Easy French Country Armchair Makeover

Ever have a piece of furniture sit in your home begging to be updated? That’s what happened with this easy French country armchair makeover.

This little occasional chair is finally sighing in relief.

You see, it was the oddball of the room for the past year – sticking out like a sore thumb.

It came to our Birmingham home as a necessity and was put at the top of the project list.

But it kept getting pushed further and further down the line of priority.

It didn’t match any of the other decor and was crying out for a pick-me-up.

I found this chair on the Marketplace and immediately fell in love with the lines.

Then I found out it was for sale in my neighborhood.

So I snatched it up from a fellow furniture flipper whose talent far exceeds my own.

But it sat and sat and sat in my home untouched.

The upholstered base intimidated me and wasn’t sure how to approach it.

When I made over my french armchair using mineral paint, I found my inspiration! Here’s how this easy French country armchair makeover is now my favorite piece in my sunroom.

Easy French Country
Armchair Makeover

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I took some mineral paint I had on hand in a creamy white and painted the wood frame.

Using the same technique on the painted fabric, I wet the fabric first and then painted it with mineral paint.

Since some of the original fabric was that reddish color, I had to give it several coats for coverage.

After letting it dry overnight, I was ready to move on to the next step.

I have recovered three chairs using bleached dropcloth fabric and had a bunch leftover.

I quickly sewed together two envelope covers for the cushions.

Now this is where I get lazy – every. single. time.

If you were to inspect the cushions I’ve covered, you will find them all like these.


Since the back of the chair covers the cushion, a safety pin is my go to trick.

One day, I promise to learn to finish these, but for now, this will do.

And once it’s in place – it works fine.

Plus – how many people come to your home pulling the cushions off your furniture?

I repeated the same for the back cushion.

This one turned out much better!

So here they are, both cushions in place.

And even with the open back, you can’t see the unfinished edges.

I love the combo of the creamy furniture paint against the painted fabric with the bleached drop cloth slipcover.

I added my latest DIY project to the chair – my chunky knit pillow cover.

It’s the perfect fit for this chair.

This took me just a few hours to complete.

And I’m not a seamstress. Easy straight lines are all I can sew.

I added an ottoman to the front of the chair and it’s now my favorite place to sit and relax!

So, I hope this inspires you to give that chair you’ve been eyeballing a second look.

Of course, it’s intimidating to take on an upholstery project, but my friend, it truly is easy once you get into it!

But j ust be sure to hide those safety pins! 😉

Thanks so much for reading this post and for always leaving such encouraging words. If you have any questions about the chair, or anything I may have left out, please feel free to leave me a comment below.

You can also find the behind-the-scenes of my projects over on instagram. Be sure to say hi if you stop by!

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  1. Hi Sherie – thanks for reaching out! The curtains are made from twin bed sheets and the blinds are from affordable blinds. I link to the exact ones in my sunroom post if that helps!

  2. Where did you get the drape panels and the matchstick blinds in your livingroom?

  3. Those are wonderful suggestions! Thanks so much for sharing this! I will have to give it a try. Thank you for your kind words and for subscribing!

  4. Jen,
    I absolutely love what you did with this chair. Totally realistic to what most of us can do when it comes to sewing. It looks super comfy!

  5. You’ve given me inspiration in attempting to make slipcovers for a chair and ottoman for our family room spruce up! XOXO

  6. I will tell you my trick on finishing the back of the cushion, since I have just recovered 6 cushions! I was too cheap to purchase new ones for my patio furniture ($40/each X 6) for the size I needed.. I purchased outdoor material on sale at Joann’s–enough for 6 seat cushions + 6 throw pillows + 2 accent pillows for $43!! I used sew-on Velcro for the closure. I made an envelope style flap that I squared off instead of having a point, which I sewed to the top and bottom, then sewed the Velcro to each flap. I also purchased a 3″ mattress topper which I added to each cushion to add some fullness. Voila! New life to my set which is now on our new 16 x 16 covered deck! Love getting your posts!

  7. Hi Jenny! Thanks for stopping by and that’s a great question! I have painted fabric before – both with mineral paint as well as a craft paint/fabric medium mix. The result is soft and subtle, but it leans more toward a vinyl finish. My goal for this chair was one I could cuddle up in with a book, blanket and cup of coffee and maybe doze off in the midst of relaxation. So I opted for a fabric that would feel a bit cozier to me. For this chair, I used RomaBio Paints in a custom tint, similar to their Avorio White. I have used Fusion Mineral Paints before as well. Hope that helps!

  8. Thank you for the post. I wonder why u didn’t paint the plaid cushions with the creamy mineral paint? What color and brand paint did you use.?/I still haven’t bought any yet??? IDEAS…

  9. I’ve tried bleaching drop clothes and they never really change color. Do you have a post on bleaching drop clothes? Your chair turned so nice. Safely pins and all!