Recently On Two Yellow Birds Decor

Thrift Chair Upcycle & Reupholster

As I have mentioned before my hubby and I recently opened a business.
{I will do a post on that soon!}
We wanted to have a little waiting area where people could sit while
they are waiting or to look at some of our stuff. 

For this waiting area I upcycled a thirft store end table, 
which you can find HERE, to put there and now 
I needed chairs to put by the table. 

One day we were walking through the surplus store up at the University of Utah 
so we could see what they had...also because I had never been in there before. 
Up on the very 3rd floor of this little building where the PERFECT chairs 
I wanted to use. They had that fancy look to them and I knew I could 
paint them and reupholster them to get the very look I wanted. 

Here is a picture of the chairs:

Aren't they gorgeous?!? Ok, with a little love they will be! 

Overall they weren't too difficult to makeover. 
The hardest part was the upholstering. Really just getting the old stuff off!!

Here is a look of the transformation:

How I Upcycled Them:

I wasn't sure at first what color I wanted them to be. I kind of wanted them blue and yellow, but I wasn't sure if I could find fabric that I liked. My hubby and I went to Joann's and look through the upholstery section. I found lots that I liked, but just couldn't seem to fall in love. After forever looking we walked away to look at the regular fabrics. We decided to go back one more time to look at the upholstery fabrics. I went back to one that I was really liking and then turned around only to find a yellow piece of fabric sitting on the clearance table. I had to look at it. It turned out to be upholstery fabric and I fell in LOVE with it. After all I LOVE me some yellow! It was just the size we needed to cover the chairs.
Here is the fabric:

After we bought the fabric and blue spray paint, I got to work.

First, we unscrewed the seat from the chair.

I then dusted them off....they must have been sitting up there forever at the store! Then I set up a little paint station in my front yard on some work horses.

Next, I got to work with the spray paint. I put on 4 coats of paint. It took most of a day to get that done. I used Krylon's Blue Ocean Breeze spray paint, bought at Walmart. I love this color right now! 

I let the chairs dry for the rest of the day.
The next morning I pulled the chairs back out and applied a Polycrylic Clear Coat onto the chairs so they would be protected. I put 3 coats of that on.

While those were drying, my hubby and I got to work on the fun part....REUPHOLSTERING!!! I have to be honest I was totally scared to reupholster anything. I have never done it before and it seemed like it would be hard. After doing these chairs, I am ready to reupholster some more! It truly wasn't that hard, just a little time consuming. The hardest part like I said before was getting all the staples out from the old upholstery. 

Here is what you will need to reupholster:

-New Fabric
-Staple Gun
-You will also need these {or something similar} to remove the old staples
My hubby and I tired many ways to remove the staples, but we found these tools to work the best - a staple remover and pliers. We did find that you should use the pliers to hold the staple remover to give it stronger hold while using it on the staples. If you remove it just a little bit with that then you could just use the pliers to remove the staple the rest of the way. 

After my amazing hubby got the staples out for me, I took the old piece and used it as a pattern to cut out the new fabric.

Then we were able to put on the new fabric. A couple of tips: 
1.When putting on the new fabric you will want to stretch it enough so its smooth, but not too much or it could tear when someone sits on it.
2. You will use lots of staples!
3. None of your corners will probably look the same...THAT'S OK!!!

What you will want to do first is staple two opposite sides and then do the next two sides, leaving some room by the corners. You will do those last.

After you get all the sides done you will do the corners. The corners are definitely the hardest part of this. Your corners probably won't look the same and that ok! Unless you are pro at this they are tricky!!
We just folded them in different ways...trying to get them to look similar...until it looked good!

And last but not least....we screwed the seat back onto the chair!

I don't think they turned out took bad for our first time ever 
making over and reupholstering chairs!

I totally love how they turned out and I love the contrast from the yellow and blue! 

Joining the Following Link Parties HERE


  1. Beautiful color! That blue is gorgeous! does the polyacrylic spray yellow at all? My polyurethane always does :(

  2. Adorable! What a difference!

    1. Thank you so much Lena! You are so sweet!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Those chaired turned out AWESOME! Loving the colors:)

  4. Love your chairs! I recently got a chair in almost the same color of yours at a garage sale. The seat needs some new fabric on mine - I can't wait to find something that will match! Love the fabric you chose for yours :) Stopping by from Huckleberry Love :D

    1. Thank you so much Nicole! You are too kind! Your words mean a lot to me!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Those turned out beautiful! I love the fabric you used for the seat! We'd love for you to link this up at our party!

  6. Hello: I love your thrift chair project. What I think is really "fresh" is the yellow fabric print you chose. I saw a similar pattern when I went to Spain one year and loved it then and love it now! Super job with instructions. I'm inspired!-Deb (

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! They mean so much to me!! You are too sweet!

  7. Your transformation is fantastic. What an amazing difference a lick of paint and new fabric gave the chairs. I love finding those old things with beautiful bones and making them amazing!

  8. Is polycrylic hard to work with? I used polyurethane spray on another project, and it was hard to not cake up at some places. Also, how durable is the paint for your project? I just got a hutch that I was thinking about spray painting but my husband is worried about spray painting over wood stain and that it won't hold up. Thanks!

  9. Is polycrylic hard to work with? I used polyurethane spray on another project, and it was hard to not cake up at some places. Also, how durable is the paint for your project? I just got a hutch that I was thinking about spray painting but my husband is worried about spray painting over wood stain and that it won't hold up. Thanks!

    1. To Me Polycrylic is not that hard to work with. I have never had any problems with it caking up in places. I have never had any other issues with it either. So far the paint has been really durable with this project. We have had people sitting in them many times and haven't had any issues with them! Hope that helps!

  10. These look awesome! I love the color combinations. And great reupholstery tutorial. I'm hoping to do this soon and these tips will be great! Pinning!

  11. Oh Jill! I love them. If only you lived closer you could do a couple for me! LOL Thanks so much for linking up to Thriving on Thursdays last week. Your post will be featured at tomorrow's party.

    Anne xx


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