Folding Chair Makeover ~ Before and After


I had a folding chair that had definitely seen better days.  It was originally bought at a yard sale for $5.00 and when purchased was like new.  After years of using it it definitely either needed to be thrown out or it needed to receive a makeover.  Since the frame itself was still in perfect condition and only the chair cushion vinyl and padding needed to be replaced I had nothing to lose so thought I would try my hand at a makeover.  I had reupholstered my dining room chairs twice so knew I could handle this little cushion.

Chair Before {try not to scream out loud at the hideousness of it!}

Materials needed:

Spray paint.  I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor paint in White Semi-Gloss.

New chair padding and fabric of your choice.  I used burlap.  With a coupon you can get burlap for less than $2.00 a yard and I needed less than a yard for this cushion.  {Measure the size of your seat pad and add 6 inches to the width and the length just to assure you have enough to cover the padding and staple into place.}  My favorite tutorial for reupholstering a chair cushion is this one from The Family Handyman.

*Optional:  Graphics to add to seat cushion.  I downloaded mine from The Graphics Fairy 

I removed the chair base and then spray painted the frame.  It took about 5 coats of paint to cover the original dark paint.

I upholstered the base following the tutorial mentioned above.

Once the paint was dry I replaced the cushion and added a little vinyl cutout to the chair back that I made using my Cricut Solutions Cartridge, Home Décor.  That was it.  I really like how this turned out and I think I may even keep my eye open for old folding chairs in need of some love in hopes of having a funky complete set soon!

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  1. 5

    Julia Stansel says

    I just purchased several used folding chairs at the local thrift store for 99 cents each to use for painting classes. They are the same dark colors as yours was. Although the vinyl padding is in perfect shape, I don’t care for the dark colors. So it seems I will be trying another one of your projects!

  2. 9


    I love this! I have a stack of folding chairs that are still in very good condition but I don’t like them anymore at all! I’ve been considering making them over into something I do love and your tutorial is giving me the push to go for it!
    Jill Flory´s last blog post ..Liv’s ‘New’ Living Room

  3. 18

    Juanita says

    So cute!! I would like to do this to my boring hunter green set. How did you apply the design to the burlap seat?

    • 19

      mb says

      Hi Juanita ~ I used HP Iron on Transfer paper ~ not sure if that was the best choice but it looks good and we have been using the chair and it’s been holding up perfect!

  4. 20


    What a HUGE difference you made in the chair. It looks great. Never entered my mind to redo one of those chairs before, now I will keep my eye out for the folding ones and keep in mind that they too can be beautiful with a little work.
    Jana´s last blog post ..Sweet Hand Painted Yellow Chair

  5. 26

    Maria says

    I have the same chair without the cushion. Do you think I can add a cushion? How is it attached to the chair? My chair hast a bit of a curve on the seat. HELP!!! I want mine like yours!! :)

    • 27

      mb says

      Hi Maria, you certainly can make your own cushion. You can just measure your seat and then purchase seat foam and bunting to cover the foam. Once you have your ‘filler’ you can make the cushion just like you would a pillow and then tie it on to the chair like this, or you could buy a ready made cushion and leave it as is or cover it with burlap and customize it.

      Thanks for stopping by ~ have a wonderful weekend!

    • 34

      mb says

      Hi Brenda ~ I used HP Iron on Transfer paper ~ not sure if that was the best choice but it looks good and we have been using the chair and it’s been holding up perfect!

  6. 37

    Shannon says

    Brilliant! I am amazed and delighted that those old folding chairs can take on such a new life. I LOVE that graphic!. Really terrific project!

    • 39

      Mary Beth says

      Thank you, Judy ~ I have also seen some recently that were spray painted all different colors…that might be something fun to try! Have a great week. hugs, mary beth

  7. 40


    Brilliant idea! …and lovely to have such an attractive extra chair for guests in the storeroom..though I’m sure mine would be out on show :)

    • 41


      Thank you so much, Judy. My oldest son has the chair in his room now so I guess I need to make another one for guests. Have a very Happy New Year!


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