Folding Chair Makeover

I was kicking around these old folding chairs in our garage for years and didn’t have the heart to throw them out but only used them when I was desperate for additional seating. I have World Market wooden folding chairs as well and they were the ones I grabbed first if needed while these metal ones sat collecting cobwebs and dust in the garage.


Until I saw someone had posted a repainting project with metal folding chairs. Viola’ ! ‘Light Bulb’ moment! I can do that!

How come when you get inspired to do something on the fly and get all excited about it, purchase all the needed supplies, it never goes quite as smoothly as you had envisioned? That was the case here.

First I had to remove the cushions so the metal frame could be painted. Well mine were riveted into the frame so they needed to be drilled out. Not thinking that through , but I will explain later.


Then I ran out and got the paint I wanted to use. 1 can of paint per chair (I had 4).


Then fabric to cover the cushions. My chairs had a little back cushion and a seat cushion to cover. I used home décor fabric but you could use anything that you think would hold up and not wear our too quickly.


First I spray painted the chairs, well my sweet husband helped me as he is more experienced at using spray paint than I am and I was having trouble with some drips.


Then I went about recovering the cushions. So far so good.





Then here is where things started to get a little frustrating. Time to attach the cushions to the chair. I thought at first I could just use little screws and reattach them… well NO!

Then I realized I needed to purchase a rivet tool and new rivets. I won’t tell you how many times we had to return to the store to get the right size. I will save you the trouble by letting you know you need to get 1/8″ diameter,1/4″ grip( see photo). I have just saved you hours of frustration and wasted time….You’re welcome!


The clips on each cushion that the rivets go into also needed to be drilled out and free of old rivet pieces. ARG! Hadn’t anticipated that.





Once clips were replaced back in the cushions we used the rivet tool to reattach them to the chair frame.


Haven’t decided if I will try and touch them up with paint or not.

Here is the finished project:


I also covered one with a different fabric:  ( it is taped on in this picture getting ready to attach with rivet tool )


They are pretty cute and I think I will use them more now that they have been ‘whimsified’. I went for colorful and whimsical but you could easily finish them in the color scheme of your choice. How about painted gray with a little yellow chevron stripe? Or you could finish each one in a different color? Or match your home décor ? I think you get the idea.

Now that I have taken the guess work out for you have at it and remake those old folding chairs something you have fun using.

Have a great weekend!


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8 thoughts on “Folding Chair Makeover

  1. I just found your blog and am so glad I did…I found it on Pinterest. I’ll be back. You have great ideas…thanks for sharing them.

    • I did try that but for some reason I had rivets that wouldn’t allow that. Believe me that would have been my choice if it would have worked for me.

      • When we took the seat and back off the chair, we cut the rivet head off from the back on both the seat and backrest. Our clips looked exactly like yours, so I was stumped on how to put them back together. We could not drill them out at this point, they where too small and awkward to work with. I bought washers that had a small center hole and where large enough in diameter to cover the hole in the plastic. We ended up with thicker diameter rivets but kept the short shaft. (5/32 x 1/4″) Worked like a charm. All back together and it looks great. Thanks for your post.

  2. Pingback: Folding Chair Makeover | Decor Hacks

    • Hi Sharon,
      I just cleaned the chair with a damp rag and when dry painted away. My chairs were free from chipping paint or rust. Although I think even if a chair had some of those issues you could sand and primer or use Rustoleum brand paint.

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