Thrift Store Chairs — Budget Wise Home

Thrift Store Chairs

I am taking you on a tour of my office this week.  It has come together just as I’d pictured and I can’t wait to show you the HUGE transformation.  There were a lot of budget projects that went into it, so I’m going to share each one with you starting with my new office chairs.

Remember these  $10 thrift store chairs?  I fell in love with these the instant I saw them.  I knew they had great potential.

The seat was attached with screws underneath so I just took them off and lifted the seat right off.

I gave them both a coat of Kilz spray primer.  This primer rocks!  It gives you such good coverage so only one coat is necessary.  It does leave a bit of a rough finish, so I went over it lightly with a fine grit sandpaper to make it smooth.

Then I gave them 3 coats of my favorite red spray paint: Rustoleum high performance enamel in safety red.

Now on to the seat cushions.  I cut one piece of batting the same size as my fabric and centered my cushion on top.  Make sure to leave an extra inch or two on each side so there’s enough fabric to staple to the back.

Then start stapling to the back side, pulling the fabric tight as you go.

Here they are all finished!

You can find this fabric here.  The bright colors make me so happy and I love the contrast with the red.

I LOVE the way these turned out (and my husband is very happy to have them out of the garage).

I’m linking this up with some of these blog parties.

Update: you can see these chairs in my new office.

Come back tomorrow to see what else is going in my new office.

The final full room reveal is coming in a few days–complete with before and after pictures.

A big thanks to my sponsors: Sweet Nature Designs & Elephannie.  Please check out their shops.


  1. I really like how the red paint ties in with the fabric. I cannot believe these are the same chairs! The before…oh, my. Hello 1970!


  2. sew woodsy says:

    OMG… I would never to think to make over those “old ugly chairs”! its tutorials and blogs like yours that inspire me to look at a junk in a whole new way!!!

  3. They turned out grogeous!!! The red just POPS!! Love them! :)

  4. Kristina says:

    LOVE them! So cute! Good job.

  5. Joani E. says:

    These chairs are amazing! Love your choice of fabric on the seats. Love the orange accents in them (orange can be so much more useful than I ever realized). I use it in my loft in some accent pillows and in some stripes with red. Great job!

  6. ann says:

    I am in love with that fabric! Chairs look terrific!

  7. Kim @ Second Time Furniture says:

    The chairs turned out awesome ~ and they make you happy! What could be better than that?

  8. cristie says:

    Oh I so love the red and the fabric is wonderful, it makes me happy to look at them.

  9. Allison says:

    I LOVE THEM! The fabric and paint mesh so well together….they really POP!

  10. those are fabulous!!! so vibrant and fun! love the red and loving the shape of them- great find!

  11. Dana says:

    That is awesome! I would love for you to link up at my Strut Your Stuff Party!

  12. Shannon says:

    Oh my goodness! The shape of these chairs is just fantastic. I love that you painted them a glossy red…STRIKING!

  13. marni says:

    I love it! I found you over at the blog hop! Come by Sassy Sites! xoxo

  14. Suzanne says:

    This turned out awesome! Love the colors. Did you out armrests on the one? It dos not have them in the before pic…

  15. anne maskell says:

    Beautiful! They are so bright and cheery, they will look wonderful in your office. I’m looking forward to the full reveal!

  16. Toocutedobs says:

    Love the chairs and love your bargain shopping to pull this off. Come by and visit me and my thrifty adventures.

  17. Kelli says:

    Awesome transformation! I love the red! I used some pillows made with that same fabric in my living room. When I posted about it, I got a million questions about where the fabric came from:)

  18. Melanie says:

    So, I was at the thrift store last night, and almost bought some chairs! ALMOST bought the chairs, now after seeing this post, I am sorry! The store opens at 10:00 and I am going to be there to see if they are still there! It is all because of this post!

  19. Karrie says:

    Great job! Love the fabric.

  20. gretchen says:

    WOW! These chairs looks amazing!

  21. I LOVE your chairs. I cannot even tell you how much I LOVE your fabric too. Thank you for sharing this project with me!!!!

  22. Great save on these chairs! And what unusual backs they have — really fun!

  23. Suzanne says:

    To use one of my dad’s favorite words~those are snazzy! I love the fabric with the red! I really like the x pattern on the backs of the chairs, too.

  24. Michelle says:

    These are the cutest chairs! I just love the whole outcome and can see why you HAD to have them at the store! Great job!

  25. Totally love the way those turned out!

    found you via be different act normal

  26. Allie says:

    Those turned out AWESOME! Excellent job!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can’t wait to see what you have for next week!

  27. Rene says:

    So bright and cheerful. Thanks for sharing your fabric source.


  28. OMGoodness…these are just the cutest THRIFTY chairs ever…love that fabric…it’s just my style!


    Would you like some extra Christmas cash? Enter my gift card GIVEAWAY!

  29. Oh, wow! No one can tell that they are thrift finds. They look so upscale! Thanks for sharing. I found you over at Under the Table and Dreaming Linky Party.

  30. marni says:

    I featured this over at Sassy Sites! Come by and check it out… and don’t forget to grab a button! xoxo!

  31. I LOVE IT!!! Good fabric choice!

    I would love if you would link it up at my little talent tuesday party at

    mucho love!

  32. I { L O V E } these! You did such a nice job with them and red is my favorite color. I have a chair very similar to the one with arms and now this will get me moving on refinishing it. Thanks for the inspiration.


  1. [...] With just one can of chalkboard spray paint, you can revamp any chair and turn it into a personalized spot for family members.  Or use them as erasable name cards for guests when you’re entertaining. Use chairs you already own or find a mismatched set at a thrift store. Paint them any color and let dry completely. Use the chalkboard spray paint and apply 2-3 coats to each chair back, making sure you cover or tape off any surrounding areas of the chair. That’s it! Now grab some chalk and get busy. For step by step instructions on how to paint a chair, check out my thrift store chairs. [...]

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