before & after: bright summery chair makeovers

Chairs are unquestionably my weakness. I don’t think I can fit another chair in my apartment, and I even have a few that just hang out here and there in corners, but that didn’t stop me from buying stools at Brimfield. They’re like half-chairs, though, so it’s okay :) Whenever I try to stop noticing them, a great chair makeover inevitably falls in my lap, and I’m on the hunt all over again. These sunny yellow caned chairs from Dayka are like neon sculptures, and I love them nestled around that dark table with the dramatic mirror: very glam. This is exactly the kind of color jolt my home needs for summer. Thanks for sharing, Dayka! — Kate

Time: 2 hours

Cost: $30

Basic Steps: The chairs were in almost perfect condition, so I lightly sanded them with a (one-sided) foam sanding pad and then used my sprayer to apply primer and paint from Porter Paints. In no time, I had a “brand new” set of chairs that were completely customized for my decor! — Dayka

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

I’ve been very into asymmetrical patterns in upholstery lately, and I love this chair from Samantha at Post 61 Collective for this very reason. The John Robshaw quilt looks stunning on this simple curved frame, and the composition of the pattern is beautifully done. Great work, Samantha!

Time: 2 weeks

Cost: $200 (not including materials)

Basic Steps: The first thing we did was bring the chair out of the attic and give it a good cleaning. Then we started pulling out fabrics, trying to decide which could make the chair a statement piece. As soon as we laid the quilt on this particular chair, we knew we had found the perfect idea. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Yes, we all need classic pieces, the ones that are easy to add to any room. But every room also needs a bit of whimsy! — Samantha

  1. Lindsay says:

    Actually, I love the original chair–I’d stick it, as is, in my apartment in a second!

  2. Katy says:

    I have those exact chairs in my kitchen, this is very tempting!

  3. Roseandpearl says:

    Love the bright yellow cane ice cream chairs. The color gives them a mod, fun feel. Nice!

  4. Leslie says:

    I really loved the green chair in the original color. The after shot is fun though.

  5. Absolutely dying over these chair ideas! The yellow ones are SOOOOO super cute and such a simple idea! Love it! And that pattern on the second chair….GORGEOUS!

  6. TDM says:

    I love both versions of the green chair and I think they both have their place. What I love is how different they are from eachother just because of the fabric. Great print on the after version.

  7. Lauren says:

    I have to admit.. I like the green chair the way it was originally. I think it turned out well, but maybe it’s just a matter of preference.

  8. Jen says:

    My mother owns the originally yellow (you guys are calling it green?) chair. It’s an antique – that yellow was the original upholstery. She would probably drop dead if she saw this post (so would you if you knew just how much money you lost by reupholstering it).

  9. love the yellow bistro spunky!! thanks for sharing..have a lovely visit my blog when you have a dining table is on display today! xx meenal

  10. EL @ home says:

    Hello Sunshine! Love the bentwoods in yellow! Yet another example of why I’m so addicted to your ‘Before & After’ posts…

  11. Gloria says:

    There has been a set of those yellow chairs on my local craigslist forever, I guess no one sees the potential in them and I don’t need another chair either!

  12. Sam and Anne says:

    Thanks so much for including our chair in this post!
    We loved this chair too which is why we rescued it from the attic; sadly the upholstery was in terrible shape before so we decide to have fun with it!

  13. Deb Van says:

    Amazing what a can of paint can do! The yellow looks great.

  14. ashley says:

    LOVE IT!! SO CUTE!!!!

  15. Wow – this is so neat!

  16. stylefyles says:

    those chairs are awesome. love the transformation!

  17. Stacia says:

    The yellow paint looks fabulous. Love the contrast to the table and the modern vibe.

  18. Thanks for your great comments about my yellow vintage Thonet chairs! I love that a simple, classic chair like this can take on a whole new life with a fresh coat of paint–a world of difference!

  19. MUvement says:

    Yellow paint is so delightful! I love it mixed with the dark table!

  20. Great makeover on the yellow dining chairs, very cute!

  21. Sharon Snow says:

    LOVE this!!! Oh So Sassy! Please can you share the name of the colors on the black table AND yellow chairs, and what type of paint finish you used? They are perfect!

  22. Annie says:

    I have to say the green velvet is so much more beautiful than the patterned quilt.

  23. Samantha says:

    Amazing transformations, I love it!

  24. Anna Green says:

    I think it was the room more than the make over that made a difference to the yellow chairs.

  25. Simone says:

    The yellow chairs look amazing! I’m very keen to get a spray gun for painting furniture as it gives it a beautiful professional finish!

  26. showgirl says:

    Amasing makeover!!!!!! The yellow chairs are modern now!

  27. Jessica Jones says:

    I agree with a bunch of the other comments…
    The upholstered chair was dynamite in the original velvet, and somewhat uninspired in the replacement upholstery. I better change would have been to paint the wood.

    Velvet should never be undone.

  28. I never thought I would say this but I like those yellow chairs :)

  29. i love the patterning of the second chair – gorgeous!! i find the yellow chairs are actually too small to sit in for a typical size male though – I have one at home and I barel fit on it (i’m a little 5’3″ girl). I still love them though – great job!

  30. The yellow chairs look great, a fun project for a weekend

  31. Kim says:

    The original green velvet is timeless and soooo much better! The new pattern will look outdated in no time.

  32. Ian says:

    Yep, the original green chair was better, or at the very least, the newer chair will beg to be reupholstered again very soon.

  33. Jessica says:

    I have a chair obsession too!! Wonderful job on the bentwood chairs! Love the contrast. :)

  34. evaone says:

    What an incredible transformation of those lovely chair. the colors are very lively…great job.

  35. Carla Q says:

    Hmmm. I must say, the colors seem a bit off in the reupholstered chair.

  36. I really like the yellow on those old Paris chairs.

  37. Love the yellow chairs! Stunning!

  38. Diana says:

    Love, love, LOVE the yellow chairs and black table. Beautiful.

    The side chair would have been great lacquered black or another complimentary color. Love the upholstery.

  39. suzela says:

    I have a serious, unbeatable addiction to bentwood chairs. The yellow “after” set is adorably cheerful! But, please, if you come across that chair style and it bears a Thonet label, DO NOT paint it … email me instead! ;)

  40. The yellow chairs are brilliant. It’s noteworthy to highlight that what makes the makeover impressive is the use of bold, luminously neon colors to contrast the otherwise bland hues. Much better if someone can tell how environment-friendly this thing could also be.

  41. Rhonda says:

    Love the bright colors on the bentwood chairs, not to keen on the fabric for the reupholstered chair though.

  42. Zsa Zsa says:

    Awesome!!! love love love the yellow chairs! I, too, have a weakness for chairs! :)

  43. Danielle Dickerson says:

    I love the look but wish I knew how to reupholster myself. Did you guys outsource the reupholstering?

  44. Lin says:

    The yellow/green original chair is super cute! The after… sort of hideous!

  45. For those who inquired, the yellow paint on the chairs is Forsythia Blossom (212-4) by Porter Paints/PPG. The table is actually an old Target find–I simply added a coat of high gloss urethane to the top for shine & protection and have rocked it for a few years now. I also agree with the commenter who said that Bentwood chairs are a bit small for an average size man–they’re definitely not chairs to lean back in! :)

    Thanks again everyone for your kind comments.

  46. I have a gallon of yellow paint that I didn’t know what to do with. (left over from failed diy project) I’m so painting some chairs now! Maybe not a whole set, but a pair. Thanks for the inspiration…

  47. iris says:

    I love your post. Thanks for the inspiration!!
    I’m gonna write about it in my next post.

    Thank u!!


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