Ideas for Old Chairs


Give your old chairs new life, either by dressing them up for renewed seating or turning them into something entirely new. Wooden chairs are the easiest to renew or repurpose, but any chair can be given new life with a little time, effort and creativity. Even your beat-up old home office chair can become something interesting once again.

Resurfacing Wood, Metal and Plastic

  • Wood and metal chairs can both be repainted, as long as you use the appropriate primer before you apply the paint. But paint isn't your only option. Soak strips of colorful fabric in wood glue, then smooth them onto your wooden chair, covering every surface in a smooth, crinkled or woven pattern. You can do the same with metal or plastic chairs by applying a metal or plastic-specific primer first to prevent rust and increase sticking power. Use a multipurpose glue instead of wood glue for metal or plastic chairs.

Office Chairs to Home Theater Seating

  • The rolling bases of office chairs make them a great starting point for all kinds of repurposing projects. You will most likely need to remove the chair from the base entirely and use them separately. If you have several old office chairs that are in good condition, consider removing the seats and bolting them side by side to a wooden base to create movie theater-style seats for your home theater. Reupholster them, if necessary. Add a tabletop on each base and use it as a rolling table for snacks and drinks in front of each seat. If the chairs are in poor condition, discard them and use the bases to create rolling end tables or place a wooden tabletop across two bases for a rolling table. Add wooden blocks for spacers between the chair bases and the table top to raise the table to the height you need.

Renewed Recliners

  • Old recliners can be reupholstered or covered for a quick fix, but if you're feeling adventurous or if your recliner's mechanics are beyond repair, take the chair apart and salvage any pieces you can. Seat cushions can be re-covered and used as floor pillows or outdoor seating if you use a weather-resistant covering. Turn foot-rest mechanisms into supports for desktops that fold flat against the wall, or attach two together for a folding cafeteria-style table. The pivot and recline mechanisms can be used to turn a stationary chair into a recliner, with a little extra effort.

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