An Inexpensive and Simple Way to Update Old Barstools

Thanks to Fiskars for sending me a few items to complete my blog post. All opinions are my own. This post includes affiliates links. If yo...

Thanks to Fiskars for sending me a few items to complete my blog post. All opinions are my own. This post includes affiliates links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you.

I've always wanted to DIY my own furniture project. I once picked up a gorgeous round dining table and chairs from the dump with the hopes that I was going to update it. It sat around our house, in the way, for years, until a friend finally took it off my hands and seemingly transformed it overnight.

I just felt like I never had the time or energy. Plus I didn't want to just horribly destroy something that was fine as-is.

But we've bought a house, and while I'm perpetually exhausted, I do technically now have more time on my hands. So I bought a sander, and Fiskars was nice enough to end me a staple gun and some different supplies, and I set to work on stripping the paint off some old chairs and reupholstering the fabric.

My sister had bought this set of chairs secondhand, and then she passed them onto us. They weren't totally my cup-o-tea, but they were sturdy and functional. So I'm excited to knock "DIY a furniture project" off my 101 in 1001 list. See the total makeover below.

I first took apart the chair using a screwdriver and allen wrench. Then I used the thickest, grittiest sanding pad on my RYOBI corded sander to completely remove the old white paint, which was by far the most difficult, tedious part of the chair re-up.

Now I'll be the first to say that my sanding skills aren't perfect, but for the most part, I removed the white paint. Once all the paint was removed, I went back over any rough spots with the least grittiest sanding pad to smooth it down. Then I put the wooden frame of the chair back together, sans the seat and back cushions.

Once I had the frames back together, I used thread snips and shears to remove the fabric and staples from the seat cushion and back cushion, one at a time. I discarded the old, disgusting fabric. I then used the older seat cushion, folded in half to double pad the back cushioning. For the seat cushions, I went with high density 2" cushions from JOANN.

For fabric, I went with an outdoor fabric. I figured it'd hold up best in terms of being used in a kitchen type setting. These chairs are used at our breakfast bar, so I eat sitting in them and I am a bit of a messy eater. But the breakfast bar backs up to the living room, which is mostly blue accents. So the fabric I chose is blue and white, which I think looks really nice.

Anyways, I cut the fabric about 2 inches longer on each side than the actual wooden seat board. Then I just pulled that sucker around it and stapled, stapled, stapled. The underside of the seat is not seen, unless you were to flip over the chair, so my theory is that there can't be too many staples.

The back rest was a bit different, because I didn't go a sewing route, which means the staples are visible from the back. So with that, I stapled the top and bottom first, the folded in the sides for a visibly nice fold - almost like wrapping a present. I then tried to staple it in as nice and uniform a row as I could.

I think the most complicated part of wrapping the back rest was making sure there were holes in place to be able to actually screw it back into place.

For these chairs, I really liked the natural wood look, but you could easily repaint or even stain the wood. for a more cohesive look for your space.

So they're definitely not perfect, but I feel really proud of them. For my first DIY furniture project, I think it went really well. It was easy enough for someone with little experience in refurnishing, and this is definitely the kind of project I would recommend to someone wanting to start on a furniture project, even just reupholstering the seats without any of the sanding would be a great first project for others too!

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