Goodwill chairs makeover

furniture makeover

I have finally completed my Goodwill chairs! I am so very excited about this makeover! It is exactly what I envisioned.

For some background information…

My husband and I are creating a guest house above our garage. (To see our progess so far, click here and here.) We are almost finished, but it needs furniture. We are on a very tight budget, so I have been frequently visiting Goodwill hoping to find something I could re-do or restore.

I came upon two chairs a while back that I instantly fell in love with. I didn’t like the color, but they had great “bones”. I loved the design on the back, I loved the wood they were made of, and they were extremely sturdy and comfortable. Best of all, I got them both for $30.00!

Here’s the before.

furniture makeover

furniture makeover

At first, I was going to paint the material. Yes, I said paint! I learned about it from a post at One Woman’s Cottage Life. But then I realized you wouldn’t see the cool design on the back of the chair if I left it covered with the material. So I decided to remove the material on the back.

furniture makeover

I also removed the seat by simply unscrewing it on the bottom. I wanted to cover the seat with new material.

furniture makeover

Then I had the fun task of removing one thousand staples! I’m serious, it seemed like a thousand! So I enlisted some help…furniture makeover

That’s my oldest son, Jonathan. He’s almost 10, and he is a work horse. He loves helping me and his dad with all of our projects. Luke and Adam also helped, but I forgot to snap a pic.

The next day, I had blisters on the palms of my hands from all the staples we removed. No pain, no gain, right?

March 2009 153

Then I spray painted the chairs black, and they started looking much better.

furniture makeover

That’s Jonathan’s feet in the background. He was helping me spray paint the wicker plant stand. (Don’t know where I’m going to use that yet!)

Then I bought some off white material to cover the seats.

I love using a staple gun. Covering a seat is so easy. Just be sure to pull the material real taunt before you staple. And if you mess up, you can easily pull the staple out and start over. (I know that from lots of experience!)

furniture makeover

furniture makeover

I just folded the corners over like so, nothing fancy.

furniture makeover

chairs 015

Then I just re-attached the seats with a screwdriver, and I was finished!

furniture makeover

What-a-ya think? I pulled the pillow off my bed to show you what it would look like with a pillow on it. I haven’t found the pillows I want just yet. I may buy them, or find some material I like and make them. I also thought a monogrammed pillow would look good.

furniture makeover

Here’s a picture of the backs of the chairs.

furniture makeover

I paid $30.00 for the chairs, $2.00 for a can of spray paint, and $6.00 for the material. Not bad for $38.00!

And they fit perfectly into my cottage style guest house.

Well, I hope you like my transformation! (By the way, I got the rug they are sitting on at Goodwill too…only $25.00!)

furniture makeover




  1. So pretty! You made a great decision leaving the fabric off the backs and instead showing of the chair back design. Nice job!

  2. * Now THAT’S usin’ yer noggin’!!! FABULOUS vision you had~~~ and such WONDERFUL results!!! “Whodathunk, huh?!?!”~~~ I think “YER THE MA’AM!!!” today, for this wildly successful story!!!

    Linda *

  3. Traci,
    Welcome to blogging! With your beautiful blog, great ideas and darling family it won’t be long before you have a ton of followers! My hubby is a woodworking/building construction teacher at our local high school. Your hubbies project below is wonderful! You should repost this again on the next Met. Monday! Welcome again, and I’ll be back often. Cindy

  4. Fantastic transformation — anyone would think these were very high end. You have a great eye!


  5. Your decorating is beautiful. It is so much fun to see all the sites where moms are decorating with a thrifty sense of style. I have always had to decorate with cast-offs, hand-me-downs yard sale, and thrift store finds with the occassional new purchase thrown in. Now, I have inspiration from you to be a bit more stylish. I have never regretted not being able to go out and buy just anything because it is so much fun to reuse. I look forward to more of your photographs!

  6. Super job! I really like that you redid them rather than painting the fabric. In the long run it’s a better finish.

  7. Those look so great! I would not have gone for those, but you made them look modern and chic. I love the pillow you put on one as well. I feel your pain with the "staple removing" blisters. I've had those before!

    Was there a point when you pulled all of the fabric off that you thought, "Oh crap. I hope this works out"? I have those moments some times. :) Thanks for sharing. It's a great makeover.

  8. Absolutely love the job you did on your chairs. I have 2 cane love seats and matching chair and sofa table. I would really like to do them in your colours. Just a it worried about the full back and seat cushions. They are floral and outdated. Hoping to recover them. That entails 10 cushions with piping and zippers. Yikes what am I getting myself into?
    Yours are looking so wonderful that you give me inspiration to attempt mine. Thanks.

    1. Hi Inga! You can do it! I know it will be a lot of work, but you will love it when it’s done. :). Send me pics when you’re finished.

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