They weren't the most stylish chairs to begin with, plus the seat cushions were fairly beaten up and there were several places where the finish had worn off. So my mom and I pulled off the seats and got to work staining them. We didn't have enough time to do gel stain like I used on the bathroom vanity and the bed, so after seeing this tutorial I decided to try out Minwax Polyshades. This lady uses this stuff on everything, with good results.
Like the General Finishes gel stain, Polyshades only requires minimal sanding, but unlike the gel stain it doesn't require a separate topcoat, so it really is convenient if you have a quick project. I have to say that I like the results of the gel stain a lot better--it is so much easier to apply (wipes on with a sock), while Polyshades is brushed on, and it is thin so it is very drippy if you're not really careful (particulalry on the details of these chairs). It also wouldn't dry in my mom's garage for over a day when it was kind of foggy out, so we had to put a space heater in there to get them to dry. Overall, I would recommend this product if you don't have time to do a gel stain + gel topcoat (which totals nearly 2 weeks of dry time in between coats), or if you are only going to do one piece of furniture and don't want to buy two different products.
I re-covered the chair seats with the same fabric I used for my entryway bench, and clear vinyl over that to make them easy to clean. I didn't take pictures of the process, but there are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest. It basically boils down to pulling the fabric over the seat and using a staple gun to secure it on the back.
Here they are all finished! Hopefully our renters will appreciate how much better they look.
And wanna see something kind of eerie? My mom recently saw this post on Pinterest. At first glance we both thought someone had gotten a hold of a picture of my chairs.
I suppose great minds think alike!