I've seen a couple of these projects and specifically this one that awed me. You'd think with all the re-covering I do I would have thought of an office chair makeover but I didn't, not until I was inspired.
Here's an after and then we'll talk details.
And the before.
It's one of the very few things that Brad brought with him when we got married, now that I think about it I'm pretty sure it was the only piece of furniture that came with him. The chair was in rough shape, in fact he picked it up off the curb as his neighbors were throwing it out so we hadn't ever seen it in it's prime. The chair functions fine enough but to help the sad foam he added this very stylish cushion on top. The cushion actually does very little to improve the comfort.
Luckily we inherited a much nicer office chair so this one is just back-up, not really necessary. I figured since it was free and is spare I could play around with it.
Here's the sad part of my story...
I decided to paint the chair so I headed off to buy some paint. I've done a few spray paint projects now and the one thing to keep in mind is your colour is going to be limited, there are only going to be so many colours available. I know this so I was careful to not have any preconceived ideas about colour and I just planned to find something I loved when I got there. I settled on Bahaus Gold by Krylon and it's an awesome colour. I then went and found some fabric I love that co-ordinates and couldn't wait to come home and start. It was only as I was half way home that I realized my problem, I hadn't picked a paint that works specifically on plastic.
Before I started the project I did a little research and every site said to make sure you use a paint designed for plastic. I went back to see my options and was so disappointed, I could have black, red, bright yellow, grey or hunter green. The worst part of this story is I actually would have been very happy with bright red if I had found fabric that matched it. I wasn't willing to spend more money on fabric when I didn't have a plan for the original stuff I bought so I stuck with it and here's what I did instead (I wouldn't recommend it).
I polled many people I know and came up with the same response, you think about this... the reason you can't use just any paint on plastic is because the paint won't bond, it will flake off. So why not put on a coat of plastic paint and then once that's dry cover it up with whatever you want, like primer. The plastic paint will bond to the plastic and the next coat will bond to the plastic paint. Makes sense right? Everyone I talked to agreed so that's what I did. I used a Fusion paint by Krylon in Almond and gave all the plastic parts a good coat. Once it was dry I sprayed the entire chair with my original Bahaus Gold. I also sprayed two coats of clear coat (3 on the bottom legs) on the entire chair to seal it.
It looks awesome, I'm happy with the colour but there are plastic parts where the paint is already starting to flake off. I'm pretty sure this chair will not look great for very long. So learn from me, just use the cherry red plastic paint. I'm still happy I re-covered the chair and I learned something so it wasn't a waste.
For the cushions.
I wrapped the backrest in a layer of batting and then stapled my fabric over top. For the seat I bought a thick square of foam from Walmart and added a layer of batting over that so I didn't have pointy corners. The fabric on the seat is actually pulled much tighter than I would prefer because I really should have bought a little extra fabric. I made it work though and the chair is actually comfortable now.
Here are a couple more angles of the new chair (I can admit that I should have painted that little purple plug on the back but I'm not going to)
and one more before and after.