This French distressed chair with easy upholstery tutorial is for any French decor loving girl.
Some people can be easily intimidated by upholstery projects but I’m here to tell you that it is very easy, especially on chairs like this that only need the seat upholstered.
And the best part of this DIY project is that it is very inexpensive as I use a drop cloth and stencil and paint to give this chair a makeover.
To get started, here are is what you need for this project:
- wooden chair in need of painting with a fabric seat
- cream or white (I used Raw Silk by Fusion Mineral Paint)
- charcoal grey (I used Ash in Fusion Mineral Paint)
- paintbrush (this one is my fave)
- clear furniture wax (Fusion Mineral Paint)
- dropcloth (washed and dried to soften)
- fleur-de-lis stencil (similar one here)
- sandpaper or sanding sponge (120 or 220 grit)
- staple gun and staples
- black fabric paint
- foam pouncer brush for stencilling
- masking tape or painter’s tape
- packing tape
Here is the chair before she got a makeover. It was $4 from the Salvation Army, solid wood and from Romania.
- Unscrew the seat from underneath and set aside.
- Paint the chair with 1-2 coats of white paint drying 1-2 hours in between coats.
- Paint the chair with 1 good coat of the charcoal grey paint.
- Allow to dry 24 hours before sanding and sand the entire chair with fine grit sandpaper sanding more around the edges for a natural distressed look. Wipe off excess dust.
- Finish the chair by rubbing clear wax over chair with a rug then wiping/buffing off as you go.
1. Lay the seat upside down on the piece of drop cloth keeping the old fabric attached to the seat (you can remove the fabric but then you will need new foam and batting so it’s easiest to just leave it on). Cut around the chair leaving about 2-3 inches all around.
2. Starting in the middle top or bottom, pull the drop cloth a taut then staple. Do the same to the opposite side as pictured below. You want the fabric pulled nice and snug but too tightly will make pulls in the fabric.
3. Repeat the same on the sides of the chair alternating top, bottom, side, side with one staple next to the first staple about an inch apart repeating until you are only left with the corners.
4. For the corners, (1) pull the middle piece of fabric towards the centre of the chair and staple. (2) Then pull one side over the part just stapled and staple in place (3) and repeat for the last piece. This will ensure a nice fit with no fabric pulling from the top side.
5. Trim off the excess fabric.
6. Tape the edges down with packing tape (it’s all I had on hand and seemed to do the trick!)
7. Flip the seat around and place your French stencil on the middle of the chair and secure with painter’s tape. Squeeze a bit of black fabric paint on a paper plate and dab the foam brush into it dabbing off excess on a paper towel. Dab the foam brush up and down over the stencil onto the fabric moving making sure the paint doesn’t bleed through under the stencil.
8. Let it dry then screw the chair pad back to the chair.
Isn’t it so sweet and French?
I hope you try making your own beautiful French distressed chair along with this easy upholstery tutorial.
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