Reduce, Reuse, Restore:

Give an Antique Chair a Second Chance

A few cracks and scrapes are no match for the sustainable DIYer. Learn how to upgrade an antique chair for the modern living room.

Wait! Don’t toss that old chair that’s been collecting dust in the basement! Sure, it looks a little worse for wear now, but with some fresh paint and a little adhesive, it’s easy to give your antiques a modern makeover in no time at all.

Make the sustainable choice and upgrade that chair from the basement corner to center stage with this DIY project. Power tools optional!


Bryan and Kathy (@beginninginthemiddle) pulled an antique chair with cracked wood out of their basement. They dusted it off, sealed up the cracks and gave it a brand-new look and second chance as a part of their cozy living room setup. 

Watch the process in the video below.  

Ready to give a beautiful piece of furniture a second chance? See how they did it in this step-by-step breakdown.



1. Secure any cracks in the frame

When it comes to restoring antique furniture, it’s important to make sure the bones are intact. A broken frame makes for a pretty unstable chair! Examine the chair for cracks and add Loctite® Power Grab Ultimate Crystal Clear Construction Adhesive to seal them. It’s perfect for vertical applications, withstands vibration, impact & UV light, and dries crystal clear. Once sealed, let set for 24 hours.

2. Sand frame

Once your frame is nice and secure, use 120-grit sandpaper or a power sander to sand the frame and create a nice, even surface to paint.

3. Paint frame

Next, paint the frame in a color of your choice. Kathy wanted a “gold” look to match the olive upholstery fabric she had chosen, but gold alone came out in a shade of yellow she didn’t love. Like a true DIYer, she went back to the drawing board and painted a coat of brown paint underneath with the gold on top, which created her perfect shade.

4. Remove upholstery fabric

Once the paint has dried, remove the current upholstery fabric using a fabric knife. Kathy opted to remove just the seat cushion and leave the back fabric intact. Feel free to add a bit of filling to the cushion to puff it up, if needed. 

5. Update upholstery

Cut a piece of upholstery fabric to the correct size of the chair cushion and back panel. Kathy used a beautiful piece of olive mohair to match her gold paint. 

6. Attach new fabric and trim

To finish, add new fabric to the chair’s seat and back panel. While Kathy’s seat cushion was a true upholstery job, she kept it simple by attaching the new fabric directly to the old fabric to avoid bubbles. To cover any bits of the old fabric, she added an elegant, decorative trim to the edges of the back cushion. 

7. Secure in place

Once everything is in place, secure with Loctite® High Performance Spray Adhesive, which has a strong bond but allows for repositioning as needed. It dries clear so as not to take away from the beauty of your project.

And just like that, a broken chair living in the basement has been transformed into a beautiful version of its former self. It fits right in with the elegant, modern vibe Kathy and Bryan have created in their living room.

If you’re looking to restore something in your home, Loctite® adhesives are the easiest way to give your items a second chance without nails, screws, or hassle.