Card Table and Chairs Revamped

Last week I saw this picture of some folding chairs spray painted and reupholstered and I knew this was something I HAD to do! We have a small group of about 14 adults that meet at our house every Wednesday night and I am always looking for ways to add more seating to our living room without it looking strange the other 6 days of the week. We typically have folding chairs that simply get tucked away in random corners of our living room each week so I was really excited to try and update their look.
I am sure there are many ways that you could do this so I am just going to share what I did.

Supplies needed:
fine grit sandpaper
staple gun
scotch guard
spray adhesive
spray paint (I used a can per chair)

First remove the cushions from your chair. I didn’t even know they could come off until I checked and sure enough they just have a few screws in the back and bottom holding the cushions on. Next clean your chair to get any dust, oils, etc off of your chair. Then if your chair is a very smooth metal if would be good to lightly sand it with a fine grit sand paper to help the paint really stick. I am kicking myself for not doing this because there a couple spots that they banged against something and already chipped :( after looking into it it seems like if you clean your chair well, lightly sand it, and use a primer, or spray paint with a primer in it then you will be in good shape for your paint to stick well.

I had 4 chairs to recover and 1 table and used less than 2 yards for the chairs and about 1 yard for the table top.
I found this fabric at Joann’s…isn’t it beautiful!? Simply lay your cushion out and trace around it giving yourself about 2-3 inches of excess fabric to wrap around to the under side.

I spray painted my chairs following the directions on the can and then worked on recovering the cushions between coats of spray paint. As you can see from the picture I used Valspar, but if I were to do it again I think I would go with Krylon. I have used Krylon on previous projects and I fell like it has less oversrpay so 1 can goes further. I would also use either use primer first, or get one with a primer built in. If you chairs are going to be outside they sell rust proof spray paint too.
I left the old covers on mine because they were still in excellent shape. I then used a spray adhesive on the fabric and put my cushion in the middle. The spray adhesive is not absolutely unnecessary but in my opinion it is so so helpful! It doesn’t stick so much that you can’t peel it back off and reposition it but it does stick enough to really hold it in place well.

For the seat cushion staple in the middle of each side going from one side to the opposite side and saving the corners for last. This will help alot to keep you from having wrinkles or loose fabric. The bottom of my cushion shows when my chairs are folded so I added an extra piece to the bottom.

We have 3 little kids so I need these chairs to be cleanable as well as cute. I sprayed them with scotch guard to help keep off spill and stains.

Don’t forget to paint the tops of the screws also! I like to stick mine into a piece of cardboard.

I let my chairs dry overnight and did touch ups in the morning. It took 5 cans to paint 4 chairs and the legs of 1 table. Once your chairs have dried be sure to flip them over and fold them partially to check for any missed spots.
After they have dried well you can screw your cushions back on!

For the table I used a solid red that matched the red flowers in my chair piece. I decided to sew a strip of the accent piece down the middle to give it a look of a table runner.

For the table top I stapled one side on then lifted it and sprayed the table top with the adhesive.

Then I laid it down and made sure everything was on good with no wrinkles and the strip was lined up down the center. If everything looks good you can staple it on using the same technique you did on the chairs. I also added a clear liner to make the table wipeable. They sell this on a big bolt at my Joann Fabric store. It was only $2.99 too!
Screw it all back together and you are done!

Here we are enjoying lunch on it this afternoon!


  1. Betsy says:

    I just showed Granny and we are SO impressed with your talents and creativity. Granny said to tell you she “loves it”! She also said she’s glad you inherited some of the Herrmann touch. What a nice tutorial also.
    Love, Betsy and Granny

  2. Janetta Marshall says:

    Love this You did such a good job…..

  3. Mom says:

    Can’t wait to come over and try it out. I have a small rip in my card table top so now I am thinking I need to try this. You are so inspiring!!!

  4. Lisa says:

    This is so cute! I have a child sized card table that my son has ripped in three places. This means we’d have to replace the batting on top of the rest of the steps, right? How much did this all cost? (excluding the cost of the original table) I’m trying to gauge whether it’d be cheaper to replace the table (leaving the chairs as is) or reupholster the whole set in a space theme to match his room. I don’t have a staple gun but I guess I could borrow, I’d need adhesive, batting, fabric, the clear cover, spray paint…. for four chairs and one table, child sized though so… I LOVE the look of DIY but have been too chicken to really take it on myself

    • terri says:

      Hey Lisa, thank you! If you took the fabric cover off the top the batting may still be in good shape. If not you should be able to get some pretty cheap. One idea is using a vinyl, utility fabric, or oil cloth fabric for the table in a bright fun color and then space theme fabric for the chairs? Joann’s even has a chalkboard fabric online for $4.99 that would be fun! Those types of fabric are very durable and wipe able and you wouldn’t need the clear cover for the top. If you do go with the clear cover it is very inexpensive and you would only need the size of the table plus about 4″. If you are on a tighter budget you can also skip the adhesive spray. I already had it and it was nice to have but you could absolutely do it without. Also go online and find a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or Joann’s before you go shopping! Definitely borrow a staper gun or try out a regular stapler and see how we’ll it works for you. If the top is a thick cardboard it may work just fine. Use coupons for the fabric, check remnant boxes at the fabric store, and check for sales. Doing all of those things will cut your costs considerably. I’d say if you find good deals you should go for it! Another table may end up around the same price but there is something special about customizing a project to what your kids/family loves and seeing something come together with your own two hands that you just can’t beat. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  5. sharla says:

    Awesome – cutest folding set EVER! Well done!

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