Whitney’s Little Black Chair

You just can’t go wrong with black.  It is the perfect color for almost anything… including chairs.  I have found that one of my favorite pieces of furniture is a dining chair.  They make perfect accent chairs… they have great lines, they are a great size and they are really easy and cheap to find.  Can’t beat that! My latest revamp… an old dining chair given to me by my father-in-law.  I fell in love immediately… the lines, caning and legs… woohoo!!! It obviously just needed a bit of a makeover.  This is what I did…
I started by removing the cushion and taking the chair to the garage to paint.  I used Rustoleum American Accents spray paint in Canyon Black.  I only used about a half of a can on this chair and if you are considering painting your chairs I would ONLY use this brand… It’s the best!
While that was drying I started working on my cushion… I wanted something a bit less tailored and also decided to add a little burlap… why not??
This is my stencil brush and my Americana Ebony acrylic paint I used to do the stenciling.  I knew this would be an accent chair that won’t get much use so I used the acrylic.  If you will be using your chairs more often you will need to find a washable fabric paint to do your stenciling.
I cut out my stencils with my Cricut and positioned them on a 10″ square piece of burlap to get an idea of how it would look…
I used my stenciling brush to put the paint on… remember… up and down, not like a normal paint brush!
While this was drying I got to work on the rest of the cushion…
I will give a few details on the sewing but I know many of you don’t even own a machine so I will skip the tutorial:)  If you do want some extra tips, just leave me a comment.  I started by making my cording.  I decided the rest of my cushion would be made of a drop cloth.  I purchased a $5 drop cloth from Lowe’s for this project.  It is a perfect weight for this project and many others.  I cut a strip of the fabric and sewed it around some jute twine to make my cording.
After making my cording, I went back to my now dried burlap.  I cut a piece of drop cloth the shape of the cushion and layed it next to my burlap.  I used just a bit of spray adhesive to stick the burlap to the drop cloth.
This is what it looked like….
I used my machine to put a straight stitch around the burlap about 1/2 inch short of the edge.  I wanted it to look like a patch so I frayed up the edge of the burlap just a bit.
Here I have put the cushion cover together… skipping all of my sewing steps that don’t interest many of you:)
I distressed the edges of my chair just a bit and then just pulled the cover over the cushion.  Isn’t she cute??  I think this will be my chair for my work space up in my loft but for now I just took some random shots for you.  What do you think??  For those of you hesitating to paint your chairs… STOP:)  Just go for it!  You will look at the outcome and smile every time!!


  1. yanytrddlv on October 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I lurrvv this. I want to try this with my dining room chairs. Do you have any more pointers? Thanks!

    Yanira in Orlando, FL
    [email protected]

  2. shay on October 23, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Okay, LOVE the skirt…I do need more details. How wide is the width of your 'drop' and also the little box pleat? It looks just perfect. Did you just make a pattern of the seat top with a paper bag or something to get the shape just right? LOVE the idea of using jute for the welting. would you email me if you have time? toushay73 at gmail dot com

  3. Carly on October 12, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I would love a tutoral on this project! Love your site and think you are amazing!!!

  4. Jennifer on October 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Leave it to a little boy to ask 'why did they put # 2 where your seat goes?' Hahhahaaaa!

    You do beautiful work. Love your blog!

  5. Jennifer on October 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Leave it to a little boy to ask 'why did they put # 2 where your seat goes?' Hahhahaaaa!

    You do beautiful work. Love your blog!

  6. Pat B. on October 10, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I LOVE this idea & I LOVE this blog, too!! I just found you tonight & will be spending tons of time looking over all of your posts.

    I would love to have more details on the sewing & also on the Cricut cart that you used.

    Thank you so much for the info. & for the GREAT blog!!!

  7. honeysuckle on October 9, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Your chair turned out great! Did you use the Jasmine cartridge for the number? and did you cut it on vinyl? Love the burlap addition too.

  8. The Crazy Suburban Mom on October 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Honestly this is the kind of project I always want to do and never think I can… it was wonderful!

  9. Heartfire At Home on October 9, 2009 at 9:11 am

    She is indeed very cute!!! Gorgeous!

    Linda. 🙂

  10. Angie on October 9, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Ok you 2 might be my new heros!! Found your blog thru Room to Inspire (love her blog too) So far all i've seen are the "Boo" jars and this chair. LOVE IT!!

  11. Nice and Easy Antiques on October 8, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Looks fabulous! We love burlap!!! many possibilities!

  12. Kimm at Reinvented on October 8, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Wow! You two and your fabulous ideas! I love the stencil and the burlap accent is perfect. Thanks for linking up!

  13. Alyson & Ford on October 7, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Great makeover; you're brave. Would never have spray painted wooden chairs!
    Alyzabeth's Mommy for One Year!

  14. Alyson & Ford on October 7, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Great makeover; you're brave. Would never have spray painted wooden chairs!
    Alyzabeth's Mommy for One Year!

  15. Christina on October 7, 2009 at 2:54 am

    Oh my! This is a fabulous makeover. Love the little skirt and the black paint. So fun and such a dramatic difference.

  16. Aprons Gone Wild on October 7, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Very sweet makeover. Congrats!

  17. niartist on October 6, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    WOW! Love the finish, and that darling cushion cover is just spectacular! Great job!

  18. Barb on October 6, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I'm hearing you mention a 'cricket' to cut stencils.
    can you tell me about what that is??


    barbara jean

  19. Infarrantly Creative on October 6, 2009 at 1:50 am

    I love the little ruffles so frilly and cute.

  20. Phyllis AROUND THE HOUSE on October 6, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Very cute chair makeover, I love the number you put on there. I also ;think the leg distressing is done very well, thats not that easy to do perfectly the way you have done. Always love the dropcloth idea, so creative…I am a new follower, come for a visit..

  21. ImagineCozy on October 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    So cute, the burlap with the distressed black is perfect.

  22. Beeutiful by Design on October 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    The chair is adorable, miles from where it started! Great post.

  23. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ on October 5, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Pretty little chair. I love your stencils but don't have the machine. Any ideas of where to get stencils like that? I have checked google for help but can't seem to find any I like. Yours look great.

  24. Julie on October 5, 2009 at 2:25 am

    cute cute cute…love it

  25. Sheri on October 5, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Do you ever get that feeling of deja Vu that you already commented somewhere? LOL Oh well. I really like the way this chair turned out.

  26. The DIY Show Off on October 5, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Beautiful makeover! I love it! 😉
    Have a great week. Your party sounds like a lot of fun!

  27. g.suzie on October 5, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Okay, more great ideas from you two! Everyone needs 'a little black chair' don't you think?

  28. Sandy on October 5, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Great chair makeover. Love the little skirt on the cover. You have a great blog.

  29. Dresser Girl on October 5, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I LOVE IT!!

  30. nannykim on October 5, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Very cute–love the little skirt! Now did you really have to give it a worn looK when kids do the job in minutes! Ha!

    my met blog is the spindle cottage blog 😉

  31. Glenda/MidSouth on October 4, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Great redo! You and your Sister are so talented.

  32. susan on October 4, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Love the ruffle! I really love the "w/o the hubby" button 🙂 That is the only way I make things :)–unless, of course, he pays to have it done. Then, I guess, it is "with the hubby" 🙂 Great job!

  33. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions on October 4, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I love this chair! Fantastic transformation. I would definitely use a chair like this as my desk chair. Love the little skirt you put on.

  34. Autum on October 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Perfection! The black spray paint, the burlap, the stencil… I love every last bit of it. I stenciled numbers on the backs of our kitchen chairs and our (crude) little dinner time joke is to tease whoever gets the chair with 2 on it. We say "tee-hee, you're sitting in number 2" in our best second-grader voices. I love your #2 chair ; )

  35. a little bit vintage on October 4, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    WAY cute! Absolutely love it!


  36. Samantha2818 on October 4, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Oh my gosh – I've just stumbled across your blog and love this chair. Rustoleum paints have only just arrived in the UK and I've been dying to try them out on something. Your chair if fabulous – well done!

  37. Jennifer Juniper on October 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I'm (slowly) working on a slip cover for a chair of mine, and I really love the little box pleat detail. Storing that away for future use… 🙂

  38. Craig, Blair and Turbo Skousen on October 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I love the distressing and the little skirting at the bottom! Super cute!

  39. the7daggetts on October 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I LOVE it! It doesn't even look like the same chair. It's perfect! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving the nice comment. Yes, I think I do smile every time I look at my "new" armoire. I just love the way it turned out!! 🙂

  40. Joyce @ Cheap Frills on October 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Wow! First I would like to thank you for visiting my little old blog and your kind comments. Now I would like to say, "wow"! Again. The ruffle just MAKES it – looks great!

  41. Jennie on October 4, 2009 at 3:00 am

    I love that skirted slipcover. That's EXACTLY what I want to do for my dining room chairs. I'm basic on the sewing machine, so I'd need a pattern or a tutorial. Anyone know where to find one?

  42. cottagewish on October 4, 2009 at 2:28 am

    WOW! I love it. I think you've given me the needed push to tackle a chair that's been waiting for a makeover.

  43. Sarah on October 4, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Another black chair transformation. You two girls just keep on amazing me. Thanks for sharing yet another great project. I always impressed with what you two do. ~ Sarah

  44. ~ RM on October 4, 2009 at 1:19 am

    WOW!!! That looks great! I am still finishing a chair project… Hopefully it will be done before your party!

  45. Miss Mustard Seed on October 4, 2009 at 1:14 am

    By the way, which Cricut cartridge did you use?

  46. Miss Mustard Seed on October 4, 2009 at 1:13 am

    My dining set has almost those exact chairs. I, too, love the caning and the lines, but there is something about them that say, "I'm a 1970's French Provincial Reproduction." I'm planning to paint them white and make skirted slipcovers almost exactly like yours. It's great to see a happy ending for your chair. Good work!

  47. Cherish on October 4, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Oh goodness, I wish I could sew. Thank you for showing me a distressed 2 pieces of black furniture this weekend. And he's TOTALLY skeptical. I showed him this and he was like, "ohhhhhh…" Yeah!! Thank you tons. Please check out my blog, I will posting photos either tomorrow or Sunday. I might post two separate ones, if I do, one will be tonight or tomorrow morning.

  48. Jessica on October 4, 2009 at 12:46 am

    I just found your blog and would love to talk about painting furniture. Can you email me so I can ask you my questions? Thanks!

    [email protected]

  49. Cindy Harvey on October 4, 2009 at 12:38 am

    That's perfection, right there. So I have a sewing question….does your cover just go over the cushion, as in there's no zipper or anything right? What's it do in the back where the seat back hits the seat itself?

  50. [email protected] and Cheese on October 4, 2009 at 12:23 am

    That little skirt on your cushion cover takes it over the top! This looks so fantanstic. Great job, I love it!

  51. Vera on October 3, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    First of all, I love your blog!! The chair looks so great, did you have to sand it down before you spray painted it?

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