Awful to Awesome–Remaking Mom’s Ugly Chairs

Furniture is expensive.  I mean, like, for real.  And add the word “vintage” or “antique” in front of “furniture” and now we are talking EXPENSIVE.  (I couldn’t think of a word that mean even more expensive than “expensive” so I had to do ALL CAPS EXPENSIVE.  Have you got that yet?  Key word: expensive.)

So, a couple weeks ago mom decided she wanted some accent chairs because she is redoing her living room. She’d seen some she liked at the furniture store for $400. CRAZY!! So she recruited my help….because I could save her a few hundred (since I don’t charge for labor haha).

After work one day we headed to the treasure chest I call the “junk store” to find some chairs in need of some love (in the form of wood glue and fabric). We looked and looked and couldn’t find what she wanted. They had covered some of the outdoor items with tarps because it was supposed to be raining. Mom didn’t want to mess up the tarps but I took a chance that we might find “the one” under there. I dig around and found this nasty thing.

How I Turned This Ugly Thing Into My Mom's Favorite Seat in the House

Mom loved it. (Success!!!) But she wasn’t happy yet. So we went inside and I found this other ugly thing.


I have no idea why she wanted this one, but she bought them both ($30). They wouldn’t fit in our car so she had dad (good ole dad is our crafting assistant 🙂 …involuntarily) go pick them up in the truck the next day. In the rain. All I can say is gross. The chairs were soaked and smelled like who knows what and were dripping something brown…

I ripped them apart and thoroughly washed my hands. The pretty one (I named one pretty and one ugly) was broken so it had to be glued back together. See the two pieces?

How I Turned This Ugly Thing Into the Favorite Seat in the House

I white washed the chair. I whitewash everything. It’s my favorite!

The pretty one didn’t have springs but, in my opinion, it needed them. I looked online and shipping on chair springs cost more than the springs themselves. So I ordered some from a local upholstery store (those actually exist!!) I told him to give me the standard size of 8″ springs. I was out of town that week for work, so mom picked them up for me. When I got back and saw them I was disappointed to find they were WAY too big. But they were expensive and I am good at finding ways to “make things work” so I took on the challenge.

Danny and I spent a good portion of our Friday night tying down the springs. That would have been a really entertaining movie if someone had recorded it. Normally it requires one person, a hammer, twine, and tacks. These springs were so big it required Danny to sit on them on a 2×4 and all four of our hands in order to tie them down. Haha…seriously it wasn’t worth the effort. But the seat was very springy 🙂 Added some foam and batting and ta-da!

NOTE: I’m coming back to edit this post almost two years after it was written and I’m realizing that I didn’t give any instructions or show you pictures of the steps to tie down the springs.  Seeing as this was my third blog post ever, I can understand missing a few steps 🙂  But, you can find this link SUPER helpful for taking on your own reupholstering project.  This is actually the tutorial that gave me the courage to start reupholstering a few things!  Once you’ve done one, you can do a thousand 🙂


Mom, dad and I took a trip to hobby lobby for fabric. After an hour of looking she finally picked out a fabric for each chair. Finally!!!

And now we have a finished product!!


I’m so happy with it!!

The ugly chair was so much easier! Some spray paint, webbing, foam, batting and fabric and it’s done! Although the arms made it difficult to get the fabric smooth and tight, I think it turned out okay.


It truly is amazing what a little elbow grease, springs, and fabric can do.

Mom’s happy and I can check another project off my list. I’d call that a success! If you actually made it this far, I’m Sorry this post was way super long. Now I’m on to the next project 🙂

Don’t forget to pin for later!

How I Turned This Ugly Thing Into the Best Seat in the House

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