New Dining Chairs, New “No Sew” Curtain Panels

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If you read my blog regularly you know I change things up and around quite often.
Or repaint  … or whatever.

So when I told my husband I wanted to change the fabric on the chairs in the dining room and make new “no sew” curtains he was not surprised.

Even though it was only last year that I found and made over the chairs I have currently. ( they were $35 in all so not too big a deal, you can read about them here)

And when I told him I would just find some “new” ones and redo those instead of changing out the fabric on the chairs I already had…..

…he was not surprised.

Because, you know, I do change my mind quite often and I may like to go back to those chairs/curtains at some point. I’m sure of it actually.

By the way, “not surprised” might or might not be the same thing as not happy.

He was not thrilled, let’s just say. heh heh But not surprised.

So off I went on my hunt for “new” chairs…and I found some on Craigslist that would do.

Craigslist Dining Chairs Before - #nosew

Not fabulous but not bad. They were cheap and they would satisfy my need for a little change up.
And I really liked the sleek look of them. (especially compared to my current caned back chairs)

That’s the fabric I chose laying on the table. I found it at Hancock Fabrics in the clearance bin.
Enough to make new curtain panels and cover the chairs for less than $25.  Can’t beat it.

Plus, the colors in the fabric are yellow, teal and coral. Perfect.

Dining Chair Makeover Before - #nosew

I painted the table and china cabinet in the dining room with a custom blend of latex paint. I painted my other caned back dining chairs in Old White Chalk Paint® and it ended up matching pretty well. (seen below)

Dining Room (semi before) with caned back chairs - #nosew
Since some of the chairs were pretty beat up, wood was chipped, scraped, etc., I decided to paint them.
I originally wanted to keep some of the wood element but it just didn’t work out.

So I went with Chalk Paint…..and a paintbrush.

Dining Chair Makeover - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - #nosew

Yep….and that lasted until I got to about here…..

Dining Room Makeover - Painting Chairs - #nosew

….that’s when I realized I was done. No, not done, done. Just done.
I hadn’t finished painting all the chairs AND I still needed to go over with another coat.

Ugh. No.

I couldn’t do another brush stroke. This paint loving girl?
Yep, that’s right and not my proudest painting moment….no, but I am laying it all out here for you.

I highly dislike painting chairs. Ok.  I dislike it tremendously. One I can do….more than one…no.

So I resorted to this….

Valspar Churchill Hotel Vanilla Spray Paint - #nosew

I know, what a cop out. But I wanted to let you all know because I believe in full disclosure. ;)

And don’t think that was a cake walk either. It was a pain trying to cover that dark wood nice and evenly.
I won’t be wanting to change out the chairs again anytime soon. I can tell you that!

And to top it off, I personally do not like to work too much around spray paint and such.
Small projects, yes, large ones? No.

So here’s how that went…..
I went outside and sprayed, sprayed, sprayed…holding my breath all the while.
Ran back in the house like a mad woman to catch my breath. (picture that now, why don’t you?) Over and over and over again.

I’m not sure I saved myself any work? I did get some exercise though.

Anyway, they did get finished….and even turned out pretty well considering.

Easy change up for the Dining Room. Craigslist chairs with clearance bin fabric! - #nosew

Paint and new fabric really make a big difference, right?

Craigslist Chair Makeover - New paint, new fabric, completely new look!! - #nosew

By the way, that paint color is Valspar Churchill Hotel Vanilla and matches everything else really well. Thank goodness.

A little bit of distressing and I sealed them all with a quick spray of this….

Minwax Polycrylic to seal chairs - #nosew

And complete…..

Dining Room - Easy (and inexpensive!) makeover, Craiglist chairs, clearance fabric and no sew curtains! - #nosew

You guys get a little sneak peek of the built in we are building over to the left there in the Study. :)
Lots to do still. But it is coming along.

You can also see the curtain panels on the window I made for this room to match the chairs.

S0 Easy!! No Sew Curtain Panels - #nosew

No sew, of course!!

I don’t sew but I’ve never let that hold me back.
Here is a post for another set of curtain panels I made for my family room for less than $40. (with a full tutorial, if you are interested)
I made a super simple valance, napkins and place mats for the table in this post here.

Top section….

Super easy!! No Sew Curtain Panels - #nosew

Bottom – I measured and cut accordingly so they would just skim the floor….

Super easy!! Curtain Panels- No Sew - #nosew

I have them “clipped”  at the top with rings because I like that look but I did “no sew” in a hem that I can put a rod through if I ever change my mind.
Like that would ever happen.  Ha! Me, change my mind….never.

No really, I always account for that. Usually.

Anyway, that’s the “new do” for the dining room. A little change up. A little bit of a new look.

And I’m really loving it. It’s a little less “french country-ish” and a little more traditional with the plaid style fabric.

And who can argue changing up your dining room…..with new curtains AND chairs for less than $100 total? I can’t.

Do you like to change things up and around in your home every so often too?
If so, what have you done in yours recently?

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  1. I totally agree with you that painting chairs is a huge pain. Painting eight of them would have put me over the edge, too. I love the end result and think that you made a great choice of fabric for your curtains and chairs.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I measure the length that I wanted them (where my rod was, or where I would be placing my rod–and to the floor) If you want them to “pool” on the floor than add some extra for that. Also, I always add in about 5 or so inches for a hem on each side, plus extra for mistakes. Always add a little extra!! ;)

  2. I love the chairs! And I know what you mean about painting them, I really dislike painting chairs too! I can barely do 1, I don’t think I could ever do a whole set! The fabric is so pretty on the chairs and windows.

    1. Thanks Trisha! :) I kept them. They are in storage. I know I’ll want to use them again…it’s just a matter of time! So I kept them so I could change things up later.


  3. I have a question for you about recovering the chairs. I tried this myself a few months ago, and now I’m finding that the screws which are supposed to be holding the cushions on the frames are falling out! Either the wood was soft and got chewed up when I removed/ replaced the screws in the original seats, or I’m doing something else wrong. Today I am experimenting with industrial strength velcro to see if that will hold the seats to the legs. Any advice about this?

    1. Hi Traci,
      Yes, it sounds like the wood may be soft or disintegrated/old (particle board possibly?). You could try larger diam screws and/or fill the hole with glue before screwing them back in.
      I have not seen industrial strength velcro but it sounds promising! ;)
      Good luck!

      1. I put on the Velcro yesterday, and it looks like a very promising solution indeed. So far it feels quite permanent. We’ll have to see how the glue holds up over time – though I’m suddenly realizing I could probably staple gun the velcro down both to the chair legs and to the seat cushion – so I think I just solved the problem.

        Thanks for inspiring us to give things a try. I love your new fabrics!


  4. I really like the fabric you chose Nancy and your new chairs look beautiful with your table. I got to say I love those cained back chairs – what are you doing with them? If you lived nearby I would buy them from you in a heart beat!

    1. Hi Marie!
      Thanks so much….and yep, I still love my other chairs, I just needed a change. I know me, and I know that I’ll eventually want to switch back to those at some point so they are tucked away safely in storage until then. ;)

    1. Thank you Danelle,
      Yes, they are a pain for sure!! You are so right..anything with spindles, no thanks. ;)


  5. I have an old oak table and chairs from the 80″s probably that I want to paint, all but the chair seats and the top of the table. I want to stain them a little darker, I”m thinking. What kind of paint would you recommend? I would like some distressing.

    1. Hi Peggy,
      Chalk Paint is easy because there is little prep work before hand, sanding, primer, etc. You could use latex and a liquid deglosser (found at Lowe’s or Home Depot). I have several posts about the refinishing of the table/chairs as well as a bunch of Chalk Paint posts too. :) You could go either way. I have used the deglosser before latex many times (instead of sanding) and it worked well in all cases.
      Hope that helps!

  6. Beautiful! I love the fabric and they look so fresh in white. I totally hear ya… not happy but not surprised. Haha. Sounds just like my house. Great makeover (and I hear ya about cheating with the spray paint… I chalk painted four chairs last year and it took me months because I REALLY didn’t want to go back to it after doing just one coat.).

    1. Hey Krista! Thanks so much! And lol, I am so glad you can relate…on all accounts! ;)
      Hope you are having a great week!

  7. Wow, what a transformation! You have been quite the busy bee! Chairs are such a pain…..I had to do one a few weeks ago…you know…I wanted to do it right then! I didn’t have enough of a white spray paint….so I used 3 different brands/colors! Once distressed and glazed it was ok! Loving that fabric as well. You gave us 2 great ideas in one post! Amazing! ~Chrsity

    1. Thank you Christy! :) I’ve gotten back in the groove a bit! Lots of projects going at once again. ;)
      So funny about the chair and different brands/paint…I’ve done that before too!! lol It all works out in the end, right?!

  8. Love the new chairs, Nancy! But I also love your old ones! And I hear ya about painting them! Why do you think I have had such a hard time getting mine done?! The thing is…. I can only do one thing at a time. And I have to make your quinoa black bean dip…. so the chairs will have to keep waiting! ;)

    The curtains are great, too! I’m always looking for no-sew ideas because I just.don’ Furthermore… don’t have any desire to learn. :)

    P.S. Can’t wait to see your built-ins! xo, K

    1. Thanks Karen…me too!! ;) I am sure they will be back at some point. Maybe I’ll have Winter chairs and Summer
      Oh and I can’t wait to see my built ins too!! Ha…it’s definitely an “on going” project.


    1. Haha yes, I did quit that darn brush! ;) You should be scared…lol…it’s a pain to paint that many chairs!!


  9. Lovely Nancy! I am in the same boat and want to swap out my fabric, (shouldn’t have picked out a light color with small kids) but if I mentioned it my husband would kill me :)

  10. I love your blog & the chairs look great, but I have a different question. Can you tell me the paint color of the walls in your dining room? Thanks!!

  11. I liked the before better – – – sorry………Are you looking to get rid of the cane back chairs???

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      No worries! :) We all have different tastes and that’s a good thing. As far as the chairs, I am keeping them for the time being until I decide if I will definitely not use them again.
      I will let you know if I do decide to sell although I usually only sell local.

  12. Hi Nancy,

    Can you tell me what size hem you used for the top? I’m about to make a pair of panels and have been told the hem needs to be wider, but I’ve no clue as to how deep the top hem needs to be. Thanks!

    1. The above post should have read “…the bottom hem needs to be wider” ugh – I’m not fully functioning yet! lol

    2. Hi Bunny,
      It’s between 3-4 inches. I’ve never heard that before about the bottom hem. I made them close in size. The bottom is probably just a bit wider actually. (but not on purpose ;) )
      Hope that helps! :)

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