Furniture Overhaul 3: Updating an Office Chair

Every year, my town has a cleanup week where residents can put their unwanted garbage by the side of the road to be picked up. It isn’t always useless stuff either. Many people put out furniture that they no longer need. I love this week! I take my husband with me to go look for anything worthwhile by the side of the road.

This past year, on our way to church, we walked past the pile by our condo with no luck. On the way back from church, I found the perfect little office chair in that same pile! It was a blessing that we had walked by that pile twice within two hours. I knew then that the upholstery had not been damaged by the rain. I had my husband sniff the chair for smoke residue, and we were in the clear!

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Definitely not the sightliest chair in existence!

Earlier that week I was mourning the fact that most office chair were now made with plastic. This guy had a solid metal base! The perfect fit for my desire to have a timeless piece replace our leather monster. But this thing had the ugliest fabric. Ooffda.

The first thing I did was remove the cushions from the frame using an allen wrench and a screwdriver. It was actually easier than I thought it would be!

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The next step was to spray paint the metal frame. I figured white would look nice. If it chipped, I would just get the shabby chic look I loved!

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As you can see, I covered the wheels with painters tape to avoid having to get them perfectly painted. I am not the best at spray painting, but I wasn’t too concerned since this was going to be my personal chair.

Next step, remove that horrible fabric! If the cushion underneath was in bad condition, I was going to replace the cushion with new foam. LUCKILY, I did not need to go to that hassle. I hate having to do that when reupholstering.

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That fabric smelled bad! Since I didn’t have a carpet cleaner, I sprayed and wiped the original cushion underneath with carpet cleaner, water, and Febreze.

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Once it was all dry, it was time to add new fabric for the chair. Instead of sewing and adding in the cushion curves, I opted to just cut big squares and staple them down. The previous fabric actually eventually formed to the cushion’s shape, so I figured that would be the case with this as well.

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I used a staple gun and secured the fabric around the bottom of the seat. Any place where the fabric covered the screw holes I simple cut out.

For the back of the chair, this process was a bit more complicated. The old fabric had been glued together to create a seam in the back. I opted instead to use the staple gun and gather the fabric in the place where the metal back would cover. You can see the imprint of the back of the chair on the cushion in this next photo.

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I only stapled in that spot, making sure not to cover the holes for the screws again.

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Finished with the fabric, I put the chair back together! I love it so much more than any chair you can buy today that costs less than $100. Next time, I hope to use a bold, vintage looking floral fabric. I can’t wait to give it a shot! Since we are currently on a budget, I only spent about $8 on fabric for this piece.

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Total cost = $7 for paint + $8 for fabric + FREE chair = $15

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Here are some tutorials from other blogs for office chair redos:

Remodelando la Casa

Dream a Little Bigger

Issamar Sellene Design

Share your own experiences in the comments!

OfficeChairRedo

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