Upholstering the backs of vintage chairs - Juniper Home

Upholstering the backs of vintage chairs


I’ve been thinking of host chairs lately for our dining table and nothing gets me excited (well, if you had a pair of Elkins chairs, I’d gladly take them off your hands!). But then I saw this image from an old Style at Home and it made a lightbulb go off for me. From the article is looks like the designer, Samantha Pynn, found a set of vintage chairs on Craigslist, painted and reupholstered them, including the backs of two chairs. This would be so easy to DIY, especially with chairs that have a perfectly flat back. You could just use chipboard or plywood. Otherwise you would just use webbing which isn’t that hard to do (I did it here).

Here are a few chairs from my craigslist that I think could work really well. I’m looking for something with a really interesting silhouette for the back.

I’m thinking either this slate ostrich vinyl or this pale gray shagreen vinyl and maybe a color on the chair frames?

What did you think?
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30 thoughts on “Upholstering the backs of vintage chairs

  1. Another great idea Jenny! I would never have thought of that. You've gotten me to think outside the box on more than one occasion. Like the two lighting fixtures I featured on my blog today- both spotted on LGN.

  2. Jenny, what search term did you plug in to find those chairs on CL? I've been searching for some here in NYC forever and can't seem to find them! It must be that I'm typing in the wrong thing? Help!

  3. My vote is for the top chairs. Love the lines. Such a fun idea Jenny!

    Live Inspired,

  4. When Sam Pynn spoke at our Home Show last year she shared that the backs of one of the chairs was broken, thus the upholstery! Love the idea.

  5. When Sam Pynn spoke at our Home Show last year she shared that the backs of one of the chairs was broken, thus the upholstery! Love the idea.

  6. Love this idea Jenny. I've got a set of plain Parsons style chairs which I'm thinking of reupholstering in charcoal with a mustard, charcoal and mint tartan on the back. Just have to find the time now!

    That said, I wish I could get some of the gorgeous furniture pieces you can find second hand in the States – very jealous :)

    Anna (My Design Ethos)

  7. I love old chairs! Where do you suggest me to find these chairs in Ontario? Garage sale and such?

  8. I'm actually in the middle of doing this exact thing right now with a mismatched set of shield back chairs. Upholstering them is making them seem like a complete set. I'm using chipboard and a glue gun for the backs then regular foam and staple-gunning for the fronts. I'm 6 down and 2 to go.

  9. As a part time upholsterer I love the idea of using great quality and interesting shaped furniture to bring new life to a space. Love these ideas!

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