Red Alert: New Chairs

About 12 months ago, I was in the process of moving into a new house. This process meant that I was spending a lot of time reading the Design*Sponge website, and dreaming about how I wanted my new house to look. For example, I loved the colour-coordinated book shelves and the painted dining chairs.  I love the Design*Sponge aesthetic, and have a particular soft spot for the DIY before and after projects.

So, feeling all inspired, I bought a set of 4 vintage dining chairs from the Belmont markets, early one Sunday morning. They were a lovely shape, had a wooden frame, and easily removable upholstered seat cushions.

Then, I moved into my new place… and the chairs sat for more than 10 months before I finally

  1. had an unexpectedly free weekend; and
  2. noticed the chairs! (By this time, the chairs had been sitting there so long that they had just become part of the furniture, and I walked past them multiples times every day without thinking “oh, I must finish them!”).

So, over the course of a weekend, I sanded back the chairs to remove what was left of the old, chipped varnish. I then took a trip to Bunnings to purchase a (large) tester pot of British Paints’ “Red Alert” paint.  I applied multiple coats of the paint to the chairs and allowed them to dry. 

Over the next week, I removed the approximately 60 million (hey, I said it was approximate) staples that were holding the old, worn-out granny fabric  to the seats. I also shopped for some red and white fabric to reupholster the chairs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that I liked (read: anything even vaguely modern in the colour scheme I wanted) in the shops I visited here in Perth. In the end, I ordered 1 metre of this beautiful  medium-heavy weight cotton online with my *fingers crossed* that the red of the fabric would match the red of the chairs. It did!

After purchasing new foam for the seat, I stretched and pulled and got the fabric to hang over the seat, just as I wanted it to… and the STAPLE GUN WAS #GO! Once the seats were reupholstered, I just had to screw them back into place in the frames (this was more difficult than it should have been as I hadn’t thought to mark which seat matched which frame *dammit*).

Ultimately I was thrilled by the way the chairs finished up! I really love the bright red of the chairs against the aqua walls in my kitchen/dining area. This is my favourite colour combination at the moment! 

Excuse the limited amount of sewing involved in this project. The use of fabric counts though, right?


4 thoughts on “Red Alert: New Chairs

  1. rubyslypprz says:

    Well done, Sarah! You’ve craftily transformed those tired old chairs into something colourful and chic, making it seem effortless and fun along the way. And just one metre of fab fabric for a completely new look—brilliant!

  2. Kate says:

    amazing transformation – i hadn’t even noticed the beautiful curve of the wood in the original version.

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