How to Make Over a Rattan Chair


Anyone else love free furniture? You won't believe this, but I really did find this chair on side of the road. Yes, sometimes folks throw out some really great junk. This rattan chair had a great shape and just needed a little love. I love its fun 70s shape and nothing says boho like rattan and sheep skin. Some flat black paint helped it look new again, and a custom cushion and sheep skin chair back make it the most comfortable chair in our home.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cans of flat black spray paint 
  • Tack cloth
  • Sand paper
  • 2 yards of fabric
  • 2 lb bag of fiber fill
  • 4 clear buttons
  • White embroidery thread
  • Scissors
  • 1 yard black twill tape
  • Pins

Step 1

Sand the rattan anywhere it is rough or peeling. And then the most important step of all, wipe down the entire piece with a tack cloth.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)


  • The most important step of spray painting any surface is removing all the dust before you start! A tack cloth helps ensure that the surface is dust free and ready for paint to adhere in a smooth, even coat. Particles can make the paint bubble and crack.

Step 2

In a well-ventilated area, apply even, thin coats of flat black spray paint. Start with the chair upside down.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 3

Allow the paint to dry a couple hours before applying a second coat. Let dry, and then flip the chair over and give two coats of paint to the top of the chair. Allow the paint to dry for at least two days before attaching the seat back and cushion.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 4

Cut two 32-inch in diameter circles out of the fabric. To cut large circles, fold the fabric in half and then in half again. Using a string and a pencil you can create a large compass.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 5

Pin the right sides of the fabric together.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 6

With a sewing machine, stitch around the two circles, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 7

Leave a 4-inch opening. Turn the fabric right sides out.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 8

Stuff the pillow with a 2-pound bag of polyester fiber fill.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 9

Pin the opening shut, turning in the raw edges.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 10

Top-stitch to close the opening of the pillow.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 11

To make the pillow a little less fluffy, add a couple tucks to the middle of the pillow. I added two to the middle of my pillow. Use a button on each side to ensure that the thread doesn't pull all the way through and tear the fabric.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Step 12

Now you can attach the seat back. Lay the sheep skin on the back of the chair and decide where you want it to be attached. Stitch some black cotton twill tape onto the sheep skin, and then tie it to the chair.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
(Image: Jeran McConnel)
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