Sunday DIY: Sitting pretty

By Greig Morgan

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Revamp an old chair to give it a new lease on life, says Greig Morgan

An old chair, is given a modern finish in black and white. Photo / Doug Sherring
An old chair, is given a modern finish in black and white. Photo / Doug Sherring

It's sad a thing to see a beautiful chair with a lovely shape relegated to the scrap heap, simply because the fabric is worn or the wood scratched. We wanted to modernise and bring this dreary piece of furniture back to life. We chose a black and white theme, using a glossy black paint for the wood, and a black and white patterned fabric to cover the existing fabric on the seat, making it as good as new.

Step 1 - Remove the seat by unscrewing from the underside corner supports. Starting with the 100 grit sandpaper, work your way down to the less coarse grades, removing the existing vanish or stain with a sander or sanding block on the flat surfaces. Fold the sandpaper into your hand to mould around any irregular shapes.

Step 2 - With the chair all prepped with no marks or dings, wipe with a damp cloth to remove any dust. This also applies to sanding between coats.

Step 3 - Apply a primer undercoat using a good quality brush. When the paint has dried, lightly sand using 220 wet and dry sandpaper to remove any roughness.

Now apply two top coats of paint. Wet the sandpaper and lightly sand between coats for a good finish.

Step 4 - Upholstery: Draw a line around the underside of the seat 40mm in from the edge. Measure the shape of your seat, allowing for the thickness of its padding, and adding the 40mm all around.

Step 5 - Start by placing the fabric to the 40mm line and stapling near the corners to achieve an even look. Then start stapling from the middle of each side, working out to the corners. Tuck in excess fabric at the corners and staple down neatly.

Step 6 - Finish off the underside of the seat by cutting a piece of fabric to the shape of the seat and folding the edges over the main upholstery fabric. Staple to secure.

Step 7 - Fix the seat back into place.

• Sandpaper 100, 120, 150 grit
• Wet and dry 220 sandpaper
• Upholstery fabric
• Primer and paint, stain or vanish

• Sharp scissors
• Staple gun with 10mm staples
• Finishing sander/sanding block
• Good quality paint brush
• Screwdriver
• Tape measure
• Pencil


• Ask the helpful team at Bunnings for advice about the right products for the project.

• Sand in the same direction as the wood grain to avoid sandpaper marks showing through your paint or stain.

- Herald on Sunday

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