Before & After: These Dated Chairs Got Redone for Just $23 — Thanks to 2 Surprising Pantry Items

updated Dec 22, 2020
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Finding something you’ve been long hunting for at a thrift store can feel like winning the lottery. For Chelsea Scott (@interiordesigndropout), the hunt was all about a specific type of bar stools. “I have been looking for a pair of Cesca-style stools for my kitchen peninsula for several months now,” she says. “When I saw these at the thrift store, I knew I had to give them a shot at a DIY upcycle.”

She got the pair for a steal (just $5!), so even though Chelsea describes them as “dirty and dated,” the project was worth it. “I knew they had plenty of potential with a little love and elbow grease,” Chelsea says.

It took Chelsea about a week to turn these old chairs into something modern and fun. She started by removing the seats and backs, which revealed a bit of a hiccup. “They were in pretty bad shape and had had some shoddy wood repairs done in their time, so I knew restoring the wood was more work than I had patience for,” Chelsea says. Rather than restore the wood, she opted to paint it.

Wood glue and wood filler helped fill all the cracks and holes before Chelsea sanded the wood and sprayed it with black spray paint.

For the chrome bases, Chelsea reached into her pantry, using Diet Coke and aluminum foil to remove stubborn rust spots. Then, she wiped the legs down with Windex to bring out a mirror-like shine.

Chelsea finished off the seats with new upholstery (Tommy Bahama banana leaf fabric) stapled to the cushions. Finally, Chelsea added the cushions back to their wooden base using brad nails, and reattached the seats and back to the chrome base.

Chelsea’s total cost for the project — chairs included — was just $23, making this one seriously low-budget success. “I love that the black paint and fabric gives the vintage chair a more modern feel without taking away from its original character,” she says.

Inspired? Submit your own project here.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: This $23 Redo for Dated Chairs Uses a Surprising Pantry Item