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The Real Truth About Deconstructing A Chair

Are you a jump right into the middle of a project kind of person? This practice has served me OKay over the years. However, I seriously made a mistake when I decided to deconstruct a vintage chair.

The old saying “They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To” DEFINITELY applies to old chairs. The Real Truth About Deconstructing a Chair is those things are put together to stay! Since I did not realize this beforehand, I jumped right into the project with a flat head screw driver, hammer, needle nose pliers and A LOT of skin. This was a mistake for sure! Although I’m very happy with the results, the scars may be a reminder for the rest of my life. LOL

The result of all my hard work including fun pillows and then what the chair looked like originally! Hand Painted Bunny Tails Pillow and Seat Cushion Pillow are available in my store. Check out another favorite DIY here!

Seeing this cute vintage chair for only $5.00, I jumped on the deal. Proudly, I brought it home to begin the adventure of deconstructing it. Little did I know what was in store for me! LOL

The Project Begins

Down to the Frame

The deconstructed chair without the fabric.  The Real Truth about deconstructing a chair.  Farmhouse style decor
Now we are down to just wood and staples! Although there was a moment of disappointment when I saw the large gap in the back of the chair, quickly a solution came to mind. Still optimistic that the project was almost finished, removing the staples began. Boy, what a miscalculation.

Hours Later……

The Real Truth About Deconstructing a Chair.  The deconstructed chair once we added the wood strips to the back.
Finally, all the staples have been removed! This is the part that took hours and hours to complete. When you don’t use the proper tools, your hands and fingers will pay the price.
The Real Truth when deconstructing a chair.  Down to the frame.  Farmhouse style chair.
My husband helped me to fit two pieces of wood into the back of the chair. Because we don’t want anyone falling out the back of the chair, do we?! LOL

Because this is a deconstructed look, you don’t need to bother with wood filler. Just sand with a fine grit sanding block until the areas are smooth to the touch.

Stain the raw wood

At this point, you’ll want to stain the new wood and any unstained portion of the chair. You want to choose a stain to closely match the stained areas of the chair.
For this step, I used a quick drying gel stain in Walnut.

Paint Chair Frame
Almost Done
I added a burlap cushion to cover the springs of the deconstructed chair.  The Real Truth about deconstructing a chair.  Farmhouse Style Decor
The springs were in great shape but needed to be covered. Here is a cushion of burlap and batting to cover the springs. Because you will still add another cushion over the top, this can be basically basically a flat cushion. Use a staple gun to attach to the frame.
Here is the re-purposed chair with the final seat cushion and decorative pillows and the lessons I learned while deconstructing a chair.
To finish this project, a distressed ruffled cushion from Navy Ticking Fabric was added. A hand painted pillow and a farmhouse style lumbar pillow add comfort to the back of the seat.

Using proper equipment

Here is the loose change found in the chair, however it wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of proper tools. Because I do learn from my mistakes, I have since invested in some tools that are appropriate for removing staples and tacks from upholstered furniture.
Three Piece Upholstery Tool Set
These tools are not expensive and will save you a lot of time and heartache.
I learned that proper gloves are a must.

Golden Stag Gloves
the real truth about deconstructing a chair and the results.  A farmhouse style chair.

How do you like the chair? It’s exactly how I envisioned it but the task of removing all the old upholstery materials was a lot more than I bargained for. Because I know have property tools, believe it or not, I’m already starting to pull some staples from another thrift store find.

Thank you for stopping by! Hopefully you are not discouraged to try a project of your own. I have learned from my mistakes and hopefully given you the tools and encouragement to begin a project. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions and your comments are always appreciated.



DIY Farmhouse Style Chair.  The Real Truth about deconstructing a chair for your home decor.  Rustic Style
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DIY Farmhouse Style Chair.  The Real Truth about deconstructing a chair for your home decor.  Rustic Style, re-purposed furniture, up-cycled, recycled, trash to treasure.   Cottage Style, #farmhouse #DIY


Sunday 29th of August 2021

Rachel, I’m about to undergo a transformation of my parents’ first piece of furniture, an old rocking chair with an upholstered seat. I was trying to see what you placed under the springs. I’m not sure if I need to use a thin (fiber?)board to support the cushion. Everything is completely deteriorated and I suspect Mickey moused over the years. It’s hard to imagine the original arrangement of support and upholstery. Please advise what you used as the bottom support. Thanks, Pat

Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Pat, My springs were very secure and I didn't add any support underneath the springs. If they are deteriorated, I'd probably add a piece of plywood to the bottom of the chair to support the springs. You might want to check with a professional upholster for advise to be safe.


Sunday 18th of April 2021

You are soooo right, the tools are a game changer!. I covet my staple remover, but adding the gloves is a must. Thank you for the great pictures and easy to follow directions! Beautiful job 🥰

Monday 19th of April 2021

Robin, Yes, I will jump right in without getting the proper tools. Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your input.


Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

Where can you purchase the tools you suggest?

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

Jan, If you click on the highlighted description of the tools, it will take you to the shop. Any of the highlighted words are linked. I hope that helps. Rachel

Carolyn Bornhoft

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Love that chair!!! I would love to make one I'm going to keep my eyes open for one. Once good will reopens.

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Carolyn Thank you for stopping by. I can't wait to see how your chair turns out. rachel


Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Lovely. You are so talented. You truly must enjoy doing things like this. Keep up the good work. Carole

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Carole, I appreciate these sweet compliments. I hope you enjoy exploring more of my blog. Rachel