Thrift Store Chair Covered with Drop Cloth and Stenciled

Drop cloth canvas is an inexpensive fabric option that can add a simple touch of neutral color and texture throughout your home. Typically, when it comes to home décor, I’ve seen this material used to make drop cloth curtains or drop cloth slipcovers. With this particular DIY project I wanted to do something a little different and try my hand at stenciling on the fabric with paint.


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I purchased this desk chair for my son’s room 10 years ago at the thrift store for $5. I was drawn to it because it was sturdy, old and cheap. As you can see in the before picture, the seat is “pleather” which had been covered with star fabric that was worn and torn over the years.

Before picture of salvaged chair reupholstered with drop cloth and stenciled

Preparing the Drop Cloth

You can purchase drop cloth material {affiliate link} in various lengths and widths to suit your project needs. I purchased a 4×12 length of fabric with the intention of using it throughout my home on various projects. The drop cloth material was firm and filled with creases from being folded in the packaging so I ran it through one wash and dry cycle and it came out soft and pliable.

Reupholstering desk chair with drop cloth fabric

Covering the Chair

My husband does all of my upholstery projects and this time was no exception. He took the cushion off of the chair frame, pulled off the torn star fabric and used the drop cloth fabric to cover the brown “pleather” seat.  Then he reattached the chair cushion so I could get to stenciling the seat.

Stenciling on Drop Cloth

I am going to be totally honest here, the stenciling was the most difficult and stressful part of the project. I tend to be impatient when doing my projects and try to get things done quickly by following my own directions. So learn from me and slow down or you’ll get paint in places you don’t want it.

Salvaged desk chair covered with drop cloth and stenciled

With that being said, I used a Martha Stewart stencil  {affiliate link} and some black homemade chalk paint to add the wreath to my chair. My stress came from not noticing I got paint along the edge of the stencil and then smeared the paint onto the chair. {Imagine spilling coffee on a white blouse.} I was able to get the paint off with a damp paper towel but I noticed that some bleeding of paint occurred on some of the leaves as well. I consider that my “homemade” signature.

DIY stencil used on salvaged desk chair covered with drop cloth

Homemade Stencil

I saw a tutorial on the 1915 House blog with details on how to make your own stencil so I decided to try my hand at making my own custom stencil. I decided to go with “No. 6” because we will always be a family of 6 regardless if my son is no longer here on Earth with us.

Salvaged desk chair covered with drop cloth and stenciled with paint

The chair now has a place of honor in our office and I really like how it turned out… smudges and all.

Below, I am sharing several projects all made from drop cloth and I am in awe of the creativity my friends have used when it came to thinking outside the box with their drop cloth material. Please take some time to hop around and get to know us.


  1. Susie@TheChelseaProject says:

    This is a wonderful stool. I think drop cloth is just about the most versatile cloth ever. Love the stencil, too. I don’t see on single little smudge. It looks perfect to me. A perfect 6. XOXO Susie from The Chelsea Project

  2. Toni says:

    What a transformation from the torn seat in the before shot. And I completely know what you mean about slowing down. I was rushing and nearly ruined my pillow, which was already sewn. Next time I’ll stencil before I sew it all together 🙂

    And what a sweet nod to your son in Heaven. Love you girl!!

  3. Sam @ Raggedy Bits says:

    Denise I just LOVE your makeover on such a precious chair!! Great tip also about washing before use! It’s also super handy when you have a “silent partner” to give you help when needed 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    Denise, I LOVE how this chair turned out!! The stencil and everything goes so perfectly together!! (and thanks for the link back to my blog!) I’m so glad the stencil worked out so well for you – it looks great!

    • Denise Bryant says:

      Thank you Sarah for hosting the challenge. I have 2 other projects almost finished and will post those soon.

    • Denise Bryant says:

      Thank you so much for visiting. The stencil nearly kill my patience but it worked out perfectly.

    • Denise Bryant says:

      I have two other projects I am working on now and the drop cloth was so easy to work with. Thanks for visiting.

    • Denise Bryant says:

      Kim, This was my first time using drop cloth and it was very easy. I do love they way it looks in my office too.

  5. Janet says:

    this turned out really well, you have given me inspiration to do my dining room chairs – they are in need of some help

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