Juan of Words

Revamped Mexi-Style Foldable Chairs, Using Mexican Oil Cloth

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel)
I recently went to a warehouse sale at a local Catholic charity thrift store.  Of course, that meant great sales at even lower bargain prices – really, a thrifter’s dream.  Actually, this was my first warehouse sale, and what an experience it was!

As soon as the doors opened, in flooded about 40 excited shoppers, literally running, trying to get first pick on whatever they could get their hands on before anybody else.

If you know me and my mom – she’s the ultimate thirfter – you already know we showed up a little late.  We calmly walked in, but at a very fast pace, getting a good overview of the entire place before we each made our next move.  I soon knew exactly where I wanted to go!  I panned over to my mom, waited until she looked back at me, and gave her the nod.  She nodded back, signaled at the furniture and we took off in that direction.  When we got there, entire teams of people were grouping furniture together to claim them as their own.  My mom and I, on the other hand, had decided to divide and conquer.  I had to think fast to come up with a good strategy to claim the pieces I wanted.  My technique became this one: I pulled the tags off of all the furniture I wanted, but that I could not carry on my own, and made my way over to the register to pay for them.   It worked!

So what did I find?  I stumbled upon 4 cushioned aluminum foldable chairs.  Their ripped seats and rusted legs did not make them much to look at, but at $2 per chair, I knew it was a deal I wasn’t going to pass up.  I already had a project in mind…

Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs

Revamped Mexi-Stlye Foldable Chairs Mexican Oil Cloth anjelica cazares la_anjel juanofwords
Supplies and tools used:

Mexican oil cloth, staple gun (upholstery friendly), staples to match, pliers, screw drivers (flat and crossed), spray paint (I used Rust-oleum satin classic low-sheen finish in red), E6000 Gorilla Glue (water proof).

The process:

I first wiped down all the chairs with a damp cloth to remove any loose particles and dust.  After removing the seats and backrests from the frame, with the corresponding pliers and screw drivers, I wiped down the aluminum frame one more time.

I was warned by Juan to not spray paint on the porch anymore without laying down some kind of floor protection first.  Apparently, he wasn’t very happy with the permanent white Hello Kitty silhouettes against the blue wooden panels on our porch, from a previous project.  So to protect the porch I used leftover table covering that was bought in the form of a roll and taped it down with green painters tape.

Quick note: Spray paint in a well ventilated area and read your spray can labels.  Some spray paint labels recommend certain distances, others have several settings with just the twist of the nozzle.  I only sprayed one coat of paint on my chair frames, making certain that all sides of the frame, especially those that would be most visible, were covered completely by folding, unfolding, turning them upside down, and laying the entire frame flat on the ground to be able to visually see all of my frames’ angles.


To reupholster the seat and back rest I had to first remove the existing vinyl covering.  The back rest was easy to remove.  It came off quick by just peeling the glued areas on the back.  Because of the unusual shape of the backrest I first sprayed a light adhesive on to the padding before laying Mexican oil cloth down on to the cushioning.  I then cut off the excess Mexican oil cloth, leaving only about half an inch extra along the entire shape of the back rest.  To glue down around the top and sides of the back rest I used Gorilla Glue as adhesive and binder clips to hold the Mexican oil cloth in place until the glue dried.  At the bottom of the back rest I used E6000 (since it dries completely transparent), and also used binder clips to hold everything in place until the glue dried.


To reupholster the seat cushion I removed the old staples from the bottom of the chair with a flat head screw driver.  I then cut Mexican oil cloth pieces large enough to cover each cushion and board, leaving a 1 inch allowance on all four sides.  I then pulled the Mexican oil cloth into place, making sure it was not too tight or too loose.  One it was in place, I stapled it to the board.

Once all the chair frames were dry, and all the seats and back rests were reupholstered, it was time to reassemble my chairs.

I took a step back and enjoyed the view.


I don’t think I’m ready to put these chairs to use just yet.

As always please reuse, repurpose, thrift, consign and all that other good stuff.
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