‘Mullet’ Chair Makeover in 5 Simple Steps
“These affectionately became known as our ‘mullet’ chairs (there were 2 of them)– business in the front, party in the back!”
A while back we partnered with Habitat for Humanity to increase awareness about upcycling and to raise money for some local families by participating in their Upcycle Challenge.
The premise of the challenge was simple: Five selected design teams had to design a totally new room on a budget of only $500. We had to select all of the furniture for each space from the Habitat ReStore (for free) and refinish or refurbish each piece to make it look like new. On a selected date, Habitat hosted a house tour where people would see our spaces and purchase the newly finished pieces with all proceeds going to help the organization. We were happy to be selected and met some pretty nice people in the process.
We didn’t get to pick our rooms. They were pre-selected for us.
We drew the living room. A total blank slate. Yay!!! It was right at the beginning of the spring and we wanted to use a light refreshing color palette to bring the space to life.
And here’s the finished space!
Being on such a tight budget forced us to get our creative juices flowing! I was genuinely happy with what we came up with for our $500!
One of the biggest hits of our room were these scalloped side chairs. They sold immediately!
I immediately fell in love with the shape of these chairs and knew they had some serious potential so I snatched them right up! They were timeless and with the right re-do, they’d be fabulous!
Our plan: Modernize the chairs with color and add a bit of fun with an unexpected element! We painted the coffee table and sofa legs in a medium grey so the color was an easy natural connection. We used a $9 pair of cream curtains and a $10 Ikea pillow cover for our upholstrey fabric, and we were off to the races!
These affectionately became known as our ‘mullet’ chairs (there were 2 of them)– business in the front…
…party in the back!
This project was very simple and accomplished in 5 steps.
Step 1: Remove the seat and back cushions.
This was a matter of unscrewing the cushions from the chair’s frame. I made sure that there was nothing overly complicated about the cushion removal before we selected them.
Step 2: Sand the chair frame.
There was no need to sand these down to the bare wood. We just wanted to take the finish off so that the new paint color would adhere to the chair frame and last for the duration! We used an orbital sander where we could and then hand sanded the tiny crevasses. This was tedious but absolutely necessary for the best possible finish.
Step 3: Paint chair frame.
After the cushions were removed and the chair frames were sanded, we spray painted them in Valspar’s Project Perfect Paint in Gray.
We let the paint dry overnight though the recommended dry time was just a few hours.
Step 4: Recover chair cushions.
While the chair frames were drying, we returned our attention to the cushions. At this point you might opt to remove the fabric that was already on the chairs before recovering them. We did not. The fabric that was on the chairs was dated but in good overall shape and removing a bunch of tiny staples wasn’t necessary so we left the original fabric in place.
For the front of each cushion, we took our $9 set of curtains from Big Lots, cut them to approximately 3 inches larger than the chair cushion’s perimeter, and staple-gunned them in place. We made sure to pull the fabric fairly taut before every staple to make the fabric fit tightly on the chair.
Because of the scalloped edges, we had to make sure we didn’t bunch the fabric. It would’ve been a pain to reattach the cushions otherwise. Once the stapling was done, we cut off all excess fabric to make chair look as neat as possible.
We washed-rinsed-and repeated this process for all 4 cushions.
For the back cushions, we chose Ikea’s Ottil pillow cover. We cut it along the seamline so that we ended up with 2 separate squares of fabric. We used half for one chair and the other half for the other chair and repeated the process above.
Step 5: Re-attach cushions and Enjoy!
Once the frames were dry, we reattached the newly covered cushions to the new painted frames and enjoyed a newly revamped chairs!
Total: Price breakdown: Chairs were free from the ReStore. Curtain fabric $9. Ikea Pillow Cover $10. Paint $8 (2 cans for 4 each). Total $27!