Fabulous folding chair makeover painting metal folding chair

I luuuuuuuuvvvvvvvv this project. There, I said it. I really do! It’s one of my favorite projects in recent memory…. I can’t take credit for the idea- I was inspired by a photo on my Pinterest board (and you can see the original post here.) I guess all of that time on Pinterest actually paid off! It’s so easy to do a fabulous makeover on an old metal folding chair- you probably have one in your basement or garage right now that’s just waiting for a little luv.

Anyway, we had this ugly chair- I mean, it was hideous. It was headed for the trash heap.

metal folding chair spray paint

All it took to go from yucky to Yow-za! was a can of spray paint and a bit of fabric. It was really simple.

Here’s what you will need:

  1. The ugliest chair you can find (the ugly part is not required, but it does enhance your sense of accomplishment and awe at your DIY mad-skills when you are finished.)
  2. Indoor/outdoor spray paint (I used Rustoleum, which worked really great.I chose my new favorite color- I have no idea why I am suddenly completely in love with Orange, but I am)
  3. Piece of fabric that is a couple of inches larger than the chair pad
  4. Glue gun
  5. Tools to remove the chair pad- depending on the type of chair you have, you might need screwdriver, pliers, hammer, etc.

First, I flipped over the chair and found the tabs on the underside of the seat that were attaching the chair pad to the chair. I loosened the tabs with a screwdriver and removed the chair pad. (If the chair had rubber tips on the legs, I would remove those, too.)

I placed the chair on a large scrap of cardboard outside. You definitely want to do your painting in a well-ventilated area. The key to getting a beautiful paint job is patience. I worked on this project over the course of several days (but it only took a few minutes each day). It really is best to do a lot of light coats of paint- don’t try to rush it, because you will get drips & runs which are really not pretty.

Here’s what I did- I would go out and give it a quick coat of paint, wait a little while, then go back and try to hit the areas that I missed. You need to paint it from lots of different angles- front, back, sides…. I would let it dry for several hours, then, because it was so humid, I would bring the chair inside to help “cure” the paint in the air-conditioning. Then the next day, I took it back outside and did a couple more coats.

spray painted metal folding chair


When I felt that I had done a good job covering the front, back, and upper side of the chair (don’t worry about the seat which will be covered with the pad), I allowed the chair to dry overnight to make sure it was good and dry. Then I flipped the chair over so I could get the back side of the legs and underside.

spray painting metal folding chair



spray painted metal folding chair



When it was good and dry, and I was sure that I had the chair completely painted, I added the bottoms to the legs (which I purchased at the hardware store, since my chair didn’t have any to start with.)



To cover the chair pad, I cut the fabric about 2″ larger than the pad which I removed in the first step. I wrapped the edges of the fabric around to the bottom of the chair pad and glued it in place. (I did not take a photo of this step, because the pad was, in fact, nasty, and I didn’t see any point in making you a witness to it.) The fabric I chose was my favorite pear print from my Fruitful Hands collection for Henry Glass Fabrics.

I replaced the pad on the chair and it was done. Wow! What a difference! It’s perfect for extra seating when you have guests- of course, it’s so cute that you might want to find a place for it in your office, bedroom, or den, and not just save it for your guests….











P.S. If you like this chair makeover, please share the idea by using the buttons below! Sharing is caring :) [Cheesy but true!]