued that on to finish off the bottom. (I went back later and added a few nails to the sides for added stability.)


Paul helped me cut some additional molding to trim out the back edge. (I’m really not good at miter cuts.)


And apparently he’s not either…so I grabbed some caulk to clean up the edges and gaps.


After the back was done I started work on the front of the chair. I wanted to add padding to the seat back so I went into the basement and hauled out some old chairs I found on the side of the road. (Yes, I’m a trash collector, what can I say.) I ripped off the old fabric, which looked like this…


took out the foam pad underneath and cut it to size.


Then I glued my fabric onto the foam and then glued the foam onto the chair back.


I glued a flat piece of trim beneath the foam to match the piece I used on the back. (You can see it in the photo above.) Then I added two more small strips of molding to finish off the top and bottom edge.


I used glue to attach the wood pieces at first, but then came back with the nail gun to tack it on more securely.

After I finished making over the seat back, I added the navy fabric to the seat and gave the whole thing a new coat of paint.

Here’s the final product.


And the before and after so you remember where I started.


The good news is that now not only do they look better, but the seats are firmly screwed in place so I don’t have to worry about anybody ending up on the floor during dinner.

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4 thoughts on “Giving Grandma’s Chairs a Facelift

  1. Courtney says:

    Love this! They turned out so great!! You’re hilarious!! And obviously I love exclamation marks!! I enjoyed reading this so much 😉 and how sweet that your mum commented?! My mum reads mine, but isn’t techie enough to comment.

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