Furniture Makeovers

How to Make An Old Wicker Chair New Again

Hello Friends,

Sometimes it seems like my whole house got put together and then left in the 1990s.

I mean, seriously, how did this happen? One minute, everything is the latest style —and the next minute —-not so much.

But here’s the good news —and I do have really GOOD NEWS.

All it takes to jostle a backward piece (or room) into 2017 is a couple of fabulous paint colors and one afternoon. 

I’m serious.

It really is just this quick and easy.

How to Make An Old Wicker Chair New Again

Believe it or not, when this wicker chair (circa 1996) came to live with us, these colors were all the rage. And it lived happily in the basement for many, many years. But when the house refresh got underway, the guys didn’t want the chair’s style or its colors in the basement (AKA man cave) any longer.

I can’t imagine why. 🙂  …wink wink…

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fusion Mineral Paint, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.

Before - Wicker chair from the 1990s | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

So after a coat of Fusion’s Champlain, the banished chair came to live in the sunroom (AKA she cave). And although the new white color improved the chair’s visual appeal, something was missing. It was like the chair just didn’t fit in the room.

What a total mindboggle.

How on earth does a white wicker chair not fit in a Southern-style sunroom? You’d think they’d go together — like peanut butter and jelly —or macaroni and cheese, for Pete’s sake.

But alas, as Winter rolled into Spring, the chair’s disconnect with the rest of the room became more and more apparent.

Wicker chair from 1990s is basecoated with Fusion's Champlain (white) | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Then I happened to find an article from a top decorating firm indicating that a must-use color combination for 2017 is mustard and turquoise. And I gotta tell ya, this idea really rang my chimes. 

Seriously. How fresh and fun! But more importantly, it’s a combo that’s currently NOT on the “been there, done that” list.

And since I already had shades of aqua going in the sun room, all I needed to do was to find a great piece of inspiration fabric. 

And what do you know —a few days later, I couldn’t belive it! On an afternoon cruise through HomeGoods, inspiration struck in the form of the most perfect pillows. 

Gaaaahhhhh! What luck!

So here, my friends, is how the wicker chair finally found its way to 2017 —and blissfully connected to the rest of the sun room.

Inspiration fabric for the Spring sunroom refresh | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 1: Perfectly Balanced Colors

Since the rug and some other painted pieces of furniture were already carrying the turquoise/aqua shades, this freed the wicker chair and one other piece to go all mustardy.

Do you remember an earlier post I did that explained how to set up room color according to the 60-30-10 Rule? Well, just in case you missed it, here’s where I’m going with this.  The turquoise/aqua will carry about 60% of the room’s color and the mustard will carry about 30%. This leaves 10% for fun color pops, like lime green or hot, hot pink. If you’d like to read more about the 60-30-10 Rule, please click here.

An old wicker chair is refreshed with Mustard and Buttermilk Cream | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 2: You Want Mustard With That Wicker?

The first coat of paint (Mustard) was thoroughly applied to cover the white. And because of the white basecoat, one coat of Mustard covered the chair beautifully and dried to the usual pristine Fusion finish. Then, to blend the chair’s color with two other chairs in the room, a topcoat of Buttermilk Cream was lightly brushed across the top.

An old wicker chair is refreshed with a basecoat of Mustard and topcoat of Buttermilk Cream | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

These two colors combine to accentuate the basket weave pattern without making the chair look busy.

A combination of Mustard and Buttermilk Cream refreshes an old wicker chair | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

They also work together to provide different color depths as the light moves across the chair.

Using two colors on an old wicker chair creates depth of color as light moves across the chair | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Hot colors for Spring 2017 | Combo of Mustard and Turquoise | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 3: Fabrics With Mustard, Too

Then, to create a coordinated look with the other fabrics, a wavy pattern was stencilled onto a piece of fabric for the cushion using Mustard and Fusion’s Inglenook. 

Fabric for the seat cushion is made by stencilling a pattern on plain fabric | Mustard and Inglenook | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

The soft aqua of the Inglenook paint coordinates with the Laugh-Love-Live pillow in the background and allows the single Laugh pillow to provide a focal pop of bright turquoise.

Soft colors in mustard and aqua provide a backdrop for a bright pop of turquoise | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Together the colors just scream, “Hello, Spring!”

Balance stong colors in a room by using the 60-30-10 Rule | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Step 4: Mustard On A Milking Bench

Then, to add a pop of true Mustard color to the room, a milking bench was built and painted Mustard without a Buttermilk Cream topcoat.

***The milking bench is made of only six pieces of wood and a few screws. If you’d like the easy-build plan, please click on the link at the end of this post.***

Let the sun shine in on the highly saturated colors of Mustard and Turquoise | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

In different lights, the Mustard-Buttermilk Cream color combo on the chair is extremely bold, but yet soft and neutral, too. Now, I totally get why the decorators suggested this color combo. It’s like it just “woke-up” my groggy sun room.

A well-balanced room includes different shades and hues for interest and charm | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

And that’s all there is to it. An old wicker chair is easily updated with fresh fabric and the perfect combination of paint colors.

A wicker chair from the 1990s is refreshed with Mustard and Buttermilk Cream | Fabrics that included these colors and turquoise adds interest | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

If you’d like to see the plans for building the milking bench, please click this link.

If you enjoyed this makeover…..Please….

A wicker chair from the 1990s gets a quick and easy makeover in the colors of Mustard and Turquoise | | #spon Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

For more information about Fusion Mineral Paint, please click here to visit their website.



  • Reply Michelle February 19, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Susie I am always amazed at the talent you have for painting the perfect color combo. I love the darker color on the wicker with the buttercream over the top. WOW!!! You have done it again. Thanks for always sharing your brilliant painting tips.

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 19, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks so much, Michelle. You are such an encouragement to me! I hope to release photos of the entire sun room soon. The mustard and turquoise is totally refreshing!

  • Reply Jan Canales February 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    You did good! I love mustard as an accent! I would love to have the plans for the bench!

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 19, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks, Jan! I’ll write up the plans for the milking bench this week. They are super easy!

  • Reply Brenda February 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    I love your wicker chair (never was a wicker anything I didn’t love) and your color combo is superb. Would love the plans for your bench.

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Thanks Brenda! I’ll get them together this week and make sure you get a ping when the post is live.

  • Reply Marie|The Interior Frugalista February 20, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Wow Susie, did you ever add personality to that chair! Swooning over the fabric combinations on the pillows and cushions and want that Laugh pillow. The mustard is quite lovely with the aqua. Looks like now you have such a cozy spot to enjoy your morning cup of coffee.

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Thanks Marie! Life is so short, we need to have a little whimsy in our decor. LOL..

  • Reply Janie Hayes February 20, 2017 at 6:48 am

    That looks fabulous! I spray painted a wickerchair that had been in my sunroom a couple of years ago and was sorry I had done it. Your color combo will take it back to its original color. Did you brush or spray it on? Off to buy paint.

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 8:36 am

      Hi Janie and thanks. I brushed the paint on using the brush shown in the photo. It holds lots of paint and easily spreads the paint between the wicker weave.

  • Reply Sarah February 20, 2017 at 8:14 am

    This turned out fabulously gorgeous, Susie!!! I love the color combo and that bench is adorbs!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Thanks Sarah! It’s really fresh and fun out here in the sunroom! Wish you could come for some coffee!

  • Reply judi February 20, 2017 at 8:34 am

    wow! i am not a fan of the mustard color as it brings me back to my primitive decor days but you have refreshed my thinking! love it paired with the aqua (my fav color).

    did you use the ultra grip before your first coat of champlain?

    would love the bench plans please!

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Hi Judi and thanks. I know what you mean about the mustard color. I don’t think it would have occurred to me to combine it with the aqua/turquoise either. I am glad that I ran across the decorating article.

  • Reply Carolann February 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Oh my gosh, I just love it Susie! What an amazing transformation. I love the colors and the pillows and cushion really pull everything together perfectly! Another post perfection Susie! Can I come over for tea and cookies? xo

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Hi Carolann and thanks! You are the best! Yes! please come over and I’ll make anything you like!

  • Reply Sue February 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

    It is so good to know about this combo of mustard and turquoise as I have a lot of turquoise going on lately. I do love your chair colors and the milking bench. Where did you get the fun pillows?

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Hi Sue and thanks! The plans for the milking bench are being put together in a post for later this week. Tell the Hubs to get ready. LOL. The pillows came from my old friend Home Goods.

  • Reply Mary February 20, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Well it looks clean and fresh and reminds me of Spring! Love the yellow and turquoise combinations. Great job, Susie.

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Mary and thanks for stopping by! Yes, these colors have made my sun room fresh and cheerful. The afternoon sun just pours in over the top of that chair like a waterfall. In such a serious world, it’s a fun place to linger. I do hope you can come for coffee….one day!

  • Reply Debbie February 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Beautiful! Love the colors together! Perfect to brighten up a sunroom!

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Debbie and thanks! Wonderful to have you stop by!

  • Reply Nancy @ Slightly Coastal February 23, 2017 at 8:14 am

    It looks great Susie! I love the color combo and the new life you breathed into this chair. I love that the fusion mineral paint doesn’t require a top coat. It’s perfect for a project like this.


    • Reply theChelseaProject February 23, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Nancy! I am having such a good time exploring color in new and different ways. And yes, Fusion paint is fab for any kind of project. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 February 25, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Love the look!

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 25, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks Debra! So happy to have you stop by!

  • Reply How to Make a Milking Bench You'll Love Forever - The Chelsea Project February 26, 2017 at 7:21 am

    […] To learn about the wicker chair refresh, please click here. […]

  • Reply Chris Savage February 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Wow did I learnalot from this post!! Thank you! And I’d love the bench directions.

  • Reply Chuma February 27, 2017 at 2:33 am

    All I can say is WOW!!! Thanks for the idea for my two old wicker chairs

    • Reply theChelseaProject February 27, 2017 at 7:46 am

      My pleasure. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Sue March 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Everything in your home is so beautiful. Someday I want to feature your home on my blog.

    • Reply theChelseaProject March 2, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      OMGosh Sue! You are too sweet to me. Thanks so much. Maybe someday, it will be worthy. I’ll keep working on it.

  • Reply Cristina@remodelandolacasa March 10, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Susie, you’re a genius working with color! You always inspire me with your posts, and this is no exception. I love this color combo and how you updated the look of that pretty chair.

    • Reply theChelseaProject March 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Thanks Cristina. You surely do know how to make my day. 🙂

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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