Buying furniture is never cheap. But one frugal Reddit user took a small amount of cash and a few hours of work to give a $5 chair a clean, refurbished look.
As the OP explains in their post’s comment section, they thrifted the chair for $5, after which the work began. They sanded the wooden arms and legs and used a stain from another project to treat the wood to a deep mahogany color. Then, using clearance fabric for $6/yard, they reupholstered the chair from a dingy beige to a popping blue.
Overall, the Redditor says the project took about four hours, not including the time for the stain to dry, and it cost them $11 — a pretty hefty feat, with the original chair being what some speculated was from a nursing home, college dorm, or library.
Some users wanted to know more details about the project and where the original poster learned some of the finer skills needed (like reupholstering). The OP had some very simple advice on how to get started: Watch YouTube videos.
With the chair’s new look, Redditors were quick to applaud the post, which appeared in r/frugal. The post has garnered 6.9k upvotes in just 22 days.
“It’s an excellent example of how a couple simple changes can make all the difference,” one commenter says.
“A very satisfying project. I love seeing furniture getting a new lease on life,” another says, with another noting that the quick project most likely resulted in the chair being saved from a landfill.
And they’re likely right. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 9 million tons of furniture are tossed out every year, meaning furniture makes up roughly 5% of everything we’re dumping in landfills.
According to Ashlee Piper, a sustainability expert and author, most of the furniture being tossed is from the last 10 to 15 years. She, too, is a big proponent of upcycling furniture.
She told Architectural Digest that older furniture was made with the intention of being passed down to other generations. These pieces are often made of materials that are easier to upcycle, like wood, steel, and higher-quality fabrics.
Like one commenter writes, this is a DIY that really sits well with us.
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