Quick Before/After: Curbside Wooden Armchair

Pantone Lime Green Monochrome Midcentury Regency Chair

While we were walking our dogs recently, we saw a broken and filthy chair sitting next to a neighbor’s trashcan. We both slowed down and stared at it as we walked by, but neither of us said anything. I mean… it was pretty gross – covered in spiderwebs and dirt, broken seat, sun damage, probably some dog pee on the legs… The next day when we walked by again, we instinctively both beelined straight for the chair.¬†

This Before/After is pretty straightforward. The chair is made of solid wood, but it seemed to be multiple types of wood, all painted a “wood-esque color” for some reason. It was covered in stains and dirt. Salvaging/stripping/staining the natural wood wasn’t really an option, so we decided to go for a monochromatic look, based on some chairs we were eyeing on Fab awhile back.

We cleaned the chair thoroughly, then sanded it (and sanded it. And sanded it). After tightening up some of the loose joints, we primed it with Zinsser 1-2-3, which is our go-to primer for pretty much every project. After letting the primer dry overnight, we painted the chair with Pantone Macaw 377C (I am a sucker for Pantone, and ever since Lowe’s launched their Pantone paint line, it is basically all we use). Two more coats of paint, and we were almost done.

A quick trip to Joann¬†– 40% off coupon in hand –¬†provided us with enough 2″ high density foam to make a new seat cushion and some nice green fabric that matched the paint. I almost always use duck cloth/canvas or outdoor fabric for chair seat reupholstery. It is easy to clean and incredibly durable.

To make the seat cushion, use the seat base as a pattern over your foam and draw the outline with a Sharpie. The easiest way to cut foam is with an electric carving knife, but if you don’t have one handy you could also use scissors. Once the foam is cut, place it on your fabric, then place the seat base on the foam, upside down. Wrap the fabric around the seat bottom (sorry for lack of photos – we’ll get better about that!) and staple it in place with a staple gun. For the corners, we treated the fabric exactly as if we were wrapping a present, to get clean pleats.

We screwed the seat bottom back on, and that was it!


  1. Jennie Lee says

    It would have been so much easier if you could have just exposed it to gamma rays. But then it would be 9 feet tall.

What do you think?