How To Make Over An Office Chair

Do you remember the post I did when I first started blogging about how I transformed my not so pretty home office chair with fabric. Well that office chair makeover – now needs a makeover. I had covered the chair with the black and white prints about 6 years ago.

The back fabric cover held up great – the seat was very thin fabric that I stapled on.  It actually wore better than I thought, but it was time to give it a decorating facelift to go with the new color scheme in my craft room… aka my studioffice.

Office Chair Cover: Before

This black and white check office chair cover served me well for many years… but it was getting a bit worn.  Good-bye black and white chair.

How to transform an old office chair

Office Chair Makeover: After

Hello summer fresh color! I found a woven cotton throw rug at HomeGoods for $7 and used that to make a cover for the back. The green fabric on the bottom is from JoAnn’s.

How to cover an office chair with pretty or colorful fabric to coordinate with your decor. Easy project. #officechair #DIYdecor #officechairmakeover

How to Cover an Office Chair Back Cushion

I used cotton fabric on the seat of the chair and a cotton rag rug for the seat back.

office chair made over using a beach towel on the seat and back.

I have even used a colorful beach towel to makeover an office chair. So don’t feel you can only use fabric yardage from a fabric store.

supplies needed:

  • Woven cotton rug that is a little wider than the chair back
  • Thread
Decorating ideas for covering chairs

1. Fold rug in half, with right sides facing each other and sew a seam along each side.

Office Chair Makeover How To

2. Turn rug to right side and slip over the back of the chair.

Office Chair Makeover Decorating Ideas

How to Cover an Office Chair Seat With Fabric

supplies needed:

  • Fabric – wide enough to wrap around and under the seat cushion on all sides.
  • Staple gun and staples

1.  Lay fabric on a work surface right side down. Center cushion on top of it.  Start on the front of the cushion – pull the fabric up and around the seat and then turn over the raw edge and staple.  Repeat on each side of the cushion, making sure you keep the fabric taut and straight if there is a pattern on it.

How to cover a seat cushion: Office Chair Makeover

Turning over the raw edge of the fabric before stapling will keep it looking finished.

how to cover a seat cushion: Office Chair Makeover

2.  Work on each corner next.  Gather and pull all the fabric on one corner together.

How to cover a seat cushion: Office Chair Makeover

3.  Pull the fabric around the corner taut and then staple, pull taut – staple. Keep working your way around the corner until you have all the fabric tight and stapled and no bunches or pleats.

If you do have a pleat – just pull a bit and it will go away.  If you are working on a square seat, you can fold the fabric in the corner gift-wrap style and then staple. Cut excess fabric off and then fold over the raw edges and staple them down. Repeat on the other corners.

How to cover a seat cushion

It should end up looking something like this.

How to cover a seat cushion

Attach to chair.  All done – smooth and taut so when you sit on it the fabric doesn’t move.

How to cover a seat cushion: Office Chair Makeover

How to Paint an Office Chair a New Color

When you want to change the color of an office chair, the easiest way is using spray paint.

Since the bottom of my chair was mostly plastic I used Rust-Oleum spray paint for plastic.  It has a subtle sheen and I am very happy with how it adhered and covered.

How to paint plastic

I placed a drop cloth on my deck and sprayed the chair outside.  I left the cushions on at first, but then removed them so I could get all the crevices of the chair with paint. The cushions come off easy with a screwdriver.

How to paint an office chair

I first used the primer since I had it, but it is really for using on plastic when you don’t have special plastic paint.  On the label of the Rust-oluem Plastic paint it states that it does not need a primer.

I sprayed one coat of primer and let it dry and then over the course of the afternoon – I added about 4 light coats of paint until the black was all covered.

DEcorating Ideas for a Home Office

Reassemble the chair to reveal a brand new look.

Decorating-Ideas-for-Desk Chair Makeover

Now that my chair is done I will be moving on to the other projects that I want to complete in this room – shelves – file drawers – rug- and electrical cord management.  I am eager to get them started.

If you would like to see the tutorial on the first cover I made for the chair you will find it here:

Bloggers craft room tours

Also, here is a photo of the work station side of my studioffice. You can see the white and pink office chair. It was once black and red. I spray painted the base white and covered the seat and back in white and pink cowhide fabric.

Two office chairs after getting new fabric covers.

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  1. I’ve been wondering if this was possible for quite a while now! was too terrified to try this myself. Wondering if this would ruin the adjustable mechanism on the chair? Would paint not get jammed in between? Would love to know how yours got on.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Emm – I have painted 3 office chairs over the years and use them all the time with no problem. Paint does not get jammed in. Use only spray paint. It is the way to go so the paint goes on smooth and not thick.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Padma –

      Yes, you can paint the chrome to look like gold. You will need to mask off the chair seating with a big garbage bag and painter’s tape. Tape it tightly around the base so no overspray gets on the seat. Once that is done, use 100 grit sandpaper and rub the chrome surface to scratch it up a little. A 5-minute going over is all that is needed.

      Clean off grit and wash surface with hot sudsy water, rinse with clear water and let dry completely. Use a spray primer – 1 – 2 very light coats, then 1 – 2 very light coats of gold spray paint and let dry. Do not use thick coats. You can also just use a spray paint & primer in one formula. You can seal it with a clear spray polyurethane like Minwax Polycrylic. You can see it here:

      If you haven’t spray painted, read this post where I share spray painting tips that will ensure you have success.

      There are any brands who sell gold spray paint. Krylon, Rustoleum and Valspar (Lowes) are my go-tos.

  2. Debbie Tucker says:

    I never would have thought to paint my chair but boy I love the white and green it’s so pretty to bad the rug wasn’t big enough for the seat I think it would have been more durable,I have been trying to decide how I wanted to do my dirty ugly chair trying to decide if I want to make the seat removable for washing but I think I would have to use knit fabric to get it to fit right and since Im really not wanting to use a knit I will just take it off and cover it.Thanks for the great tutorial

  3. Hi I’m wondering how u would go about painting a china cabinet I’ve had its made if composite plastic I believe not wood not metal but thick almost glass like plastic

  4. Linda Weeks says:

    you do inspire me to take a stab at these projects, you are just too clever! I usually start something like this only to realize half way into it that I do not have something that I need or can’t make that tool work the right way or that my paint has been in the basement since the 60s. But I will attempt this or staple myself trying. :-)

  5. Just re-did my daughter’s desk chair per your suggestions, turned out great! Thank you!

  6. Marble medallion says:

    I got nice inspiration to recover my office chair! Helpful information and pictures.

    – Herman Swan

  7. Jessica @ Decor Adventures says:

    Hi Diane,

    What a fun and easy makeover. I like how you used the rug, it’s great to find those versatile pieces that can be used as fabric.

    And I love the evidence of projects past on your spray paint tarp, I spy some picture frames :-)

  8. Your chair looks great. Thanks so much for all the helpful information and ideas. You explain things so well and I really appreciate it.

  9. looks really funky, creative, and very unique!

  10. Mary Alice says:

    When I first saw your chair (with the black and white fabric), I was inspired to recover my ugly but functional office chair. So thanks for the inspiration!

    N0w your new look for this chair is just incredible. I love the fresh ideas that you come up with. Great blog!

  11. Sheree Fojut says:

    Looks Great !!! Gives me some ideas for my own. Thanks so much :)

  12. I definitely need to do that, & you gave such a great tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing!

  13. Laura @Ms Smartie Pants says:

    Wow, what a transformation! Loving the bright colors in your studio!

  14. Looks amazing! I love the color!

  15. Patricia Ring says:

    Love the green. So bright and pretty.

  16. LOVE IT! I got my chair at a thrift store and although it’s functional (and most importantly comfortable, it was kinda gross when I cleaned it with a steam cleaner for the first time. I never thought about covering it, now I am! TFS!!!

  17. Brooke @ Inside-Out Design says:

    So cute!!! I love the bright green and I especially love that you used a rug to cover this!

  18. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Love the fresh color you used in your new cover, Diane!

  19. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Oh my gosh, you painted your old black chair. I AM inspired to do this, but must be a later project. I have so many others that have priority to complete first. Love the chair make over, just love it.

  20. love, love, love this idea! I have an office chair just like this one that I’ve been eager to cover. I never would have thought to paint the chair base. I’m so excited at the possibilities now. Thanks for inspiring. I’ll be pinning this to my sewing and crafts board on Pinterest.

    sharon @ mrs. hines class