It’s DIY Blog Hop time again, and this month I’m sharing how I gave my dining area an easy and inexpensive makeover with this simple Chair Cover DIY using painter’s drop cloth.
And by simple, I mean really simple. Can you operate a staple gun? Then you can completely recover your chairs in an hour or two, depending on how many chairs you have.
BEFORE my Chair Cover DIY
Here’s my “before” picture…
I love our dining table because it’s big and can seat a lot of people. Here it is with 8 chairs, but at holidays, we expand it with the hidden leaf underneath, and we can easily get at least 14 people around it. It’s heavy and solid and I like the style of it.
What I didn’t like was how dark the whole table was against my dark floors.
You might remember when I painted my kitchen island bar stools a few months ago?
A can of General Finishes Milk Paint and about 2 hours of my time solved the problem of the redwood undertones that were bugging me.
I was so happy with how my barstools turned out, that I seriously considered painting this table to lighten it up and add some contrast to this area of the kitchen.
But, it’s an expensive table, and what if I regretted it later? So, before I went for the paint, I decided to try something else first.
Chair Cover DIY
Choose your fabric or drop cloth
Have you ever used painter’s drop cloth for anything other than, well, painting?
If you’re looking for heavy, neutral fabric that won’t cost an arm and a leg, drop cloth is the way to go.
Of course, you can use this same easy Chair Cover DIY method with any sort of fabric you like, but I went with this medium-weight canvas drop cloth.
For about 30 bucks, I got this huge 12’x15′ piece of heavy canvas that was way more than enough to cover the seats on all 8 of my dining chairs with plenty leftover, too.
The creamy ivory color and the rustic texture of the drop cloth works nicely with my farmhouse home decor.
The drop cloth comes in smaller sizes too, so if you’re doing fewer chairs, you likely won’t need a piece this big, but I wanted some extra canvas to tuck away for recovers if needed.
One thing I love about using drop cloth is that because it is so inexpensive if a spill or stain happens, it’s no big deal.
Right now, we don’t have young children, so the light cream color of the drop cloth has stayed nice and clean.
However, we have our first grandbaby on the way soon.
I like that I don’t have to worry about little messy hands touching expensive, hard-to-clean fabric. I can just unstaple the seat cover, throw it away, and redo it with a new piece of drop cloth in a matter of minutes.
Remove Seats from Chairs
Turn your chairs upside down and determine how to remove the seats.
The seats came out of my chair frames with the easy removal of a few screws.
Side note: I did not remove the original faux black leather on my seats, I just covered right over it. If you have a pattern on the seats of your chairs that shows through the canvas, you can double up the drop cloth, or place some quilt batting under the drop cloth to give it more coverage. However, if you get the medium or heavyweight drop cloth, it will likely be thick enough to cover without anything showing through.
Lay the seat upside-down on the canvas, and determine the size needed for your chair seat. You want enough to easily fold under the seat on all sides about 2 inches.
Measure and Cut
Once you know the measurements needed for each chair cover, use a pencil, or tailor’s chalk to mark the drop cloth, and then cut each piece to size.
Fold the edges around all sides of the seat, pulling tightly to ensure there are no wrinkles, and also to keep the fabric from sliding around too much.
Use a staple gun to attach the drop cloth to the underside of the seat. You can use a regular staple gun, but an electric one will make this job so much easier.
Take your time with the corners especially, carefully tucking and overlapping them so that wrinkles are less visible on the top. You want most of the gathering to happen underneath the corners of the chair seat where they are not noticeable.
Continuing stretching, gathering, and stapling as you make your way around the seat.
Re-attach seats to chair frames
Re-attach the seats. The screws may go through the overlapped sections of drop cloth on the undersides of the chair seats, and that is just fine.
Oh my gosh, don’t they look so much better than the faux black leather?!
Just this simple change on the seats of the 8 dining chairs that came with my table made a big difference in lightening up the space.
One more change…
Because we often have large family dinners around this table, we are always in need of extra chairs.
Originally, I purchased a couple of antique carved-back chairs that I intended to paint and add to the ends of the table.
After further consideration, I decided some light-colored upholstered chairs would help in my efforts to brighten this area up, and also serve to accent and anchor the space a bit more.
Through the magic of online shopping, I ordered this beautiful set of two Ashely Jeannette Dining Chairs and had them shipped right to my house.
I love the nail-head trim and the tufted backs, and the colors are a nice complement to my Chair Cover DIY side chairs.
What a huge difference for so little effort and money.
Before and After
The lighter chair colors are so much better, don’t you think?
The pretty espresso wood of the table now contrasts against the creamy color of the chairs for more visual appeal and brightness.
One more project…
I have one more thing planned to brighten up this dining area.
See that beautiful china cabinet?
I love it so much. I love the glass on three sides, the curvy legs, the beautiful original hardware, the intricate details in the wood…
It fits perfectly in this space, and is a great place to display my white ironstone collection. At night, it lights up automatically thanks to the LED lights that my husband mounted under the shelves and I placed on a timer.
The not-so-good part? Someone before me refinished it (badly) in a stain with red undertones again. 😒
No worries though, me and my new Dixie Belle Paints have some plans! Stay tuned to see the transformation soon.
DIY Blog Hop
Below, I’ve linked up more simple and easy DIY ideas from our DIY Blog Hoppers. Be sure to scroll down and check them all out!
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12 thoughts on “Chair Cover DIY”
Love this, Niky! It’s amazing what a difference it can make just to recover the seats of chairs. I agree that drop cloth is a fantastic chair cover (my kitchen chairs are covered with it!). And your new captain’s chairs look fantastic! Well done.
Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!
Thank you so much, Richella! I appreciate your kind words AND the feature! Happy Thursday!
Great job on the chairs. It’s crazy how such a simple change can make that big of a difference. It really brightens up your dining room! We did that to ours several years ago (they were a hideous dark olivy gold color) and it’s time to do it again. Drop cloth to the rescue again! Looking forward to seeing what you do with your cabinet. Happy Friday!
Thanks so much, Cindy. Drop cloth is amazing for far more things than painting!
Hello. Love the drop cloth reupholstering idea!! When I’ve bought drop cloths in the past, they have the worst odor. Did you experience this? Maybe wash before use??? Thank You
Wow, no, my drop cloth had no odor and I didn’t wash it. Maybe if you purchased from a store like Home Depot, you could “sniff” before buying? 🙂
I linked the exact brand I bought on Amazon and it smelled fine. Hope that helps!
Your chairs look great! I did this a few years ago with some fabric from Hobby Lobby. You’re right. It is so, so easy and takes no time. I think I paid $7 to completely change my dining room. Using a drop cloth is such a great idea. If you don’t have a fabric store near you, this is the perfect solution! Love it! Happy hopping!
Niki ~ Life as a LEO Wife
Wow! What a change! I love how simple this DIY was, yet how big the impact is. I also love the upholstered chairs at the ends of the table. It really did brighten the space up. I’m sure there will be lots of love shared at these table and chairs for years to come. Thanks for sharing!
I am totally jealous of your skills – wow they turned out absolutely amazing! Its great hopping with you, happy November!
Hi Niki. It is amazing what a change in fabric can do to brighten up a space. Using a tarp for the fabric was a great idea. Covering chairs is an easy DIY even for a beginner so thanks for highlighting this idea. Love how your project turned out.
Lynne, Thrifting Wonderland
Thanks so much Lynne!
The drop cloth fabric is a lovely contrast to the dark wood of the chairs and table. Can I ask where you got your dining table? With two more grandkids added to our family this summer, we are in dire need of a larger table. I’ve been looking for a sturdy trestle-style table that expands to 14 and something similar to yours would be perfect.