Bistro chairs have a soft spot in my heart. I seem to have a weakness for them. Here’s how to reupholster bistro chairs with a few tips.
Looks pretty simple. And typically, it is. Reupholstering a chair cushion, in most cases, takes only a few minutes, but in the case of these gems, it took a little elbow grease.
I found these chairs at the Goodwill a few months ago for only $10 a piece. My plan was then, and for them to make a stylish addition to my garden house . You can watch the garden house videos build videos, here. When this post was written, the garden house had yet to be built, but that didn’t stop me from planning, and giving these gems a new life.
In chairs like these, the cushion is simply held on by four screws. Take out the screws, the cushion comes off and the reupholstery process can begin. But these chairs; these chairs had to be completely taken apart for me to get to the cushion. Not sure why, but that was the case.
Once I got the cushion free, I was able to cut new foam pieces. And, have I got an AMAZING tip for you when cutting foam. It makes things so much easier, precise and faster. The trick to cutting foam is to use an electric knife; you know the kind of knife that you use to cut a turkey, roasts, etc. I have two of these knives on hand, one to use for food, and one to use for crafts. Whenever you’re cutting foam, use a knife like this. Once the foam was cut, I spray mounted it to the seat board, then covered with fabric, attaching the fabric with a staple gun. When cutting fabric for seat cushions, be sure and cut the fabric two to three inches larger in circumference than the cushion (this depends on how thick the foam you are using is. I chose three inch foam for these chairs.) I chose a garden themed patterned fabric for these chairs as they’re going to live in my garden house. I couldn’t find the exact fabric that I used, but here is a similar pattern, that I love.
To paint them, I placed them flat on the floor and spray painted one side, waited for the paint to completely dry, then turned the chairs over and painted the other side. I chose a light moss green color for these chairs. Had I not needed to take these chairs apart to remove the cushion, I would have sprayed them in place.
For all of the rusted screws, bolts and washers, I soaked them in a container filled with distilled vinegar for 24 hours. I brushed them with an old tooth brush and rinsed. This tip got the majority of the rust off. Another way to remove rust is to use a wire brush. These are great to have on hand anyhow, and always work in a rust-removal pinch. Certainly keep this in mind when working with rusty hardware.
Once the all of the paint was dried, I fit the reupholstered cushions back in the seat case. My husband had to help me put the chairs back together – if I were an octopus, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but we really needed 4 hands.
Now those battered and worn bistro chairs look fresh and fancy, ready to live in my garden house. They lived in our attic for only a short while, and now, these recovered bistro chairs are right at home in my garden house, looking right at home.
This post contains affiliate links.