$5 Thrift Chair Makeover


Welcome back to Life on Greenwood.  I found a really sturdy-looking chair at the thrift store that I thought would be perfect for a makeover.

So, this is a five dollar thrift makeover on a chair that I got from Goodwill. This was my first thrift purchase and my first makeover for 2021. I was so excited!  This chair had great bones, so I thought, you know what, I’m gonna see if I can freshen her up a little bit!

My plan was to do a replacement chair cover. I set out to replace the cover to the cushion without removing the existing cover. I do this sometimes when I’m not sure what’s going on under all the layers of fabric or when I just want to get the project over and done with.  Seriously!

Clean and Prep

Before I started painting, I noticed that the chair had a stale odor. You know that smell that some old furniture has?  Yeah.  I must say that I gave the chair a thorough cleaning with mild soap and water. When I first brought it into the house, hubby was really going crazy, so I sprayed it with Lysol and then left it in the garage for a few weeks. I also sprayed it with insect repellent.  I can't take any chances!

How to Upholster a Chair Cushion

I had several pieces of fabric in my stash so I chose a piece that I thrifted a couple years ago.  If you have never upholstered a chair before, it's quite easy.  

Here's how to do it! Cut a piece of fabric that's at least 3 inches wider than needed on each side. You can cut away the excess later if necessary. Lay the fabric on the floor (right side down).  Place the cushion face down on the fabric.  Pulling the fabric up over the cushion, put a few staples on one side. 

Pull the fabric very taut and staple the fabric on the opposite side.  Repeat the process on the remaining sides. It’s important to remember to pull the fabric tight so that there is no sagging. And that’s it!

A Little Paint

I used Americana Decor chalky finish paint in white to finish the chair frame. No sanding required!  This is some great chalk paint!  Last year I did a few paint comparison videos and included a sample of Americana Decor. I was quite pleased with the coverage. I ended up using three coats of paint for this project.


This was so easy! Like I say, don't sleep on the thrift store!  You never know what you will find.  I knew I liked the bones of this chair. It was made of really sturdy stuff.  All I needed to do was remove six screws to get the cushion off.  Once I figured out how to put it back on, everything came together so nicely. I love it!

So, that’s my five dollar chair makeover! I hope that you find something that you can take away from this project.

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