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New Threads For The Five Dollar Thrift Store Chair

Dude…I’m gettin’ on it.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  By “gettin’ on it” I mean getting things done that are LONG overdue.  Like this five dollar thrift store chair that I bought back in November (read more about it back here), started tearing it apart, and then moved on to other projects before finishing the makeover this weekend.

Thrift Store Chair Score

Well, the chair is officially made over (we put the final touches on it this afternoon while watching football) and it now lives in the craft room.

Thrift Store Chair Makeover

The original plan was to make it over, use a coral like fabric, and tuck the chair in the living room to replace one of the old chairs in that space.  But I couldn’t bring myself to part with “Goose’s chair” in the living room, which happens to be a hand me down chair from my grandmother.  It’s Goose’s favorite napping spot…see:

Goose's Chair

Maybe I’ll slip cover those chairs so I can keep them, for Goose, and still get rid of the pink.  Anyway, I opted to replace the dining room chair I was using in the craft room with the newly refinished chair.

Thrift Store Chair Makeover

And for those of you who are just joining us, the chair hailed from a thrift store in the County, while I was out gallivanting around town with my mom.  I was on a strict “no more chair purchases” agreement with Colby but I couldn’t resist this chair!  My defense, it was five bucks!  FIVE BUCKS!  I spend more than that on coffee in a day!  And here is the dramatic makeover.

Thrift Store Chair Makeover Before And After

I went back and forth about whether or not to paint the chair and ultimately decided to spray paint it white.  Mostly because the white in the chair ties into the white in the tortoise shell on the wall and the wicker stand under the desk.  It also ties into the white in the fabric.

Thrift Store Chair Makeover

And as for the fabric, I used some leftover outdoor fabric that I had kicking around for another project (dining room chair cushions…a project I scrapped after purchasing the fabric because I didn’t get enough and the fabric was on a closeout sale for cheap).  I love using outdoor fabric for upholstery and pillow projects.  It’s pretty darn rugged, like true upholstery fabric, but at a fraction of the cost.  I could get a yard of this for about $6/yard vs. a similar upholstery fabric for $40/yard.

Thrift Store Chair Makeover

And I wasted no time testing out my new chair in the craft room…fake sewing.  I still haven’t touched that hand-me-down sewing machine from my mom.  Shameful.  I want to…I really do…I seriously want to spend an entire weekend bunkered down in that room sewing my heart out.  But I’m scared of that machine…scared to death!  Hmmm…someone needs to pull up her big girl pants and just do it already!

Using My New Craft Room Chair

As for how I remade the chair…it kind of went something like this:

Thrift Store Chair Refinishing

That’s fix a broken spring (the reason why the chair was so cheap…that and the ugly, velvet like material covering it), spray paint it, and staple on the fabric.  It was a long process, and a frustrating one too, so I’ll get into the nitty gritty tomorrow with a “how to” post.  And depending on long it gets, I may be back the next day to finish it up.  I’m not gonna lie, the upholstering project was all Run DMC like (you know…it’s tricky, tricky, tricky).  But it was my first attempt at chair reupholstering and of course I totally winged it instead of reading or using a step-by-step upholstery guide like this one from Better Homes and Gardens.  But I think it turned out alright.

But before we bust out of here tonight, how about a budget breakdown for this project?!

  • Chair – $5
  • Spray Primer – $3
  • Spray Paint – $3
  • Outdoor Fabric – $6
  • Foam Cushion – $10
  • Black Breathable Fabric (for bottom of chair) – $4 (and I have enough left over for about 18 more of these chairs since it came in a GINORMOUS package)
  • Whopping Total – $31


  1. I picked up a $5 chair last weekend for my sewing table too! It won’t be nearly as labor intensive as your though, It’s mid-century modern and the seat comes off for recovering. A quick staple job and clean up then done! ~I also have a ‘thing’ for chairs…totally understand your fetish~ 🙂

  2. You’ve mastered the art of chair restoration. You may notice that I did not mention removing the old fabric before putting on the new. Such companies usually have international recognition as they comply with ISO standards.

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Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

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