Before & After: My Louis XV Armchair

June 14, 2009 Inspiration & Ideas


I picked up this Louis XV style armchair on eBay about a year ago…

This is what the chair looked like before I worked my magic on it. The photo doesn’t quite clearly illustrate what poor condition it was in before I refinished & reupholstered it. The gold paint was chipping, the seat was sagging and coming apart underneath, and the upholstery was completely dirty and dingy looking.


As soon as the chair arrived I got to work, in an attempt to turn this trash into treasure. I decided to refinish the frame myself to save money and I have to admit I took the lazy route! Rather than stripping and priming the chair like a good girl, I simply sanded the gold paint down a bit and then painted right over it using Modern Masters metallic paint in Warm Silver which actually looks more like a light rose gold-ish color. (You can’t even tell I half-assed it-ha!) Next I sent the chair off to my trusty upholsterer in Queens who did a superb job on the reupholstery. The fabric I chose is a soft pink metallic linen from Kelly Wearstler’s collection for Lee Jofa. I had the fabric teflon coated to protect the light color against stains and spills.


And this is the end result! What a transformation, right? It’s probably one of my favorite pieces of furniture and it’s the perfect scale for my small space!




ugh. this is so pretty i can’t even stand it. :)



So pretty! Great paint and upholstery selections!

julie at BV


I love what you did with this chair Nicole. Great job. I love the wall color and the curtains too.

jessica claire


the colours are gorgeous!

the palette reminds me of molly sim’s place!



I love your chair! The silver color and the fabric you chose go perfectly together, so beautiful!

A Life More Fabulous


Wow – you did such a great job! I love the soft, muted tones.



Who is your upholster in queens? Thats a great chair



this is gorgeous!i love it!



How much would it cost to reupholster a chair like this? I’m unclear on what a good price would be… Any suggestions appreciated.

k. handler


Tapered legs, shield-like oval back, upholstered arms, cubes where legs meet the seat…

All of these things indicate that it is most certainly not Louis 15 style (which is the elaborate, vegetal and floral Rocaille). Better described as a Louis 16 revival.



I also would love what the cost to reupholster a chair like this. I have a similar chair that was grossly covered in Elmers glue and glitter for a photo shoot and have been successful in getting it off the frame but the fabric needs a redo and I’m afraid to tackle the job myself having never done it before. Could you tell me an approx range? Thanks and nice work!

Nicole - So Haute Post author


Hi Everyone!Thanks for all of your thoughtful comments and welcome if you’re coming over from AT!! Re: cost of upholstery that’s a tough one to answer because it really depends on where you live. In NYC reupholstery is rather expensive but if you live elsewhere in america the cost would be a lot less. A very rough, don’t quote me on it range would be anywhere from $120-500 for a chair like mine. Factors that affect the cost include whether or not you’re replacing the “guts” of the chair or not, whether the frame needs refinishing/painting, etc…I hope this helps and thanks again for all of the wonderful comments!



Hi Nicole, the chair looks awesome! Wonderful choice of fabric.
I have been looking for a good and affordable upholster for a long time… would you be able to share the contact info for the place you went to in Queens?
Thanks and great post!



Love it all – so gorgeous and elegant! I especially love the french chair and the gorgeous soft pink linen that you chose. And your draperies are to die for – what a great idea to get an affordable pair and snazz them up with a greek key border! LOVE!!



What did you teflon coat it with? Or where did you send the fabric off to have this done? Thanks!

    Nicole Post author


    Most of the trade only fabric houses offer this option for an upcharge. The teflon coating is done at the fabric mill before it ships.

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