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Reupholstered Leopard Chairs

They say that most vintage pieces have a story and these chairs are no different.


A few years ago when I still lived at my prior house, I was out for a run on a spring evening.  I usually ran the same route and one evening, these two chairs were sitting out by the curb.  I immediately fell in love with their lines and curves and promptly went to the door of the home to ask if I can have them.  The lady was so sweet and said yes.  I obviously was running and at that point was still a mile from home, so I asked if she could pull them up to the house until I can go back and get my car.  She agreed, and that mile back to my house was a quick one!

Over the next few months, they sat in my garage just waiting to be finished.  While searching for inspiration I was all over the map with what I wanted, but for some reason I kept coming back to a leopard print.  It was everywhere in the design world and I loved it.

Here are a few of the pictures I still reference today:


I decided to go with the Bianca leopard fabric from Tonic Living.  At almost $37.00 a yard, it wasn’t cheap, but I was able to get away with a yard an a half.  After all, the chairs were free and my only cost thus far was the spray paint.


Once I had the fabric selected and ordered, I was ready to go.  First I stripped the existing fabric and foam from the chairs.  I also had to remove all of the staples which was a chore.  There were a TON of them on each chair times two.


Once the staples were out, it was time to sand and spray.  I went with a high gloss black.  For even coverage, I put three to four light, even coats on each chair because I wanted all of the nooks and crannies of the chairs to be completely filled in.  This process took a few days in between spraying and drying time.

Once that was done, my dad helped me secure jute upholstery webbing to both chairs.  This was definitely a two-man job.  One person needed to hold the webbing in place, the other needed to staple.  You can see my parents’ dog in the background….he wasn’t impressed.


After the webbing was secure, I purchased new foam for the seats.  I used the old fabric as a pattern for the new which definitely gave me a starting point for the shape.  We used the staple gun to secure the fabric right onto the wood of the chair.  Since the staples were visible, the final step was to hot glue some decorative trim around the bottom of the seat.  I didn’t want anything to take away from the chair and/or fabric, so I chose this simple black design.  I was a little worried about the hot glue holding up, but two years later, it’s fine. Keep in mind, these are decorative chairs so they aren’t used all that heavily.


I am still in love with these chairs over two years later.  In total, I estimate that I spent under $100 in supplies, but I got two beauties in return!


Some views on how they look in my living room…


Enjoy the day! xo

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