Makeover an old chair

Paint and upholster mismatched chairs for a pretty seating arrangement.
Video Francois Oberholster | Editing Suné Esterhuizen | Music

You will need


  • steel ruler
  • G-clamps
  • jigsaw
  • scissors
  • staple gun
  • paintbrush


  • newsprint
  • crayon
  • 6mm Supawood
  • rubble bags
  • cushion stuffing
  • batting
  • chalk paint in the colour of your choice
  • sealing wax
  • masking tape

 Get started

1. Make a template of the seat of your chair by placing the newsprint on top and tracing the shape with a crayon. Cut the shape out and place it back on the seat to see if it fits; make adjustments if necessary.

2. Trace the template onto the Supawood using the steel ruler to make sure the edges are straight.

3. Secure the Supawood to your work surface with G-clamps and cut the seat shape out with a jigsaw.

4. Place the Supawood cut-out on the batting and cut the batting about 5cm bigger on all sides.

5. Place a big ball of stuffing in the centre of the batting and put the wood on top. Fold the batting over the edges of the wood and staple in place. Cut the excess batting away.

6. Place the seat cushion on the rubble bag and cut it so that it’s about 10cm bigger on all sides.

7. Fold a seam on the edges of the bag as you fold it over the edge of the wood, and staple it in place. Stretch it tightly over the seat as you go. Trim the corners before you fold them back and staple in place. Your seat is done!

8. Paint the chair from the seat upwards. You will need to apply 2–3 coats, depending on what colour the chair was before; let the paint dry between coats. Once the final coat of grey has dried, mask the top of the legs and paint with 2–3 coats of a different colour.

9. When the paint has dried, remove the masking tape and seal the paint with the sealing wax.

10. Position the seat on the chair – and take a load off!

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