Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs DIY in One Afternoon

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DIY chair refinish

I love a good DIY project, and I’m always looking for something new to try. Since I moved my office back home, we put my desk in the dining room against the window. We decided to sell our kitchen table and buffet because …. 1). We don’t use the buffet and 2). We don’t use the buffet. 😆

The entire dining suite took up a ton of space in the room. Our house is small to begin with, so a large bar height table with chairs and a large buffet made it nearly impossible to walk around and get to my desk. After the fire that happened next door, I was feeling very ready to purge the house anyway, so we decided to find a new table and chairs.

Facebook marketplace to the rescue for my next DIY project! We found a cute small round mid-century table and chair set that would fit perfectly in our dining room and still give us space to live around it.

The problem is, the chairs looked like this:

Good bone structure, but not exactly my style on the cushions. Also, that fabric was almost crispy, it was so old, and any padding on the seat cushion was gonnnneeeee….I mean, when I cut the covering off, I guarantee they’d used 1960s attic insulation for the “cushion”. It was pretty gross.

The good thing is, this is a super easy DIY, and I was able to redo all four chairs in one afternoon.


  • Staple gun

  • Heavy duty staples

  • Craft Foam

  • 2 yards fabric

  • Dome stud nails

  • Minwax stain wipes

I started by removing the seat from the chair frame. One roll of Craft Foam that is 36″ x 72″ x 2″ should offer enough foam to cover 4 cushions.

Remove your original cushion cover if you want, and lay the base of the seat on your foam to be able to trace around the exact shape. Use a box cutter knife to cleanly cut the foam — it’s okay for it to be slightly larger than the seat base. You want that extra foam so when you pull the fabric tightly around and staple, it is smooth with the edges of the seat base.

I also precut all the fabric that I used to cover each base, so that I could easily work through stapling the cushions. (I believe in batch work, haha)

Next, I wanted to restain the wood on the chairs. I found these Minwax stain wipes and they are seriously amazing.

Minwax DIY

A package contains 8 wipes and each chair required 3, so 2 packages was plenty of stain. These wiped on easily, dried quickly, and have held up to daily use without scratching very well.



Stapling the cover onto the cushions is fairly easy, you just want to make sure that you pull the fabric tight in each direction. Staple the heck out of it if you have to. You don’t want the fabric coming loose on one edge with time. We decided to add studded dome nails along the edging of the seat cushion to complete the look.

I’m very pleased with the final result. The blue velvet seat cover brought a nice touch of color into our dining room, and coordinates with the blue velvet curtains I already had hanging. I like the pop of color with pink flowers on the table. The table and chairs are sturdy, which is something I like from mid-century modern styled furniture, rather than pre-fab made items you put together from a box now days, but now they have a chic modern touch.

Comment below if you’ve ever tried the Minwax wipes and what kind of project you used them for!

#DIY #Furniture #midcenturymodern #upcycle