Furniture Refurb: Five Dollar Chairs

I picked up these chairs in the middle of nowhere at a garage sale.  I was bent over one of them, doing some inspecting, when I heard a woman yell “five bucks for both!”. I don’t think I even looked up, I just threw a fiver on the ground, grabbed a chair and ran for the car while Hubs was still standing there wondering if she was serious. “No takebacks! Load ‘er up, babe!”

These chairs have to be one of my all time favorite scores.

Five Dollar Chairs |

They were stained brown and upholstered in a dirty, velvet-y pink plush.  I hit up JoAnn’s and found a great thick cotton fabric as well as some nail head trim.  Then headed to Home Depot, picked up some Rustoleum Gloss White spray paint and took ‘er home.

Five Dollar Chairs |

I had originally intended on not re-using the back cushion, but once I removed it, I noticed that the buttons had left some holes in the caning, so I just gave in and used the back cushion.

I removed all the old fabric, sewed a new back cushion, reupholstered the seat and then found an amazingly helpful video on YouTube on how to do double sided tufting.  It’s so super easy.  If I find out that you made a cushion and used some other half-@ss technique to achieve the same look, I’m gonna come find you. Stapling the cushion or using a washer/screw and then hot gluing a button on top is so unacceptable when doing it right is this easy.  End rant.

Here they are all finished:

Five Dollar Chairs |

They even have a hint of Pantone’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid.

Five Dollar Chairs |

You can find the nail head trim I used here.  It was enough to do both chairs and have some left over.

Five Dollar Chairs |

Check out that double sided tufting.

Five Dollar Chairs |

Five Dollar Chairs |

Michelangelo was known to say “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”.  Now, I’m no Michelangelo, but I do think that each piece of furniture I redo has to tell me what it wants to be and what fabric it wants to wear.  In this case, it means fabric that doesn’t match a single room in my house.  Sadly, these little babies live in my basement.  I tried selling them last summer at a few trade days events with no luck.  Fine with me!

Five Dollar Chairs |

The whole project cost about forty bucks, including the cost of the chairs.  Whaddya think?  Worth it?


What’s YOUR greatest garage sale find?!


  1. Jan says

    Love the chairs.
    Could you give me some tips on spray painting furniture. I usually use chalk paint but have tried my hand at spray painting some small pieces. I seem to get an unevenness that shows a glossy spot then a not glossy spot. What advise can you give? Thanks so much.

    • says

      Thanks, Jan! I have had that a happen a few times before and it seems to only happen with Krylon, but that might just be a coincidence. Smooth even strokes that slightly overlap the last and really keep the can movin’. If my arm flab isn’t moving, then I know I’m not workin’ hard enough. And two or three light coats is always better than one thick coat with drips (but drips can be sanded with a fine grain sandpaper and then resprayed). Maybe try another coat of paint to see if that will cover the un-glossy spots? Also, using a satin, instead of a high gloss spray could help. I’ve had projects where I wasn’t able to get those spots out, even after buying several cans to recover and ensure an even finish, but it still didn’t work. I ended up buying a clear gloss spray to go over the whole thing and even out the sheen and it worked great. Good luck, happy spraying!

  2. karin says

    Love these chairs and will be featuring them at our Twirl and Take a bow link party on Tuesday.
    Thanks for linking up~

  3. says

    oh these are SOOO great, the new colors are just perfect. What a steal. I’ve stumbled this, thanks for linking up to Create Link Inspire!

  4. says

    So I’m at the Show Me What Ya Got Party and see these gorgeous cane chairs and SURPRISE (no surprise) they were a project by you. Man you do good work! These chairs are stunning – the white, gorgeous colorful fabric, and those cute fabric buttons on the back…come on!

  5. says

    What an awesome find! I get the same way when I see an awesome deal, it’s like I need to get the hell out of here before they realize I’m robbing them, haha. You did a beautiful job and if that lady saw them she would probably kick herself. LOOOOOOVE these. Pinned! Thanks for sharing them at the Makers!


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