DIY Green Eames Chair Makeover

If you’ve outgrown your Eames chairs and realized the scandi style isn’t for you, don’t despair! These plastic chairs are so easy to flip, especially if you have the Eiffel chair kind with wooden legs. Choose a wood stain that will suit your decor, pick your favorite paint and read on to find out how to give your Eames chair a simple makeover in 3 steps!

DIY Green Eames Chair Makeover

The Eames Chairs

These are the chairs I started with. Very Scandinavian. Very ubiquitous. And above all, very much not fitting in our dining room… Why would we get chairs that are not our style? Good question…

White plastic and light wood Eames chair

Both my boyfriend and I lived in different countries throughout our twenties. When you move around so much you tend to not carry a lot of belongings. So when we moved into our first unfurnished flat, we didn’t give much thought to what our style might be. We just got a set of dining chairs that looked nice.

Slowly but surely we added furniture and decor. There was a clear vintage feel developing, with Indian and Pacific influences since that’s where we come from. And those chairs started to stick out like sore thumbs…

When I created this DIY rug inspired by Pacific tapa cloth and shot our dining room set up, I realized something HAD to be done! I’m all for mixing different wood tones and styles but this was just wrong. Instead of replacing the chairs, I thought something could be done to “vintagify” them.

This furniture flip was much easier than I imagined. It didn’t even require full disassembly, apart from separating the seat from the legs. And if you own these Eiffel chairs, you KNOW how much of a pain assembling the legs was!

DIY Green Eames Chair Makeover

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For this Eames Chair Makeover, you’ll need…


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Step 1: Stain the legs

Sanding the Eames chair wooden pegs

Before you start, sand each wooden peg with 80 or 120 grit sandpaper. Mine seemed to have the thinnest topcoat so a light sanding did the trick.

Next, remove the chair seat from the legs using an Allen key. I actually did this AFTER staining the legs and realized it would have been easier to work on the legs without the seat attached… If you’re going into this furniture flip, do remove the chair seat first…

To stain the wooden legs, I chose a dark oak stain that would match my dining table. If your stain isn’t a 2 in 1 stain and protect, make sure to add a protective topcoat after the stain has dried.

Step 2: Paint the chair seat

Sage green paint makeover for the Eames chair seat

First, give each chair seat a light sanding and remove any dust with a microfiber cloth. This will ensure the paint adheres to the plastic better. Start on the bottom and move your way up, always brushing in the same direction.

My advice would be to paint the underside and back of each seat first. By the time you’re done with all the chair seats, the one you started with should be nearly dry. When it has fully dried, turn it over to paint the front.

Depending on the paint you’re using, 2 coats should be enough for complete coverage. Once the last coat of paint has dried, apply a matte topcoat to protect the chairs from scratches and bumps.

Step 3: Reassemble the Eames chairs

When both the chair seats and legs have dried, reattach the legs to the chair seats.

As a finishing touch, I added a lick of gold paint to the bolts holding together the Eiffel leg structure. It’s a tiny detail but it adds to the vintage feel of the chairs since vintage furniture often has brass hardware.

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DIY Sage Green Eames Chair Makeover

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