before and after

it’s always fun to see what people can do with their own two hands, some paint and a little fabric. d*s reader joanna had owned this chair forever (her mother-in-law found it on the side of the road in baltimore) and carried it with her to new hampshire when she and her family moved. she explained that she “finally” painted and recovered it using a high gloss yellow-green paint and amy butler fabric. i think the chair looks fantastic- especially when you see what it looked like before! (see below). thanks to everyone who takes the time to send projects like this my way- it’s endlessly inspiring to see how talented and crafty you guys are.


  1. style court says:

    Fabulous makeover! Love the frame color.

  2. Nicole says:

    I love this! Really great job.

  3. susan says:

    great vision! great execution!

  4. Keyse says:

    That is amazing! It looks so fantastic :)

  5. Courtney says:

    I would love to know the paint color used. The chair looks amazing!

  6. Raven says:

    Love it and Amy Butler fabric!

    Great job!

  7. Joanna says:

    Thank you! I was afraid of doing something wrong and then realized it’s all in fun…and that revelation guided how I chose the paint and fabric.

    I found a swatch I liked from Walmart paint called Breadfruit. but I had it color matched in another brand. The chair got at least 4 coats (and would have done more if I wasn’t working on a self-imposed deadline). I wanted it shiny, shiny, shiny!

    (I had actually painted it a glossy blue first and while I absolutely LOVED the color, it didn’t compliment the fabric.)

  8. Mary says:

    Normally I’m not a fan of yellow, but that is such a bright and cheery chair! I love that, and it makes me wonder what I could do with some of the old pieces my family keeps in various basements.

  9. meagan says:

    Absolutely stunning! What a fabulous color combo.

  10. Deepa Jayanth says:

    Fabulous! And very inspiring. Thanks Joanna for sharing.

  11. wow! it looks so inviting! great job, joanna :)

  12. Julia says:

    Joanna- Did you sand or prime the chair before painting? I have a bench I want to paint, but am not looking forward to sanding!

  13. Mike says:

    great job….you turned a $40 chair into a $500 one…..

  14. Anna @ D16 says:

    Wait, so you (Joanna) did the reupholstery yourself?! WOW. I am wicked impressed.

  15. Joanna says:

    Julia, I did not sand. Not only because I hate sanding, but also because the chair is so old and I have lead paint fear. (OK, so it wasn’t painted before, but maybe refinished with something clear…I know I’m stretching.)

    I did wash the chair down well and vigorously prime–two coats, just to make sure it stuck. I keep giving latex based primers a chance and then kicking myself for it. So I’d stick to a good oil-based primer.

    Anna, I did not do the upholstery myself, but that is next on my list of “to learn” skills. I’ve been searching for a class up in my neck of the (literal) woods, but haven’t had any luck yet. The husband/wife team who covered the chair did a fantastic job. It cost $200 for the labor and supplies, not including the fabric. To me, TOTALLY worth it.

  16. joy says:

    gorgeous! you did an amazing job!

  17. Laura says:

    Joanna – Great job! Seeing what you’ve done makes me look at craigslist with much more optimism. Cheers!

  18. Misa says:

    Looks lovely. I was thinking to use Amy Butler nigella fabric for my sofa, but I was told by a specialist that it was too light for upholstery… Did you do some backing or just use as is?

  19. Elizabeth says:

    You did an amazing job! it looks fantastic! I’m curious though if it’s an Ethan allen grandmother had a set from the Early seventies that looked *very* similar to that chair in its before state.

  20. Joanna says:

    The fabric was used as it. It’s the from the home decorator weight line, and my upholsterer didn’t object. I don’t anticipate it will get tons of wear (although it’s our dog’s favorite lounging chair…eek!), though.

    I do not think it’s an Ethan Allen chair; I haven’t seen any marking or identification on it. I think it predates that time (or else took a pretty heavy beating during that time).

  21. Gayle Bird says:

    Yikes, am I the only person who hates it? At first I thought it went from that frightening yellow and turquoise to the really great dark wood and red upholstery… I was shocked to find out it went the other way (although the red fabric does, of course, need replacing).

    Well, to each her own! It always pains me to see wood painted over anyway :)

  22. Sherri SW says:

    Oooh I so need to find a chair like that- LOVE the design ! This is fantastic – LOVE the new fabric


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