Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Office Chair Makeover

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.

100 comments:

Jane said...

Love it! Great job!

JaCobi said...

It looks great!! So glad that the primer worked, even if it's not ideal!

Biljana said...

Great makeover, looks amazing, bravo:))
Greetings from Europe, Biljana

Janae @ Somewhat Couture said...

This is CUTE! I love it! I can't wait until I have an office with a pretty chair like this!

Sandy said...

Wow, what a transformation! Looks great, so colorful.

Cassie Bustamante said...

that is awesome!!! i love the color and the fabric. perfectly executed!

Michelle said...

OMGoodness! I love this! I never liked the look of an "office chair" at my desk in the sunroom and have been using a chair from the kitchen table (can you say super uncomfy?) I am so hitting a thrift store tomorrow and finding one to redo!

AllieMakes! said...

That is AWESOME! Truly! Perfect colors! Excellent job!
You should come link this up to my Making It With Allie Party!
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Kim's Treasures said...

Oh WOW! Great job!

Monica said...

The chair is awesome!! As far as the paint goes, I haven't gotten it to work on plastic, I used the plastic paint on plastic and it scraps off very easily. I am actually very disappointed in the plastic paint, doesn't seem to work at all!

uglythenpretty.com said...

What an awesome job! we just had to post about this vibrant project on www.UglythenPretty.com

Linny Jane Vintage said...

wow that is awesome! I have a super ugly chair I may need to try this on!

:)Lindsey @ domestic goodness

The Autocrat: Haley said...

SUPER FAB! I love how you painted the base too! Good job!

Ashlee Marie said...

Lovely, I hope the paint lasts! I need a makeover on my office chair. It's ripped to shreds. I'll be featuring this tomorrow! Thanks again for linking up to Topsy Turvy Tuesday's!

AllieMakes! said...

Stopping by to tell you that I am featuring this today as party of the Making It With Allie Features! COme on by and pick up a button for your "street-cred"
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Laura said...

This turned out amazing! I love the fabric.

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Anonymous said...

Oh, your chair looks great. Love the colors and fabric! Sorry the paint is not sticking like it should! But is looks great! Maybe you could make some socks for the bottom parts! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

I'm posting about this one at Decor Hacks too - on May 31. And, I totally need to redo my office chair!

goldfine said...

How exactly did you do the cushions? Did you take the old ones off first?

Laura said...

On the seat I left the existing cushion and added new foam, the backrest was in better shape so I just added a layer of quilt batting.

Hannah D said...

I love this idea and was trying it myself. How did you take apart the top of your chair to reupholster it?
Thanks for the great idea!

Karen, aka Yaya said...

I love the colors and design in the fabric--where did you get the fabric? It would be the perfect fabric for accent pillows on my new couches!

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Love the fabric! What is it?? :)

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The story of this DIY chair project is a great example of the importance of using the right type of paint for your project. While it's tempting to use a color you love, it's important to make sure it will work on the material you're painting. The author's solution of using plastic paint as a base layer and then covering it with the desired color may seem like a good idea, but unfortunately, it didn't work out in the long run. This serves as a reminder that sometimes it's best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and use the appropriate type of paint for your project. On a positive note, the author's project still turned out great and they were able to learn something new. Speaking of DIY projects, have you considered adding a unique touch to your home with a mosaic wall clock?



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