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Retro wooden dining chair with colourful upholstery

Overview

Soften the lines of a classic mid-century dining chair with look-at-me upholstery: a cheat's version made from repurposed cushions.

Steps

1Disassemble the chair

Working on a drop sheet, remove the seat and back. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws from the frame. Tip: Treat rusty screws with rust converter to reuse when reassembling the chair.

2Paint the ferrules

Wear gloves, glasses and a mask suitable for sanding and painting. To paint the metal chair tips (ferrules), apply tape around the timber legs and lightly sand the ferrules with 120-grit metal abrasive paper. Wipe clean. Spray the ferrules with white paint, holding a cardboard offcut behind to avoid overspray. Apply two coats, leave to dry after each.

3Sand the timber

Remove tape and smooth over the timber frame with 240-grit abrasive paper. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

4Apply beeswax

Apply liquid beeswax over the frame using a clean cloth. Leave to dry for half an hour then buff all over in a circular motion with another clean cloth.

5Add cushion covers

Position cushion covers over the seat and backrest. Cut open a cushion insert and use the stuffing to pad inside the covers. Fold the covers towards the underside of the seat and rear of the backrest, clamping with spring clamps. Staple the open edges of the covers to the underside of the seat and rear of the backrest.

6Reassemble the chair

Find the screw holes under the seat and at the rear of the backrest, marking them with a pen. Reassemble the chair by pushing the screws through the holes in the frame and the fabric, tightening them into the seat and backrest with a screwdriver. 


Photography credit: James Moffatt

7Want to upcycle more around the home?

We've got a great D.I.Y. project to upcycle your bedside tables.

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.