Refreshing Vintage: Chair Makeover


In the past few years, an increased demand for vintage has left prices up and inventory down. It’s harder to find that diamond in the rough. So, when I found this chair for less than twenty dollars, I was excited. It reminded me of the Circle Chair designed by Tony Paul.


The chair was in rough shape, the seat had been poorly recovered, one of the legs was missing a cap and the paint was chippy. When you find a piece of vintage furniture with great bones, be sure to consider the added cost of materials if you plan to give it a makeover. This can quickly drive up the price. With some vintage inspired fabric and a poppy paint color, I knew that it would be a cheap and easy refresh.


I searched Etsy for weeks looking for the perfect fabric but came up empty- handed. With all of it’s thousands of listings, the site can provide too many options making it hard for me to choose. (Am I the only one with this problem?!) I’d been searching for something in vinyl or oilcloth so that it would be durable. Thank goodness for my crafting stash; I found the perfect fabric buried in a pile of fabrics I’d purchased for my art space makeover.

I prepped the chair for paint by removing the seat and wiping it with a wet rag to remove years of dirt and debris. Next, I used a piece of steel wool to roughen up the surface and remove the shine. I sprayed the chair in Oatlands Daisy from Valspar’s Color Radiance line.

Next, I removed the black vinyl seat cover and used the remnant as a template to cut the new seat cover. I covered the seat with the new fabric and secured it with staples. The new fabric that I’d selected was a simple cotton quilting fabric, for added durability I chose to cover it with a layer of clear gloss vinyl. Finally, I let the paint cure overnight and reattached the seat cover.


I’m in love with my new chair! I spent less than twenty dollars on materials and put in about two hours worth of work. It just goes to show that with patience, a little digging and the willingness to invest some elbow grease you can still get great vintage at a great price!

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