There are some amazing deals on wooden chairs on Kijiji, but often they may be in need of a little TLC to really look their best. How can you restore them to their former glory on a budget?
Prepare Your Gear
Make sure to get all the tools, materials, and plans that you need before you begin. Write a checklist of all the items required so you don’t forget anything important, and don’t forget about a drop cloth or old newspapers so you don’t damage the floors around your work area.
Repaint Your Old Chair
Repainting old, vintage or retro chair is one of the simplest ways to get a new chair for low cost. Paint stripper, or a fine grade sandpaper can be used to remove old paint to get an even surface before applying new colours. Use masking tape to cover and protect certain areas that you do not wish to paint, or get creative with stencils and designs with some painter’s tape. After you apply the paint or stain, apply thin layer of sealant, wax, or lacquer to protect your new chair from chipping, and really make the piece stand out.
Strip Old Paint
Maybe the ill-conceived paint job from days gone by is what is cramping the style of your chair. There are several ways to go about removing undesired paint from wood. Chemical stripper, sanding, scraping, and paint thinner are all options, depending on the amount of paint. If you choose a chemical method, be sure to use proper protection and work in a well ventilated area.
Bring out the Natural Beauty of Wood
Maybe the oak chair doesn’t match your walnut furniture – no problem! Strip any stain and start over with whatever colour works for your space. Wood stains come in many different colours and finishes, so you can definitely find something that works and updates the look of the wood. If the wood is just a little faded, try oiling the wood with some danish oil or teak oil (for teak furniture specifically). It might be that a bit of oil brings your chair to life in a way you didn’t think possible!
Replace Dated Fabric
If your chair has outdated, damaged, or just less than cool fabric, you can remove the old cover and replace it with a print more suited to your decor. The fabric needs to be stapled to the bottom of the cushion, so remember to get a heavy-duty stapler ahead of time. Alternate the staples between one side and the opposite to prevent wrinkles in the fabric. Have a selection of mismatched chairs? Using the same fabric is a great way to create a cohesive look and bring your room together when dealing with disparate styles.
Re-upholster Your Chair
If your chair needs more than just a new piece of fabric, you might replace older cushioning with a high-density foam to make your chair more comfortable, add more springs if you like a more bouncy seat, replace cushion on the arms, add a sewn-on pillow, or do any number of other adjustments. Once you have decided on the new structure, you can wrap it in a new fabric to give yourself a completely new chair.
Transform Your Chair into Something Else
Maybe that broken leg or structurally unsound back rest isn’t worth your time to fix. However, for a DIY project, with a bit of cutting here and there, sometimes you can turn that old chair into a completely different piece of furniture. By removing the chair’s back, then fixing the cushion or adding a hardwood top, you can transform your chair into a new picnic or dining stool. With bigger chairs, you remove the back and put on new fabric to create an ottoman, or put on a hardwood top for small side or coffee table.
Sell Your Chair and Get a New One
If you really want a totally different chair, or the DIY route seems like too much work for your liking, your best options may be to sell your old ones and replace them with new ones. You can always find tons of cool-looking chairs to give your area new pizzazz. To get the most for you old chairs, it is best if you can fix them up a bit before selling them to increase their value. With a little colour, touch-up, or repair, your chair will have new life and can be sold for a higher price.
Getting a new chair does not have to be expensive. With a little creativity and some simple reupholstering or re-texturing, you can have totally fresh new furniture.