Vinyl Chair Makeover
Hiya! Mandi here! Have an old vinyl chair that needs a makeover? I had thrifted a pair of black ʼ70s bar stools that weren't exactly uggos, but they were kind of boring and stood out a bit more than I'd like against the bright white office wall in our living room. I wondered if a little paint could do the trick, but my mind kept churning, and I got stuck on the idea of a patterned chair. A plaid chair! Kind of a bold idea, considering my original complaint about the chairs being too bold. Well, I think I settled on a nice, tasteful makeover for my vinyl chairs by combining some paint and gingham fabric. Check out all the details below!
-vinyl chair (duh)
-spray paint for plastic
-Mod Podge (preferably indoor/outdoor)
-varnish (only needed if you use regular Mod Podge)
-paint or foam brush
-material to cover chair legs (I used plastic grocery bags)
Step One: Thoroughly clean the chairs, then cover the legs with painter's tape and plastic bags.
Step Two: Cover the chair with a few light coats of spray paint. Make sure you use the type that bonds to plastic. I did two coats and waited a week to do another two.
This project was pretty easy, but it required lots of patience right after I got started. That's right—I waited an entire week for the paint to dry! The waiting period drew out the length of this project, though the individual steps themselves were accomplished fairly quickly. I'll admit, during that week of tacky paint, I really wondered if the paint would ever cure. But I had read Jenny's experience with painting vinyl at her blog Little Green Notebook, which gave me the confidence to see it through. So I waited. Then on the eighth day, the paint wasn't tacky anymore! So I added two more coats of paint and then moved on to the next step.
Step Three: Cut out pieces of fabric to fit on the back and seat of the chair. If you're working with a pattern, make sure the lines are straight with the lines of the chair.
Step Four: Coat the back and seat of the chair with a thick coat of Mod Podge. If you don't already have a bottle of Mod Podge, buy the kind suitable for outdoors. If you have the regular kind, just get a small bottle of varnish to use in step nine.
Step Five: Press the fabric onto the Mod Podge-covered sections and smooth it out with your hand.
Step Six: Trim away the excess fabric along the piping or seam of the chair. Be very careful—you need to cut closely, not not too close. If there's piping, make sure you have a little overlap for the next step.
Step Seven: Using the curved tip of scissors (do not use scissors with a sharp tip) or your fingernail, push the excess fabric under the piping.
Step Eight: Cover the fabric with Mod Podge to complete the adhering process.
Step Nine: If you used regular Mod Podge instead of the outdoor-safe variety to adhere the fabric, you will need to protect the surface from moisture by sealing it with a varnish. If you use an oil-based varnish, you probably shouldn't use a foam brush. Or just throw the brush away when you're finished.
I love how the new chairs turned out, and thanks to the sealant on top of the fabric, they can still be quickly wiped down with a wet cloth. You never know what a little paint and Mod Podge can do to transform something from trash to treasure. -Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Spring and Valentine of the Signature Collection.