A random drive through my neighborhood scored me this awesome wooden desk chair!
This office chair makeover turned out even more beautiful than I had hoped. And fixing roller wheels is shockingly easy. I can’t believe I found this great piece on someone’s curb. Can you?
Like a lot of people, my family loves cruising through neighborhoods to see what’s going on. Checking out the landscaping and latest builds is oddly relaxing and entertaining. Right? But it’s extra exciting when you find a bit of curbside treasure on the drive. I stumbled across this awesome chair just as it was put out. The guy even helped me load it up. How nice is that?!
When I unloaded this chair at home, it was covered in dust, rust, and cobwebs. It looked like it had probably lived in someone’s barn for a few years. 2 of the roller wheels were even broken. BUT the best part was that the chair was actually in excellent condition. The wooden frame was perfect, nothing loose or damaged. So, I knew this office chair makeover would be pretty easy.
Did you know that those roller wheels on desk chairs are generally a universal size?? Makes fixing roller wheels as easy as popping out the old ones and popping in new ones. Seriously easy, if they don’t go in easily, just pound a bit with a rubber mallet. I used these chair roller wheels, they are very durable and glide easily on thick carpet. 🙂
And finding this chair is such a great coincidence. When we moved from Egypt back to the US, we literally had no furniture. It was a little chaotic and expensive trying to furnish a new house, while remodeling it, and getting ready for our first baby. I got a little cheap with the desk chair and it was so uncomfortable. I needed this chair as much as it needed me. 😉
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Disclaimer: Make sure to always read the directions for any products or tools you use while building. Always check for square and double-check those measurements too. Read the full disclaimer.
Cost for this Office Chair Makeover
I spent less than $20 on the new fabric and wheels.
Time for this Office Chair Makeover
This update can be easily done in a weekend, including dry time for paint and poly.
Materials for this Office Chair Makeover
- Set of Office Chair Roller Wheels
- New fabric, I used this Magnolia Home Fabric. Check out more beautiful and trendy fabric finds here.
- drop cloth
- Staple Gun and staples
- Needle Nose Pliers, Hammer, Screw Driver
- Wood cleaner
- Chalk Paint, I used Behr’s Polished Pearl mixed into a chalk paint with my recipe
- Rust-oleum Matte Varathane
- New screws to replace rusty ones
- 120-grit sandpaper or sanding block
Directions for this Office Chair Makeover
Start with the Frame
- Clean the chair to get a good look at what needs to be done. I used my easy homemade wood cleaner.
- Pull out the old roller wheels. You may need strong pliers to get a good grip.
- Remove the screws holding the seat on and the screws holding the wood caps on the legs.
- Find matching screws to replace any rusty ones, for assembly later.
- If necessary, strip off old varnish or paint. I was able to just sand everything smooth with 120-grit sandpaper. It was pretty smooth already.
- Apply Vaseline on edges and raised areas that would naturally get chipped or worn with use.
- Paint over all wood with 3-4 layers of chalk paint to get a fully covered finish. Allow proper drying between layers.
- Distress the areas you put Vaseline on with the sanding block or sandpaper.
- Once you have the type of distressed look you prefer, protect all of the wood with 2-3 coats of polyurethane. I love the Matte finish and extra smooth feel of this fast-drying Matte Urethane.
Update the Seat
- Remove the old fabric with needle nose pliers.
- Decide whether or not the foam needs to be replaced. I was lucky, this foam was in great condition. Probably because the old fabric was leather, so an extra thick and mostly waterproof protector.
- To be doubly-safe, I put a layer of a thick cloth drop cloth between the fabric and old foam.
- Line up the fabric pattern with the seat before stapling. Staple the center of one side, pulling tightly as you go. Do not staple corners until the 4 sides are finished. Staple the middle of the opposite side next. Again, be sure to pull tight. Do the same for the other 2 sides.
- Make sure to use a lot of staples. Don’t leave gaps between staples. This will stop the fabric from ripping in spots that are trying to hold the fabric in place by too few staples.
- Staple the corners, paying attention to how you want the fabric to fold at the corners. Make those corners match and always pull them tight for a professional look.
- Once everything is completely stapled, trim excess fabric.
- Add a paper liner across the bottom. This prevents thread and fabric from being visible.
- Protect the fabric with a Scotch Guard.
Assemble the Chair
- I wrapped my post with a jute twine. I used a mix of spray adhesive and Elmer’s Glue to hold it in place.
- Grab those new screws and assemble the chair. Working backwards from the way I took it apart typically works best for me.
- Now on to the wheels. Fixing roller wheels is so easy. I was happy to find that most wheels fit a universal size. So, I just ordered new wheels and literally popped them on. You may need to push hard or use a rubber mallet to get a stubborn one in place.
That’s it! Time to enjoy that new-to-you office chair!
Want to see more upholstery tips. I have a how-to video for my DIY Farmhouse Bench you should see.
Feeling inspired? Get out there and build your own . Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!