DIY Thrift Shop Chair Makeover

Thrift Shop Chair Makeover

Hello again! Today I decided to wrap up a thrift shop chair project that I’ve been working on. We went thrift shopping a week or so back and we picked up an awesome thrift shop desk find. The desk was so cool we decided to go back a few days later to see what else we could find. We found a neat little chair that needed some serious help.

Thrift Shop Chair Makeover

Okay, when I say “we”, I mean Katie. She found the chair. I walked right by it and she said “what about this chair?!” I said hmm. It was pretty nasty, lol. I reluctantly sat on the chair and to my surprise it was really sturdy! I mean really sturdy. I’m not a small guy and it didn’t wiggle a bit. The legs were strong, the back was strong – the bones of the chair were rock solid! It’s a great thrift shop find!

Thrift Shop Chair Find

We had just left another thrift shop before coming to this one. They also had a chair we liked, but it was $20, and pretty busted up. It needed a lot of work, more work than the chair was worth. So, I pessimistically asked how much this chair was. “Five bucks” the cashier said – how can I argue with that? For 5 bucks it’s not even worth dickering over. So, we bought it!

Refinishing the Chair

The chair cleaned up pretty quickly. I removed the seat from the chair and sanded the wood down with my RYOBI orbital sander. It went fairly quickly, there were a few spots which needed to be sanded by hand with sand paper and a couple of other spots that needed a little wood filler to make the chair look like new again. All in all the refinishing process went quite easily. The detail in the center of the chair back required a little extra time to sand and clean up. But all in all fairly easy.

DIY Chair Makeover in Process


I also hit JO~ANN Fabric to pick up a new seat pad and a piece of fabric. It’s always funny going into JO~ANN because the ladies are always surprised to see a guy in there, or at least they act that way. Always overly helpful and acting all giddy. Anywho – I chose the blue and white chain link type pattern and think it looks pretty cool.


A photo posted by Andrew (@scrappy_geek) on


After the sanding process was complete, I went ahead and gave the chair several coats of paint. The wood was very porous and it took a couple extra coats of paint than it should have. I used RUST-OLIUM Universal Matte French Cream paint and primer in one and it seemed to work well, the color was more of a white than I thought the can indicated, but I think it came out great nonetheless.

Thrift Shop Chair Makeover

I haven’t decided what I’m doing with the chair yet. If we don’t find a place for it here at the house, I might just donate it back to the thrift shop I got it from. Maybe… who knows!

Want more? Check out my thrift shop desk makeover, you won’t believe how awesome this turned out!

You won't believe what this desk looks like now!

Go ahead, give me a compliment in the comment section below! 

Posted in: DIY

11 thoughts on “DIY Thrift Shop Chair Makeover”

  1. That turned out gorgeous! I love the navy and white print - that is in style this year. I've seen carpets and pillows to patch too.
  2. Wow, this chair turned out amazing. It really needed a makeover and you did a great job. I love the blue color you chose
  3. You are so lucky to have found a chair with pretty designs and a great frame. I used to refinish furniture but haven't in a while. This inspires me to get back into making something beautiful! Yours turned out amazing!

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