BEFORE & AFTER: rags to riches, folding chair makeover

final chair after

I’m a hunter & scavenger of the vintage kind. There’s nothing that gets me more excited that finding thrifted treasures for pennies and up-cycling them into something fabulous. For this project it’s a set of dated brown folding chairs and dress that’s a little too dated for even me to pull off but the fabric is too great not to reuse.

Folding Chair Makeover Before / The Sweet Escape

What you’ll need for this project: 
– glossy black spray paint
– spray glue or liquid adhesive
– spray or liquid sealer
– painters tape
– large soft paint brush
– staple gun
– gold leaf (optional depending on your design)
Let’s start with the chairs. Remove the seats and set aside. Give the chairs a few coats of black paint with drying time in between.

Folding Chair Makeover instructions / The Sweet Escape

Once the chair is dry, mask off the top part where you will put the gold leaf. Make sure you have your gold leaf ready to go. I suggest testing it out on something small if you haven’t used it before. I learned this the hard way! So then spray or apply generous layer of glue then apply the gold leaf. Brush off the excess when you’re happy with the coverage. I purposely made it look a little rough.

chair step 3 and 4

You’ll end up with something like this:

chair step 5

Then we get to the seat. Cut up your dress, layout flat and wrap around the seat then staple down. Trim and cut the corners.


And voila, you can pop the seat back in and you have something super fabulous like this!



These chairs are so cute you won’t want to fold them back and put them away. AFTER 3

If you liked this, you can check out more DIY before & after projects here.

5 Comments on BEFORE & AFTER: rags to riches, folding chair makeover

  1. Rachel | 52 Weeks Project
    January 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the rustic look of the gold in combination with the dot patterned! Another beautiful chair makeover Melissa! Perhaps you should start a business :)

    • TheSweetEscape
      January 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks! Seriously…I should think about it…

  2. Thalita @ The Learner Observer
    January 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm (2 years ago)

    I am OBSESSED with this project, Melissa!!! It looks so good! Impressive that you used a dress, too!

    • TheSweetEscape
      January 9, 2014 at 10:36 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Thalita! Yeah, I’m pretty happy with it and it seriously was easy. God I love spray paint.

  3. Katherine Rose
    March 5, 2014 at 1:09 am (2 years ago)

    Whoa! A dress?! So inventive and gorgeous! You see those chairs everywhere, and I really have never thought I’d see one that I want. I would definitely pay for this one. Good luck in CWTS!!


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