The $3 Office Chair Makeover

May 9, 2014Allison Murray
In this office chair makeover a vintage vinyl chair meets some paint & because an absolutely fabulous place to park booties & introduce style to the room!

Make over an old vinyl chair with only spray paint!

I must admit that I have a thing for chairs. I don’t know where it began or when it started but it’s gotten to be bad. I’ve already done one chair makeover here recently and now I’m sharing another. But, whoa now, there’s yet another coming in about two weeks. I’m just crazy for chairs!

One chair I’m nuts about is my office chair. I’ve sworn that I’d never EVER get rid of it. But here lately it’s giving me a bit of trouble in the butt department because the padding has squished down until it’s just no good. And I was going to fix it up but I got a “Why?” Since I spend so much time in my office chair everyone wanted me to get a new, good quality chair to replace this one. And I refused. Flat freaking out.

Make over an old vinyl chair with only spray paint!

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Until I saw this little gem at a thrift store in my sister’s town. I asked her to ask what the price was and she came back with $3. SOLD! So everyone’s dreams have come true. I have a new office chair. Perhaps it’s not exactly what anyone meant but they can cram it.

To make over a fabulous chair like mine you will need:

Make over an old vinyl chair with only spray paint!

Yeah, so here’s that before picture. The bones are there. The style is great and the cushion feels like it’s never really been used at all. There’s a bit of rust on the frame but that can be dealt with. Oh, and the base is cast iron. Yep, this chair is heavy as all get out.

Now I cleaned this thing and cleaned it and I kept finding twigs and all sorts of totally random junk. It may look  clean, but give it a good one just to be sure.

In this office chair makeover a vintage vinyl chair meets some paint & because an absolutely fabulous place to park booties & introduce style to the room!

First things first, you’ll need to remove the base from the chair. Be sure to hang on to your nuts and washers and whatnot or you’ll be buying all new ones like I had to. Nice!

In this office chair makeover a vintage vinyl chair meets some paint & because an absolutely fabulous place to park booties & introduce style to the room!

Here’s a close up of that rust. Try to get after it with some fine sandpaper and see if that makes it go away. In my case it smoothed out perfectly and save a few spots removed all of the defects meaning I didn’t really need to paint it. But I had my heart set on gold legs so…

In this office chair makeover a vintage vinyl chair meets some paint & because an absolutely fabulous place to park booties & introduce style to the room!

Remove the wheels and prime that sucker with metal primer or rusty metal primer. Allow to dry and then hit it with your spray paint of choice. I waffled between gold and purple but gold spray paint always wins, baby.

In this office chair makeover a vintage vinyl chair meets some paint & because an absolutely fabulous place to park booties & introduce style to the room!

Tape off your wheels and spray them to match. FYI – I totally don’t understand the way chairs work and my paint is peeling away because I painted the part that rolls on the floor. Ah, well. Pay attention and you may not have this problem!

In this office chair makeover a vintage vinyl chair meets some paint & because an absolutely fabulous place to park booties & introduce style to the room!

Next I spray painted the chair with special vinyl spray paint. This spray paint is actually used for vehicle upholstery so it’s good stuff. For about $7 a can you really can’t complain, either. Now since my chair was so OLIVE I thought that I needed a color that was similar for decent coverage and I purchased a tan color though I really had wanted to paint it white. And when it was done, I hated it. It looked like a seat for a car or a boat. So I wasted another $7 and went with my gut and painted this guy white.

Make over an old vinyl chair with only spray paint!

But check that baby out! So worth it! And check out that super fab shape. I’m sure I could find something similar new but I don’t even want to think about how much something similar but brand spanking new one would have cost me!

In this office chair makeover a vintage vinyl chair meets some paint & because an absolutely fabulous place to park booties & introduce style to the room!

To be honest my office isn’t exactly the greatest place to display the fabulosity that this chair is but the cats dig it.

Make over an old vinyl chair with only spray paint!

And my butt’s happy with the re-introduction of cushioning so we’re all winners. What do you think of my new, swinging office chair makeover?

Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website

Comments (34)

  • Dena

    May 9, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Love. VINYL SPRAY PAINT?!?!? Uhhhh, awesome! I need that.

  • Jenni @ The Common Creative

    May 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    This looks amazing! I love that all it took was some spray paint to make it look so fabulous! Thanks for sharing this :)

  • Ama

    May 9, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    This chair is fabulous!! I love the color you have chosen! I did not know it was possible to paint vinyl …so thanks for the tip!

  • Suzette

    May 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    I opened up Pinterest and there she was! I picked up an almost identical chair (mine has a cut out where the back meets the seat) on the side of the road and it wasn’t rusty, or torn or even dirty. Great score and I will be painting it ASAP. Great job.

  • ChiWei

    May 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Great paint combo! Do you know if the paint you used would work on leather as well, since it’s auto upholstery paint? Can I have the name and where you got it? I also have a bufugly chair in my life that needs some … something.

    1. Allison

      May 15, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      The paint I used only works on vinyl and fabric, BUT I found some auto spray paint that works on leather, it’s called Colorbond and you can get it here –> http://amzn.to/1qGdNLO. The gold spray paint I use is Rustoleum you can see here –> http://amzn.to/1gIVP1J though I almost always buy it at Wal-Mart.

      So glad you like the color combo. I’m in LOVE with my new chair :)

      1. Torie

        August 21, 2016 at 8:45 PM

        I have to know, where did you find the vinyl spray paint and what is the brand name?? I’m up cycling some old diner chairs and would LOVE to be able to do what you just did!!?

        1. Allison Murray

          August 24, 2016 at 8:58 AM

          Hey! I used this paint here. You might want to purchase a sealer too if you have any little ones with wiggly butts. After watching my nephews for a few weeks the youngest started to wear the white off of the seat area where he’d wiggle, wiggle, wiggle while on the computer :)

  • Summer

    May 18, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    Love, love, love this! Good to know the vinyl spray paint works and the white and gold is perfect!

  • carolyn

    September 25, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    I had no idea there was vinyl paint! Amazing!
    Love the chair!
    Carolyn
    http://www.ccmcafeeperspective.com/

  • Morena

    September 25, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    LOVE it! I recently bought a pair of similar chairs at Goodwill and was thinking of Mod Podging them. I love the idea of spray painting them more. Will be on the hunt for that paint. Thanks for the great idea!

  • Rose

    September 25, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    I don’t know if I missed it but I still don’t see the name and where to purchase the vinyl and fabric paint.

    1. Allison Murray

      September 25, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      You can see the paint I used by the link in the products list. But to make it easier, it’s here, too: http://amzn.to/QDlzpm

  • Millie

    September 29, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Girl you hooked that chair up I want one just like it ,thanx for the info on how you did it can’t wait to find me some vinyl. :)

  • Kayla Cushman

    November 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Gorgeous chair! I’ve searched high and low and haven’t found one yet…sigh! Did you use gloss white?

    1. Allison Murray

      November 20, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      I could only find the gloss so that is what I went with. It turned out rather not glossy, though! Oh, and I was told that this is actually a dining chair from the 70’s. That might help your search if you look online or whatnot!

  • Cia arielle

    January 19, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    I love this idea! As soon as I saw it I called my mom to see if they still had these old, ugly brown vinyl chairs I used growing up. Sad face when my mom said they had given them away or I would have been welcome to them. Ever since then I’ve been on craigslist daily and to all the local consignment shops at least once a week. Maybe I’ll get lucky! I’m getting a new desk for my office and want a petal pink and gold chair.

  • Evelyn

    February 14, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Great job! I just learned that there is a vinyl spray, sometimes I love shabby chick project’s, and your cat is beautiful <3

  • lisette

    April 16, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    Oh my! That’s gorgeous!
    I’m hoping to buy some dining room chairs tomorrow that already have a gold metal base, I love love love the sparkle! Thanks for the inspiration for my chairs! ;)

  • Chelsey

    June 6, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    Did you find the paint left a residue? Did you wash your chair after you painted it to make sure none of the paint “dust” came off on your clothes??

    1. Allison Murray

      June 6, 2015 at 6:11 PM

      I wiped it down with a soft cloth. It has done very well until very recently. My nephew that can’t seem to sit still sat in it for days and days while doing homework and reading and being on the computer. His little 7 year old booty rubbed the paint away just in the middle. It’s nothing another shot of paint won’t fix up but that’s the only thing that has happened anything like that since I painted this sucker up!

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  • Angie

    January 10, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    I tried to paint vinyl bar stools for my salon and it was an epic failure. They were sticky afterwards like they never dried. Would love to figure out how to do it without sticky and while giving it durability. For now I’m reupholstering them. So much more work.

    1. Allison Murray

      January 10, 2016 at 11:01 PM

      Did you use vinyl spray paint? Mine is like what is used for fixing up old cars and you can get it online or in auto part stores. If you shop at amazon.com can get it through the link in the product list.

  • Lori

    February 21, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    This was so helpful. I have a big square coffee/ottoman table and a big chair, both brown, loved them then, not so much now, just need paint. Thanks.

  • Pudel – design

    February 26, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Wohoo! This looks really great!
    At first I thought you changed the fabric!
    Amazing! ;)

  • Cait

    April 17, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    this is so classy! I love how simple yet beautiful it is.

  • Liliane Lamouche

    April 28, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Hi!! After all this time, how’s the paint on the chair?!?! I’m Considering doing this soon and im looking for the best option!!
    Thanks!

    1. Allison Murray

      April 29, 2016 at 9:11 AM

      Wow! It’s kind of funny you should ask because I’ve been working on updating my office and lots and lots of paint is in the picture. After I had cleaned up my mess I was SO upset because there was part of a teal hand print on the top of the chair. It was pretty dang awesome that when I scratched at it, the teal paint came away fairly easily but the hot pink stayed ON! So in all honesty I would say this paint is DEFINITELY a good way to go! I’m really happy with the durability of this paint!

  • Lady D

    July 6, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    Love it. Will this work if the chair is a little wrinkly in the seat?

    1. Allison Murray

      July 10, 2016 at 8:24 AM

      It’s quite possible that it might be a bit easier for the paint to rub off when scooting in and out of the seat on the raised areas. If it gets frequent use I might try to find a different solution.

  • Jennifer Casazza

    July 19, 2017 at 5:53 PM

    I have a new chair that is already white but the legs and some other parts are silver. I have it in an office that is navy blue with white and gold accents. I am wondering how well the gold paint has held up for you? My chair is only a year old so I’d hate to buy new. Thanks for the idea!

    1. Allison Murray

      July 27, 2017 at 8:56 AM

      Hi, Jennifer! Since it was a $3 chair I’m totally happy with the results BUT on a more expensive chair I’m not quite sure what I’d do. When my nephews would visit they move around a lot and after a week they’d rub most of the paint off so that I had to redo it. Oddly it never seemed to discolor their pants but they buffed that business off being normal kids :) I didn’t have room to take it all when I moved and that chair stayed behind, but with normal wear where you just sit on it it did just fine and perhaps if you can find a sealer it would be even better.

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