Before and After: An $8 Facebook Marketplace Chair Gets an Unexpectedly Glam Glow-Up

published Feb 22, 2022
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Before: Ornate wood-framed chairs with striped upholstered seat
Credit: Meme Grimes

Time and time again, furniture flippers and budget decorators alike have proven that one person’s trash is another’s treasure by turning online finds into gold — in this case, literally: Meme Grimes’ striped secondhand chairs became expensive-looking, fun gold accent piece.

Meme (@sit_craft_sip) purchased a set of 10 chairs via Facebook Marketplace for about $8 apiece. “They were actually in perfect condition,” Meme remembers of the wood-framed set. “There was nothing wrong with them at all. They just weren’t my decor style. I love different, unique and one-of-a kind pieces.”

Credit: Meme Grimes

She had a vision to make them “cute and sassy,” partly inspired by another Queen Anne-style gold-framed chair she’d seen online, so she bought some gold leaf paint and white fur (you can find similar faux sheepskin choices here and here) and got to work.

“The process of adding the gold leaf was time consuming,” Meme recalls. “Although it was fairly easy, it did take a while to cover the frame of the chair the way I wanted it covered … AND it was extremely messy,” she says.

Credit: Meme Grimes

Meme gently sanded the chair frame, then used gold leaf adhesive and sheets to create the shiny metallic look. “It took some patience to get in the creases of the chair with all the detail, but I managed to get it done,” she says. She split it up into sections to make sure the entire frame was covered.

Once the gold leafing dried, she sealed the chair to prevent it from tarnishing. With the frame complete, it was time to reupholster — including removing the old fabric and foam.

Ten hours of work later, Mimi has an unrecognizable new chair that she’s proud of creating. “I love how glamorous the chair is,” she says. “It looks so high-end and expensive. I could see it in a high-profile celebrity’s home or at an elegant event. It’s totally my style.”

She says the only thing she’d do differently is make a second one so she has a matching set, and she’s proud of the totally new look she created for about $97 total.

“I knew that the project would be a bit challenging because gold leafing is so messy and it takes a lot of patience,” she says. “But I envisioned what the outcome would be, so I knew I had to keep going.”