Tutorial: Dingy Chair to Modern Focal Point

By Brittni • posted on 03/30/2010

I picked up this chair at a thrift store a while back because I loved the lines and figured it just needed a little tlc. Plus it was only $5. Can’t beat that, right? Anyway, after one failed attempt and about a month’s time (got a little lazy on this I realize), it has become the perfect corner piece in our living room.

So, here is what the chair looked like when this whole thing started…

Not the worst, but it had certainly seen better days. And let me mention that the pictures actually make it look better than it really was. And then a little preview as to what it looked like in my failed attempt…

I think in theory the colors complimented each other, but the actual execution was horrible and my go-to textile paint just wasn’t working on this surface. So, I gave up before I completed it. Which brings me to the end result/ solution…white spray paint. Here’s the finished piece…

Want to recreate this look?

All you need is some flat (may need multiple cans depending on size) white spray paint, top coat of your choice, cleaning supplies, sandpaper, and a chair in need of some tlc. As for the instructions…

1. Prepare surface. Make sure all surfaces that will be painted are clean. I spray painted right on top of the existing vinyl instead of reupholstering, but if you have an absorbent fabric cushion, you will want to remove that first.

2. Using a medium grit sandpaper, go over all surfaces that you intend to paint. Once that is done, be sure to wipe the surface down and let it dry to remove all particles that may be on the surface.

3. Spray paint entire surface of chair, with thin layers. Allowing each layer to dry before adding another. Sand in between coats with a fine grit sandpaper if necessary.

4. Once all layers are complete and you have an even finish, apply to a clear top coat of your choice to the entire surface to seal in the paint.

For more quick and easy tutorials like this one, click here.

5 comments | Click here to reply

the spray paint worked on the leather/vinyl too?!?!? Amazing. I must admit, I liked that whiskey color. The chair though, for $5 is totally worth it, no matter what you do with it. It’s fab.

...love Maegan

Thanks Rachel. Really appreciate the link back. 🙂


Wow, great job, it looks amazing! I never would have guessed spray paint. I’ll be linking to this post in my next Revamp Roundup. I love chair makeovers!


Thanks Hailey. By the way- I just took a peek at your blog…love that Brooklyn apartment! Amazing.


so great!!! nice work. 🙂 totally inspiring me right now.

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