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  • Andrea Mongenie

DIY project: How to whitewash and re-upholster an old/found chair

I bought 4 old chairs from a second-hand furniture shop in Stoke Newington. They were brown, and had a faux black leather cover which I didn't like, but I knew they had potential.

The fabric was from my grand parent's old house in the south of France. I kept it for 2 years not knowing what to do with it, and here we go, finally found a purpose for it.



- fine grit sand paper/electric sander

- a screwdriver

- a paint brush

- water based white paint and water

- an old rag/tea towel

- a fabric of your choice to re-upholster

- a stapler



- Get your fine grit sanding paper and start sanding the wood all over (don't spend too long, some small irregularities are fine)

- Using a clean cloth or brush get all the wood dust off the chair

- Using a screwdriver, take the chair apart

- Mix your white paint in a cup with water. I used a plastic cup and mixed half paint/half water

- Start applying the paint with your brush to one section of the wood, and use your rag/old tea towel to wipe off the excess paint before it is dry. And keep alternating; a couple of paint strokes, wipe it off gently, and repeat all over until you are happy with the result.

- While you are waiting for the chair to dry cut your fabric (use the chair pad as your guide and cut 10 cm all around it)

- Now, cover the chair pad (don't bother removing the old fabric, just re-upholster on top of it). Staple the fabric all around the underside, making sure it is all tight everywhere.

- Cut off the excess fabric

- Put the chair back together with your screwdriver (you might need to add a little wood glue in some joints after all that sanding)

- And you're done.


On my chair, I chose to not white wash the back rest area to create a two tone wood effect. So all the legs are whitewashed, but not the back rest; but that's all up to you.

#chair #eco #recybcling #recycling #diy #diy #diyproject #project #wood #whitewash #upholstering #upholster #reupholster #styling #interiorstyling

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