Side Chair Makeover Ideas to Transform Your Space

In this article, you will discover some incredible makeover ideas that will completely transform your space using side chairs. Side chairs are not only functional and versatile, but they can also add a stylish touch to any room. By the end of this article, you will have learned a variety of creative ways to breathe new life into your side chairs and create a stylish and unique space.

One makeover idea is to reupholster your side chair with a bold and vibrant fabric. This simple change can instantly update the look of your chair and add a pop of color to your room. Another idea is to paint your side chair in a fresh and modern color. Whether you choose a neutral tone or a bold hue, painting your chair can give it a whole new personality. Additionally, you can use stencils or decals to add patterns or designs to your side chair, creating a one-of-a-kind piece. By incorporating these makeover ideas, you can easily transform your side chair and elevate the overall look of your space.

Side Chair Makeover Ideas to Transform Your Space

Are you looking to elevate the style and functionality of your space? Look no further than your side chairs! With a little creativity and some DIY skills, you can transform these humble pieces of furniture into stunning statement pieces that reflect your personal style. In this article, we will explore a variety of side chair makeover ideas that will help you achieve the desired look for your space. Whether you prefer a modern, classic, or rustic aesthetic, there is an idea here for everyone. So let’s dive in and discover the endless possibilities of side chair makeovers.

Consider the Style and Design

The first step in choosing the right side chair for your makeover project is to consider the style and design that will complement your existing decor. Are you going for a contemporary look or something more traditional? The design of your chair should harmonize with the overall aesthetic of your space. Consider factors such as the shape, color, and material of the chair to ensure that it will blend seamlessly with your existing furniture.

Take Measurements of Your Space

Before you begin your side chair makeover, it’s important to take accurate measurements of your space. This will help you determine the size and scale of the chair that will best fit in your room. You don’t want a chair that is too big or too small for the space, as it will throw off the balance of the room. Measure the width and depth of the area where you plan to place your chair to ensure a perfect fit.

Evaluate the Chair’s Comfort

While style and design are important, comfort should not be overlooked when choosing a side chair for your makeover project. After all, you want a chair that not only looks good but also provides a comfortable seating experience. Consider the chair’s cushioning, back support, and armrests, if any. Take a seat in the chair to test its comfort level before making a purchase or proceeding with the makeover.

Sanding and Preparing the Chair Surface

Once you have selected the perfect side chair for your makeover, it’s time to prepare the surface for refinishing or repainting. Start by sanding the chair to remove any existing finish or paint. Use a medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and remove any imperfections. Be sure to sand in the direction of the wood grain for the best results. After sanding, wipe down the chair with a clean cloth to remove any dust or debris.

Applying Primer and Base Coats

After sanding, it’s time to apply a primer to the chair. Primer helps to create a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to. Apply the primer using a brush or a roller, making sure to cover all the nooks and crannies of the chair. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Once the primer is dry, apply one or more base coats of paint in your desired color. Be sure to let each coat dry before applying the next, and don’t forget to paint the undersides and legs of the chair for a complete makeover.

Using Different Painting Techniques

If you want to add some visual interest to your side chair makeover, consider using different painting techniques. One popular technique is distressing, where you intentionally create a worn or aged look by sanding away some of the paint after it has dried. Another option is stenciling, where you use stencils to create patterns or designs on the chair. You can also experiment with ombre effects by using different shades of the same color or blending multiple colors together. The possibilities are endless when it comes to painting techniques.

Deciding on the Upholstery Fabric

If you want to take your side chair makeover to the next level, consider reupholstering the chair with new fabric. Upholstery fabric can instantly transform the look and feel of a chair, adding texture, color, and pattern. When choosing upholstery fabric, consider factors such as durability, stain resistance, and the overall style of your space. If you have pets or small children, you may want to opt for a fabric that is easy to clean and can withstand everyday wear and tear.

Removing Old Upholstery

Before you can reupholster your side chair, you will need to remove the old upholstery. Start by removing any staples or tacks that are holding the fabric in place. Use a pair of pliers to grip the staples or tacks and gently pull them out. Once all the staples or tacks have been removed, carefully peel away the old fabric, taking care not to damage the chair frame. You may also need to remove any foam or batting that is attached to the chair.

Reupholstering with New Fabric

After removing the old upholstery, it’s time to reupholster your side chair with new fabric. Start by cutting the fabric into pieces that are slightly larger than the areas you need to cover. Lay the fabric on a clean surface and place the chair on top, making sure to line up the fabric with the chair frame. Pull the fabric taut and use a staple gun to secure it to the chair. Start in the middle of each side and work your way out, adding staples every few inches. Once the fabric is securely in place, trim away any excess and attach any decorative elements, such as nailhead trim or accent pillows.

Using Stencils or Decals

If you want to add some flair to your side chair makeover without the hassle of reupholstering, consider using stencils or decals. These easy-to-use tools can instantly transform a plain chair into a work of art. You can find a wide variety of stencils and decals in different patterns and designs to suit your taste. Simply place the stencil or decal on the chair and use a brush or sponge to apply paint or adhesive. Once dry, remove the stencil or decal to reveal a beautifully decorated chair.

Applying Nailhead Trim

Nailhead trim is a classic and elegant way to enhance the look of a side chair. It adds a touch of sophistication and can highlight the contours of the chair. Nailhead trim can be applied along the edges of the upholstery or in decorative patterns. To apply nailhead trim, start by measuring and marking the desired placement on the chair. Use a nailhead trim kit and a small rubber mallet to attach the nails or studs. Simply position the nailhead and tap it in place with the mallet. Repeat the process until the trim is securely attached to the chair.

Adding Accent Pillows or Cushions

To complete your side chair makeover, consider adding some accent pillows or cushions. These small accessories can add a pop of color, pattern, and comfort to your chair. Choose pillows or cushions that complement the colors and style of your space. You can mix and match different patterns and textures for a more eclectic look or stick to a cohesive theme for a more polished appearance. Arrange the pillows or cushions on the chair in a way that is visually pleasing and inviting.

Mixing and Matching Colors

When it comes to experimenting with different patterns and colors in your side chair makeover, don’t be afraid to mix and match. Playing with different color combinations can create a unique and eye-catching look. You can use a bold color for the upholstery and a subtle or neutral color for the chair frame, or vice versa. Alternatively, you can opt for a monochromatic color scheme and vary the shades and textures of the fabrics. The key is to find a balance between boldness and subtlety that complements your space.

Creating Patterns with Upholstery

If you want to take your side chair makeover to the next level, consider creating patterns with upholstery. This can be achieved by using fabrics with different patterns, such as stripes, chevron, or floral, or by arranging fabrics in a patchwork or quilted design. You can also use piping or welting to create borders or define the shape of the chair. Play around with different patterns and layouts to find the one that best suits your taste and style.

Choosing Bold or Subtle Colors

When it comes to choosing colors for your side chair makeover, you have the option to go bold or subtle. Bold colors can make a statement and add a vibrant energy to your space. They can also be used to create focal points or accents. Subtle colors, on the other hand, can create a calm and understated atmosphere. They can be used to blend in with the existing color palette or create a cohesive look. Ultimately, the choice between bold and subtle colors depends on your personal style and the ambiance you want to create.

Cleaning and Restoring the Wood

If you have an antique side chair that needs some TLC, cleaning and restoring the wood can bring it back to its former glory. Start by cleaning the wood with a mild soap and water solution, making sure to remove any dirt or grime. If the wood is stained or discolored, you can use wood cleaner or restorer to bring back its natural shine. Fill in any cracks or holes with wood filler and sand the surface to smooth out any imperfections. Finally, apply a coat of wood polish or wax to protect the wood and give it a beautiful sheen.

Preserving or Reviving Original Upholstery

If you are lucky enough to have an antique side chair with original upholstery, you may want to preserve or revive it instead of replacing it. To preserve the original upholstery, start by vacuuming it to remove any dust or debris. If there are stains or spots, gently clean them with a mild upholstery cleaner. If the fabric is faded or worn, you can use fabric dye or paint specifically designed for upholstery to revive its color. Be sure to test the dye or paint on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that it doesn’t damage the fabric.

Repairing Damaged or Loose Parts

Over time, side chairs can suffer from wear and tear, resulting in damaged or loose parts. If your chair has loose joints, you can use wood glue and clamps to repair them. Apply the wood glue to the loose joint and then secure it with clamps until the glue dries. For more serious repairs, such as broken or cracked parts, it may be necessary to replace the affected pieces or seek professional help. Taking the time to repair any damaged or loose parts will not only improve the appearance of your side chair but also extend its lifespan.

Adding Industrial Touches for a Modern Look

If you’re a fan of the modern industrial style, you can incorporate this aesthetic into your side chair makeover. Look for chairs with metal frames or legs and opt for materials such as leather, vinyl, or canvas for the upholstery. You can also add industrial-inspired elements, such as exposed screws or metal accents, to the chair. This will give your side chair a sleek and edgy look that will elevate the overall design of your space.

Incorporating Vintage Elements for a Classic Space

If you have a classic or vintage-inspired space, incorporating vintage elements into your side chair makeover can add a touch of nostalgia and elegance. Look for chairs with ornate details, such as carved wood or curved legs. Choose fabrics with vintage-inspired patterns, such as damask or toile, and opt for muted or earthy tones. You can also add vintage accessories, such as lace doilies or decorative pillows, to enhance the vintage vibe of your chair.

Creating a Cozy and Rustic Ambiance

For those who crave a cozy and rustic ambiance, you can transform your side chair into a warm and inviting retreat. Look for chairs with a natural wood finish or distressed paint. Choose upholstery fabrics in warm and earthy tones, such as browns, greens, or warm grays. Add cozy accessories, such as faux fur throws or chunky knit pillows, to create a comfortable and inviting space. Place your chair in a cozy corner of your room, paired with a side table and a soft light, for the perfect reading nook or relaxation spot.

Turning Chairs into Plant Stands

If you have side chairs that are no longer functional or don’t fit with your space, you can repurpose them into plant stands. Simply remove the seat cushion or fabric and place a potted plant on the chair frame. This is a great way to add some greenery to your space while giving new life to an old chair. You can choose plants with trailing vines for a whimsical look or go for tall and statuesque plants for a bold statement. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating unique and decorative plant stands with side chairs.

Converting Chairs into Shelves or Storage Units

Another creative way to repurpose side chairs is to convert them into shelves or storage units. This is especially useful if you have limited space and need some extra storage solutions. To convert a side chair into a shelf, simply remove the seat cushion or fabric and attach a wooden plank or shelf to the chair frame. You can then use the shelf to display books, plants, or decorative items. If you need more storage, you can attach baskets or bins to the underside of the chair to hold smaller items. This repurposing idea not only maximizes storage space but also adds a unique and decorative element to your room.

Using Chairs as Unique Nightstands

Who says nightstands have to be traditional pieces of furniture? If you want to add a touch of uniqueness to your bedroom, consider using side chairs as nightstands. Look for chairs with a sturdy frame and a flat surface, such as a wooden seat or a padded armrest. Place the chair next to your bed and use the seat or armrest as a surface to hold your bedside essentials, such as a lamp, alarm clock, or book. This unconventional approach not only adds visual interest to your bedroom but also saves space, as you can use the chair for additional seating during the day.

Upcycling Old Fabrics or Materials

If you’re on a budget or want to minimize waste, consider upcycling old fabrics or materials for your side chair makeover. Instead of buying new upholstery fabric, look for old curtains, tablecloths, or bed sheets that you no longer use. Cut and hem the fabric to fit your chair and voila! You have a brand-new look without spending a dime. You can also repurpose other materials, such as old belts or upholstery webbing, to create decorative elements for your chair. Upcycling not only reduces waste but also adds a unique and personal touch to your side chair makeover.

Finding Affordable Secondhand Chairs

If you’re in the market for a side chair but don’t want to break the bank, consider shopping for affordable secondhand chairs. Look for thrift stores, yard sales, or online marketplaces where you can find preloved chairs at a fraction of the price. Keep an open mind and be patient, as it may take some time to find the perfect chair that fits your style and budget. With a little bit of luck and perseverance, you can score a great deal and embark on your side chair makeover journey.

DIY Repairs and Customization

When it comes to side chair makeovers, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and take on some DIY repairs and customization. From tightening loose screws to replacing worn-out cushions, there are plenty of simple repairs that you can do yourself with basic tools and materials. You can also get creative and add your personal touch to the chair by customizing it with paint, stencils, or decorative elements. Taking the DIY approach not only saves you money but also allows you to unleash your creativity and create a truly one-of-a-kind piece.


In conclusion, a side chair makeover is a fun and creative way to transform your space and express your personal style. Whether you choose to refinish and repaint, reupholster, or repurpose your side chairs, the possibilities are endless. By following the outlined ideas and using your creativity, you can take your side chairs from ordinary to extraordinary. Enhance your space, express your personal style, and create statement pieces that will be the envy of all who enter your home. So go ahead, get started on your side chair makeover adventure, and let your imagination run wild!