IKEA chair hack: furniture makeover with a little bit of paint and fabric

Decor, DIY, Furniture

This post was sponsored by Surebonder.  All opinions are my own.

When I moved into my apartment almost 6 years ago, I gave my dining room a makeover complete with custom wall panels, lighting, and banquette seating. Since I was on a budget, I opted for an inexpensive dining room table and chairs from IKEA – I liked that it was all made of wood and that I could finish the table and chairs the way I wanted. I painted the chairs a deep blue to match the blue accent wall of my kitchen and I upholstered the seats with a fun striped fabric.

To continue with the blue accent, I recently added a blue accent to my open shelving, which I highlighted even more by installing ultra-thin under cabinet lighting, a project you can see more of in this video.

I loved how the chairs added a pop of color to the otherwise neutral palette of the room but over the years, I’ve been gravitating towards a more subdued esthetic and it was time for a change: new paint job and new seat covers! 

Step 1:  Picking a color

Before starting with this project, I had to pick a color for the chairs. I used this Tunisian tile artwork that’s hanging in my kitchen as inspiration to pick a color and chose to go with the golden yellow accent, but with a sparkle of gold metallic in it.  

Step 2: Remove seats 

Before I got to painting, I removed all the seats – they were attached with 4 screws and it was very easy to take them all off.

Step 3: Paint chairs

I started with a golden yellow paint called “Heritage Gold”, I recommend getting paint with primer, especially if you’re trying to cover up a dark color. I ended up having to do several coats. 2 small sample sized jars were enough for 3 chairs. Then I added a coat of metallic gold mixed in with some of the yellow paint.  – I don’t have the exact mix but there was more yellow paint than metallic paint. I did a couple of tests before going ahead putting on a coat on the chairs.

I added a very thin coat and then went back with another thin coat. I found it gave a nice more even finish doing it that way.

Step 4: Reupholster the seats

Next came reupholstering the seats, which meant removing all the staples to take off the old fabric. 

The foam and batting I had used before were fine so I kept that as is, but this time I went with a more natural neutral fabric. I actually used inexpensive rugs from IKEA (SORTSO – $4) – they were just big enough to cover the seat and I liked the texture with the stripes. I probably should have washed them to take out the folds but my hand held steamer did the job very well.

I cut one end of the rug so that there was enough fabric to staple to the bottom of the chair seat, and I started by stapling the middle of each side first and then worked my way to the corners.

The rug fabric is pretty thick so I used ⅜” staples. I also used the “trigger” function of my staple gun to do the corners where there was more fabric to go through. It allows you to use both hands if you need to bring down the handle and then you can position the stapler exactly where you need it and then gently pull the trigger. So much easier and more precise!

I did remove a lot of fabric and excess batting at the corners to be able to smooth out the fabric.

I used some fabric protector to make the seats more stain resistant (it’s a good idea to test this type of product on a scrap piece of fabric before using it on your actual. 

Step 5: Reattach the seats and add decorative gold accents (optional!)

Then it was just a matter of reattaching the seats to the chairs and adding a little more bling with some faux gems to cover up the visible screws.

And voila, from natural to blue to golden yellow, quite the transformation!

Now that the chairs are done, I’m thinking it’s time to give the banquette a new look as well!


  1. Now that I see the chairs with the banquette…I love it❣️Does bring a ring of sophistication!!

    • Thank Lynda!It definitely has a more elegant vibe, but still casual.

  2. Good thing you didn’t wash the rugs first. I’m betting they would have dramatically shrunk if they were inexpensive-enough. Nice looking change. Love the blue, but this new color does look great in your room.

    • Hi Maisie, You’re probably right (they were only $4 each so very inexpensive). I agree, both look nice but I’m liking the change so far!

  3. I was wondering about the banquet seating shown with the chairs. I’m a fairly new subscriber, so did you create a tutorial about making that?
    Thanks and keep sharing!

  4. Love it! What did you use to cover the screw holes? Thanks

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