Office Chair Upcycle

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Quick and Easy Office Chair Upcycle

Here is a short and sweet DIY project to add a pop of color to a little girl's room. I repainted a desk a few years ago which now is in my niece's bedroom. She is in first grade and loves to color and create things so you can most always find her at a table or desk trying to make something new everyday.
What you will need:


- 1 Old office chair

- Screw driver or automatic drill works best

Spray paint primer - I used Valspar Spray Primer in white

Spray paint in desired color(s) - I already had Rustoleum Berry Pink and Metallic Silver

Flat head screw driver

- Pliers

- Electric upholstery stapler gun

- Upholstery staples

- New fabric of choice


I knew I wanted to do a fun chair to accompany her teal and silver desk. Something she wouldn't outgrow too quickly but still something she would love. I also took in to account that she is only 7, sharing a room with her younger sister who will be 5 soon, needless to say there are "oopsies" with nail polish and markers that happen occasionally, so I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of money on this project.

My husband had this old, generic computer chair he used in college that had

been sitting in storage for years. I took it out, clean it up by hosing it off and wiping away all the dust and cobwebs, and began to disassemble. Unfortunately I did not get a before picture with the chair put together but here is the chair taken apart right before I was going to take apart the black fabric on the seat chair and back.


** Be sure to keep all of your pieces together and remember where they go for easy reassembly!**


After the chair was completely taken apart I took all of the metal, non-fabric pieces outside to do a first coat of primer. I did a little sanding on the metal bar that connects the seat to the backing mainly because it had a gloss layer on it. I sprayed all of the pieces fully with a white primer. 

While that was drying I began to take apart the fabric from the seat and backing of the chair. I used a flat head screwdriver and pliers to take the upholstery staples out. I'm sure there's a magical tool out there that would probably make this process much easier and if anyone has any suggestions on that I am wide open because this process can be very dull.


So I normally blast my favorite playlist (for the dull tasks my list of choice is "Best of 80's New Wave) on Spotify.

What is your favorite things to listen to when working on projects? I LOVE music so I don't mind trying what other people like too! This is a judgement free zone people, let's hear it in the comments! 


Once you have the fabric completely off of the backing and chair:

  1. Take the pieces of fabric and lay them on your new desire fabric so you can easily measure how much you will need for each piece. Give yourself just a little more room then the exact measurement of the fabric.

  2. On the back of the desired fabric, trace where you want to cut.

  3. Cut the fabric leaving that little wiggle room.

  4.  Place the old fabric on the batting and repeat step 3 (You don't necessarily have to over measure for the batting)

  5. Use the fabric adhesive spray on the seat and backing for the chair and place the batting over top precisely lining up with the edging. You may want to wear gloves or use something to help secure the batting to the cushion as the adhesive is very strong.

  6. Spray the top of the batting with the adhesive spray and lay the fabric (directly centered) over the batting.

  7. Begin placing your staples by doing one in the middle of each side first, pulling the fabric tight each time.

  8. Once you've done all four, work your way around, stapling securely and pulling tightly each time. For best results I will usually do each side until I reach the corners, or where there may appear to be a corner or stopping point between two sides.

  9. For the corners, do the staples for each side as close as you can and pull the fabric for the corner piece. Try to pull it so there is no crease in the fabric.

  10. Once you've completed all of your staples, trim away the excess fabric from each piece.

This whole process took me about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. I came back and checked my primed pieces to ensure they were dry enough to do the first coat of each color. I used the Rustoleum Berry Pink for the body of the chair and the Metallic Silver for the small accessories of the chair. I did one coat, let it dry overnight, did a second coat in the morning ensuring I got all cracks and crevices of the wheels and height lever. After two coats of paint (for good measure) I sealed it with Rustoleum Clear Semi-gloss. I let all of this dry and set for about 48 hours and reassembled the product. And viola! Perfect little girl's desk chair ready to be spun in and assisting with great ideas and inspiration!



I hope you enjoyed this project. I hope it could offer some help with some of your future inspirations! Please leave any comments, questions, or suggestions and don't forget your favorite songs to listen to while creating!


Happy thrifting!

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