Before & After: Saxon Chair Rescue

This week’s before and after comes from Ali a Stylish Patina reader!

“I have been seriously bitten by the DIY/decor trend! And now I’m a newbie blogger and relentless painter… I can’t stop rescuing trash and rearranging my furniture. What is this decor-mania? So fortunate to have a relaxed hubby and live in the DC metro area where there’s always something to redo and fabulous creative people to meet,” said Ali.

This week Ali shares with us her DIY transformation of a discarded vintage chair, and she includes step by step instructions, so if you are looking for a winter DIY project – here it is.

“Hitting the road after an awesome weekend visiting one of my college girlfriends in rural New Jersey, I pulled out of her neighborhood only to find this beautiful chair on the curb! I stopped to load it in my car and the previous owner came out to help me. He said he didn’t know if it was an antique, but it belonged to his wife’s grandmother. Let’s just say they were a bit older than I am…. it’s an antique,” said Ali.

Here is the before shot.


“It needed love, lots of love. When I picked it up, it looked like the first picture. And if you couldn’t see the gold-ish streaking in that photo… trust me it’s there,” said Ali.

Then, she decided to transform it! Here are Ali’s step by step directions.

1. First I pulled off all the upholstery, taking lots of pictures as I went so I could reuse what was there. It had a few layers, including horse hair. I put everything salvageable back in and added an extra layer of poly-fil. I like my seats a little cushier than they did in the old days.

2. I ordered a replacement for the missing round medallion on the front of the chair from Architectural Depot and glued it on with Gorilla Glue. No product placements here, just items that have worked for me.

3. I spray painted the frame with primer, white gloss-2 coats, and a clear sealer. (You could also use chalk paint & wax here.)

4. I found this fabulous fabric on sale and actually flew it back from a visit with my family in Florida. I have since seen the same fabric at JoAnn’s. I put everything back on in the reverse order I had removed it (thank you to the pictures I had taken!) and used a handheld staple gun. You can get these inexpensively anywhere-I picked one up at Target this summer in a pinch. Yes, staple gun emergencies do happen!

5.Disclaimer: I can’t sew! Luckily right around when I got my hands on this chair a dear friend was trying to teach me… so I could at least sew a line (not a straight one-what is the secret?). I googled directions on sewing piping and made some in the same fabric as the seats, then hot glued it over the staples. I’m not sure of the specific tutorial I used, but there are lots of great sewing sites out there with instructions for projects like piping.

And voila! Here is Ali’s gorgeous finished chair.


Thanks Ali! It’s a fresh take on a forgotten piece. You can submit your own projects to be featured on our blog here. Also, don’t forget you can purchase chalk paint, milk paint & other DIY supplies in our online store

Upcoming Events:
Jan Rough Luxe: 1/30, 1/31, 2/1
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2 Responses to Before & After: Saxon Chair Rescue

  1. Gigi Harlan says:

    Wow! What a transformation. I love it!

  2. Christine H says:

    Wow! Love what you did with this chair! Nice contrast between the white paint and the fabric!

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