Vanity Chair Upcycle

Vanity Chair Upcycle

Updated: Apr 19

I can often find old upholstered chairs and footstools at garage sales and auctions. The fabric is often dirty and very dated. That was the case with this vanity chair I picked up at an auction last year.

The brown and tan zig zag pattern on this chair was definitely screaming 1970s—and not in a good way. It was also pretty dusty.

I began by removing all of the old upholstery and padding. I cleaned the chair with Krud Kutter and gave it two coats of Waverly Chalk Paint in the Cashew color.



I distressed it with 100 grit sandpaper and gave it a coat of Varathane Crystal Clear Satin Polyurethane.

Once the frame of the chair was complete, I tackled the upholstery. I always remove all the old nails and tacks. I just like a clean surface and if you have ever hit an old tack or staple with a new staple and been stung by the stapler from the reverberation of hitting the old hardware, you would remove all of the old hardware too. It is worth the effort.

I used the wood as a template and cut a new piece of foam for the seat. I layered a piece of cotton batting over the foam and selected this coral and cream ticking fabric in a canvas weight. Anytime you are working with a pattern (like these stripes), you need to ensure the line are straight. They will stick out like a sore thumb if they are not aligned correctly. I start in the middle of each side and work my way out to the corners ensure the fabric is taut and straight.



I cut a piece of foam to fit the back of the chair and layered cotton batting over it. I used the same coral and cream canvas ticking and tacked it on the chair.

I used tacks on the back to finish the chair. I aligned the stripes on the fabric on the back of the chair with the stripes on the fabric on the front of the chair. It takes a little more effort, but it looks more polished.



I reattached the seat of the chair and it was complete.

This is a nice little chair that can be used once again as a vanity chair or it can be used in an entryway as a place to sit to put on or remove your shoes. It would also look nice in a bathroom or next to a bed in a bedroom.



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Whether my junk is from a garage sale, estate or farm auction, flea market or the side of the road, I love to find it, fix it, clean it, sell it or keep it. So come along the backroads of Indiana with Junk is My Life (me), let's find something vintage and do something cool with it! Formerly Junk Journal.