If the chair seat is covered, such as the one shown here, remove the seat first. Then sand the chair to rough up the existing finish, so the new layer of paint adheres. Wipe off the dust.
Paint layer one
Apply your first colorful layer of paint. I chose the color patina to help convey an antique look. This layer does not need to be even or smooth, as it will be covered with another layer of paint later on. Allow the paint to dry completely.
Paint layer two
Apply your next color of paint in an even, smooth layer. (Before this layer had time to dry, I went over it again with another layer for better coverage of the darker patina color beneath.)
Allow the top coat to dry for approximately 10 minutes; then take a damp rag and rub off the outer color of paint in areas that would naturally wear over time. For example, the edges of the seat and legs, the outermost points around spindles, etc. This should reveal some of the colorful patina paint underneath.
Once you are satisfied with the look of your furniture piece, allow the top layers of paint to dry completely.
Toss the old upholstery
To add new upholstery to the seat, first remove the old layers of fabric and padding. Remove any upholstery nails or staples that stick out from the wood seat.
New padding and fabric
Use the seat base as a template for cutting out new padding (I used foam for this chair) and new fabric. Remember to cut the fabric with plenty of excess to wrap around the new padding and to attach it to the underside of the seat.
Place the fabric front-side down on your work surface, add the foam piece on top and then the seat base on top of the foam. Starting with the center of each side, stretch the fabric tightly around the foam and secure it to the underside of the seat base with staples. Continue to add a few staples along the sides of the seat.
For the corners, pull the fabric tightly from each side and staple it along the diagonal line that meets at the corner (see the video). Cut off excess fabric from each side right along the staples, leaving a flap of fabric at the corner. Fold in the edges of the flap and staple it securely to the seat base.
Once seat is upholstered, secure it to the chair and the project is complete!