Chair Makeover

Do you have a favorite piece of furniture that you just can’t part with? It’s old. It’s stained. It has seen better days. But you still love it even though you know it’s kind of an eyesore. I do. Or I did. I can’t wait to show you my favorite chair makeover.

I had originally planned to reupholster this chair. There are some great tutorials online and since I do have some sewing skills, I wanted to give it a try. As I was searching online for fabric one evening, I told Dan my plans for reupholstering the chair.  He’s the one who came up with the idea to stencil it. He really likes the pillow that I stenciled and said why don’t you do something like that? Good idea! If it doesn’t turn out or we don’t like it, I’ll just move forward with my plan to reupholster. And since I had everything on hand that I would need to stencil the chair, why not? I had nothing to lose!

At first glance, you may think this chair looks pretty good. Don’t be deceived.


Upon closer look, you can see the small stains and wear and tear on this 20+ year old chair. I mean, it’s not terribly dirty or stained, but since the fabric is so light every little mark shows.


This chair has seen better days for sure. It’s made many moves with me and although it’s structurally very sound, the fabric has stains. I’ve tried everything over the years to get it clean and all I got for my efforts were watermarks and bleached-out looking spots.


The latest stains were from a “boo boo” on my grandson’s knee. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I bought this chair. I really liked the fabric but a pale yellow and white gingham was not my best decision, especially since I had three kiddos in the house when I bought it! That fabric is a magnet for dirt and stains.

Here’s how I made over the chair using a stencil:

First, I made a stencil using my Silhouette Cameo. I just went to the online store and typed “stencil” in the search. There are pages and pages of stencil shapes to choose from.

design ID 47786

I resized the shape to about 8″ and cut it out using the Silhouette stencil material.


Next, I had to decide on colors. Since the background would be the yellow and white gingham fabric of the chair, I only wanted to use two colors. I wanted coral to be one of those colors since I stenciled my curtains using coral. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of that paint left over. So I went to my supply of Silhouette Fabric Inks. I didn’t have coral. I had red, green, blue, yellow, tan, and magenta. No coral! So I “googled” it. Turns out that red, yellow and pink make coral. I didn’t have pink, so magenta had to do!

silhouette fabric inks

And it turned out to be a perfect match!


Since the Silhouette stencil material has adhesive on the back, I wouldn’t have needed to use tape, except I didn’t increase the margin around the design, so the painter’s tape kept me from going over the edge of the stencil onto the fabric.

The idea of stenciling the chair was to hide and camouflage the imperfections on the chair. Mission accomplished! Take a look at these side-by-side comparisons:


The other color I used is a medium gray. It’s just plain, old, acrylic craft paint.
I’m in love with it! It turned out way better than I had even hoped! I’d love to hear what you think. I think that some day, when I grow tired of the pattern, I will reupholster the chair. But for now….I love it.
I’m calling this chair makeover a success!

I’m sharing post at Remodelaholic.


  1. 4


    Have you ever painted a chair? Seems like I have seen something about it. My chair is really old and very dingy. It just needs the bottom reinforced because it goes almost to the floor. Then I could stencil. I have arthritis in my right hand (am right handed) but painting would be a larger surface and maybe easier then stenciling. If it works I would not need and many stencils to cover that much up !!

    • 5


      I would have to either cover or paint my entire chair first. It is a very old chair that is so dingy ,a stencil would never show up on it the way it is now.
      It is almost a dark brown dingy. What would you suggest I use to paint it first to cover? It also has a small print that would need to be covered.

      • 6

        Jeanie says

        You could paint it first. I’ve read of other bloggers using chalk paint and then applying wax over the paint to soften it up.

  2. 8


    Wow! Never would have thought it. such a smart solution. It turned out great! Stopped by via Art Is Beautiful linky party.

  3. 11


    I love how your chair looks totally different and freshened up! Feel free to come share your diy project at my weekly party. A new one just started and is open all week @DearCreatives
    Happy Memorial Weekend! Theresa

    • 15

      Jeanie says

      Thanks Debbie! Since I couldn’t get the fabric to get any cleaner, I figured I had nothing to lose! I never thought it would turn out as good as it did ; )

  4. 16


    What a brilliant solution for an older piece of furniture! I love it! Would love for you to share at Fridays Unfolded this week!


    • 18

      Jeanie says

      Hi Laura! Thanks so much…and it actually was quite an easy project with a big impact! Thanks for visiting!

  5. 19

    mary says

    Am in love with this idea. I have a wonderful old club chair and ottoman…great shape and cover is in great shape ~ just color outdated. I really need to get onto this idea. Maybe paint the chair a new color overall, then stencil. Thanks for the idea.

  6. 20


    My husband and I love your stenciled chair. Your solution is the operative definition of creativity. Thanks so much for sharing. Corrine and Richard

  7. 22


    This turned out soooo pretty – just love it –
    ( note to self – must must must get a silouette machine !!! )
    Beautiful job – visiting via Savvy Southern Style – congrats on your well deserved feature :)

    • 23

      Jeanie says

      Thanks Suzan! By the way, I have a giveaway for a Silhouette Portrait going on right now – less than four hours left to enter if you’re feeling lucky!

  8. 24

    Lynda says

    Wow!! WOW!! That is absolutely amazing!! It looks beautiful!! I’d stencil a brand new chair if I knew it would look as good as yours!! Wonderful job!!

  9. 26


    Great job on the chair! It looks like you could have recently bought it brand new. I just found your blog. Your name is the best. Create and Babble 😉 my favorite of them all.

    • 27

      Jeanie says

      Thank you so much Michelle! I’m so glad you found my little blog and am honored that you visited!

  10. 28


    This turned out great! Is the paint stiff at all where you applied it to the fabric? I have a pull out love seat that was passed down to me that is in a similar condition. I would love to keep it, since it has nice lines and is comfortable. I’m not as confident in my skills to reupholster, nor do I think this couch is really worth the hassle or money. If I could somehow paint the fabric, I would get SO much more life out of it.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Alex @ Lavender’s Blue
    Alex recently posted…create your own handwritten lyric artMy Profile

    • 29

      Jeanie says

      Thanks Alex! And no, it’s not stiff at all. Probably because it’s such a light application of the fabric ink and paint. I suggest you go ahead and try stenciling the back of the love seat to see how you like it. Good luck and let me know if you do!

  11. 30


    I have just the chairs to try this out on!! When I was in need of a new couch several years ago my mom made me stop at an estate sale and despite my protests, we ended up leaving with a couch and two matching chairs that were not only ugly, but old and stained. After two years I’ve finally gotten a new couch, but held on to the chairs. Looks like I may be keeping them a little with this little makeover. :) Thanks again!

  12. 32


    I loved your Tip Me Tuesday link . {thanks girl!}

    Would you like Tip Junkie to feature your blog post to over 200,000 creative women? If you upload this blog post into your Tip Junkie craft room using at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL then I can easily feature it in my RSS feed, home page, and all my social networks instantly. {squealing with delight}

    ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}


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