How to Update an Accent Chair with Adhesive Vinyl

Give a basic wood chair a metallic upgrade. This DIY decor project is simple, sleek, and can be finished in an afternoon.

Give a basic chair an upgrade with smart stenciling and spray paint. A metallic, geometric pattern gives this chair a unique finish that is both modern and glam. The combination of a natural wood finish and the metallic pattern creates contemporary contrast, but this technique will work on a solid-colored chair as well. Customize the look by using different shapes, like diamonds or octagons, to create your own pattern.

See more ways to decorate with geometric patterns.

diy chair

What You Need

  • Adhesive vinyl sheets
  • Wood or plywood chair
  • Newspaper
  • Painters tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Metallic spray paint
  • Clear varnish

Step 1: Cut Shapes

accent chair template

Trace or print your desired shapes onto adhesive vinyl sheets. Use a ruler and pencil to guarantee straight lines. We used a small triangle stencil to make all of our shapes the same size. Once you've drawn your design, cut out the shapes with scissors, keeping the back of the adhesive on for now. To simplify this project, you can also opt to use precut vinyl wall decal stickers.

Step 2: Cover Chair

attaching newspaper to chair back

Protect the parts of the chair that will not be painted from overspray with newspaper and painters tape. We chose to paint the top corner of the back support on a diagonal, but you can choose any portion of the chair to decorate. Keep in mind that any design made on the seat of the chair will wear off faster than elsewhere.

Step 3: Sand Area for Painting

preparing chair surface for accents

If you're working with a plywood chair, sand the clear coat off of the part of the chair you are painting and wipe away dust with a tack cloth. Similarly, if you're working with a stained wood chair, you'll want to sand the portion you're painting to help the metallic spray paint stick.

Step 4: Add Shapes and Paint

spray mounting newspaper to back of chair

Remove the backing from the cut adhesive shapes and stick them to the chair where you want the wood to show. You can use a ruler to keep the pattern straight and precise. Spray-paint over the design using light, even strokes. Add as many layers as needed to reach desired coverage. Let dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

Learn how to spray paint a chair.

Step 5: Remove Shapes

removing triangle sticker accent backs

Once the paint is dry, remove the vinyl stickers to reveal the design. If the chair will get a lot of use, you can add a clear varnish over the top to protect the design.

Check out more DIY chair makeovers.

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