Vintage Lyre Chair

Hi friends, are you ready for Thanksgiving this week?  Are you doing any sprucing around the house for guests?  One way to quickly make a big difference is to give an old chair a makeover.  Some new paint, new fabric, and you’ve got a great “new” seat for someone to rest their bum.  Okay so it takes a little more work than that, but not much!

This is how this vintage lyre-back chair looked when I bought it at the thrift store:

Here’s what I did.

  • First I cleaned it up and unscrewed the seat.
  • Then I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite (dark gray/black).
  • After the paint dried I waxed it with Annie Sloan clear wax and then dark wax.  (Read my tips for using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and wax)

The seat had flattened over time so I decided to add some padding.  I headed over to Joann Fabric and bought one piece of foam for less than $5 after my coupon.

  • I laid the foam directly over the seat and cut the sides to mimic the shape.

  • Then I laid the fabric (from Hobby Lobby) over the pad to determine which area I wanted visible.
  • I cut the fabric, leaving about 3-4 inches extra on the sides.

  • After ironing, I made sure the script was centered and flipped everything over.
  • I folded the edges before stapling to keep them from unraveling.  (I often have to hammer the staples in if they don’t go all way in with the staple gun.)

  • The corners were folded and stapled twice each to secure excess fabric.  As you can see, they don’t have to be perfect or all exactly the same- just make sure the visible part of the corners look nice!

  • I screwed the seat back on and that’s it – now the chair is tres chic and the seat is super comfy!

Making over a chair is fairly simple- some new paint and fabric can make it look completely different!

For more inspiration, I have several other chair makeovers in my Project Gallery.

If you’re traveling this week, please be safe!


Recent Posts:

* Holiday Decorating with M&M’s

* Bright and Colorful Chair Makeover

* 8 DIY Seating Makeovers

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10 Comments on Vintage Lyre Chair

  1. Crystal
    November 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm (5 years ago)

    My teenage daughter would love to have this in her room. Her theme is Paris. It looks so great!!

  2. The French Hens Nest
    November 26, 2013 at 10:31 am (5 years ago)

    Your chair looks great! I love the fabric. Great job!

    Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving!
    Linda at The French Hens Nest

  3. Daphne
    November 30, 2013 at 3:56 am (5 years ago)

    Good Morning Jen, You have totally transformed this chair and brought it up to date…. it is fabulous. I love the material you have used and I have to tell you I love Jo-Ann’s and Hobby Lobby. I live in England and the first time I visited Jo-Ann’s was about five years ago, when my daughter lived in America. I love sewing so she told me she had somewhere special to take me….. and it was Jo-Ann’s. I was overwhelmed at the size of the shop and after a short while, I said I had to leave because it was all so overwhelming and I could not choose what I wanted, because there was so much to choose from. (I had never seen anything like it). We went and had a cup of coffee and I wrote down the materials and threads which I needed as that made it so much easier to choose. The other thing which surprised me, were the prices, beautiful materials which were really cheap. It only took a couple of visits before I became accustomed to the size. I look forward to going back some day, but for now, I can enjoy your work and be inspired by you.
    Best Wishes

  4. Breanna Bertolini
    February 19, 2014 at 2:25 pm (5 years ago)

    I just stumbled across the photo of this chair on Pinterest and it caught my eye because I used the same fabric on one of my projects 🙂 Hobby Lobby is the best isn’t it? Anyway, I got to looking through your blog and just want to say how much I love everything! I’m just starting out with mine but looking at blogs like yours gives me so much inspiration! If you get a chance, head over to my site and check out your chair’s long lost cousin 🙂


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