How to Repurpose Chairs

August 17, 2013
Extending the life of an old chair through repurposing benefits the environment.

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Extending the life of an old chair with repurposing advantages the environment.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency mentions that Americans produced virtually 250 million tons of community strong waste over the course of 2010 and recycled simply 34.1 percent of it, or 85 million heaps (See Reference 1). If your old chairs aren’t useful to you, think about repurposing them as a greener option to throwing them away (See Reference 2). Use your innovative resourcefulness to give old chairs a brand-new use or function. In doing so you can spare the environment the added community strong waste.

Items you’ll need

  • Screwdriver
  • Eco-friendly paint stripper
  • Paintbrush
  • Steel wool pad
  • Old cloths
  • Low- or no-VOC paint or stain
  • Photos
  • Old magazines
  • Craft glue
  • Low- or no-VOC shellac

Give Your Chair a New Purpose

Step 1

Dismantle the chair to reuse a portion of the wood, which can assist spare a minimum of part of the 6.4 percent of strong waste created by disposed of wood products (See Reference 1). Turn the chair upside down. Use a screwdriver to get rid of the screws holding the legs in location, as well as the spindles on the chair back.

Step 2

Place the upper section, or cap from the chair back, in your garage or storage space for later use.

Step 3

Remove the paint or stain from the legs, seat and chair back spindles utilizing a no- or low-volatile organic compound paint stripper. Brush the VOC stripper on with a paintbrush to coat the wood. Enable the stripper to continue to be on the surface until the old finish starts to bubble and loosen from the wood.

Step 4

Rub the wood emerges with a dry steel-wool pad to eliminate the loosened paint or stain. Wipe the excess stripper off the old chair parts with an old cloth. Dampen another fabric and wipe the chair parts to cleanse the wood. Dry with a clean fabric.

Step 5

Repurpose the chair back spindles by using them on your stair rail or with your corridor banister. Replacement spindles should be of equivalent measurements and set up according to your regional building regulations for safety. Cast-off spindles can likewise be utilized to replace damaged spindles on other old chairs. Before installing the spindles into their brand-new location, refinish them with a matching or coordinating no- or low-VOC paint or stain.

Step 6

Screw the chair legs back into the seat, plug any holes from the eliminated chair back and spindles with a mix of sawdust and nontoxic craft glue, let dry then refinish with your selection of no- or low-VOC paint or finish. Plug the holes with some Use your brand-new stool on your outdoor patio or deck, as a computer chair or store it for additional seating when unexpected guests show up.

Give Your Chair a New Use

Step 1

Remove the old finish or paint from the chair with no- or low-VOC paint stripper to stay clear of emitting toxic gases into the air (See Reference 4). Brush the stripper onto the wood to coat the surface. Leave the stripper on till the finish bubbles up and pulls away from the surface.

Step 2

Scrub the loosened done with a steel wool pad till it’s totally removed. Eliminate any remaining paint stripper by wiping the chair with an old cloth. Moisten an additional cloth with warm water and wipe down the surface of the chair. Follow by drying the chair with an additional cloth.

Step 3

Create an unique decoupage memory chair for a kid or grandparent by printing out meaningful photos and eliminating relevant magazine photos. Select pictures that reveal special locations or celebrations, as well as favorite things and memories. Set the photos and magazine pictures aside.

Step 4

Paint the chair, if preferred, with a no- or low-VOC paint. You can also leave the wood unfinished, if you prefer. Permit paint to air-dry for 24 hours.

Step 5

Arrange the photos and publication pictures on the chair seat and any strong part of the chair back. Move them around as required until you create an arrangement you such as.

Step 6

Apply a no- or low-VOC craft glue to the bottom of each photo or magazine image, one at a time. Smooth the image over the surface to do away with any wrinkles as the paper bonds with the wood. Let the glue bond and dry for six to 8 hours.

Step 7

Paint a thin coat of no- or low-VOC shellac over the entire chair surface. The shellac serves to complete the wood and safeguard the photos and publication photos used. Allow the shellac to air-dry for 24 hours prior to using the chair.


  • If you need brand-new dining space chairs, investment mismatched chairs at garage sales and thrift stores and paint the with a no- or low-VOC paint for an earth-friendly, distinct dining space chair set (See Reference 3).


  • Wear gloves and old clothing when working with paint stripper, paint or shellac.

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