Retro Bamboo Furniture

If you grew up in South Africa, chances are you came across those infamous bamboo lounge suites! You know the ones – bamboo seats with crazy pattern fabric cushions! Your parents or grandparents probably owned a set, too. If you’ve inherited a piece of furniture like this, or you got it for a steal online, and you’re wondering how to update it to make it a bit more modern, here’s how:

Since this project is clearly split in two sections, we thought we would start with the actual chair first.

  • Paint primer
  • Spray paint – colour of your choice
  • Sandpaper
  1. Before doing anything, make sure your chair is clean! You can give it a quick wipe with a damp cloth and warm soapy water. Dry it off with a soft towel.
  2. Once clean and dry, give it a light sanding with medium-grit sandpaper. Don’t go overboard, you just want to give the primer something to stick to.
  3. Use primer to coat the entire chair. This will allow the spray paint to stick better. Allow ample time to dry.
  4. When applying spray paint, be sure to spray in long even strokes. 2 to 3 layers should do the trick and give you a great finish!

When it comes to the cushions, you have a few options. You could recover it yourself with new fabric, you could have someone make you new cushion covers or you could paint the fabric. If the fabric is still in good condition, we suggest painting it for a unique look you can be proud of.

  • 1 litre semi-gloss latex paint – colour of your choice
  • 125ml – 250ml fabric/textile medium (depending on the size of your cushion)
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Measuring cups
  • Stiff-bristled or foam brush
  • Large mixing container
  • Sandpaper
  1. Start by mixing your paint, fabric medium and water in a large container. The ration should be 1 part paint, 1 part fabric medium and 2 parts water (1:1:2).
  2. Before applying your mixture, pre-dampen the fabric with your spray bottle. Be careful not to make it too wet.
  3. Now paint an even coat on one side of the cushion. Once dry, flip it over and paint the other side. Make sure to cover the entire cushion.
  4. Once both sides are completely dry, lightly sand off any pills that you can see.
  5. Now you can apply the second coat of the paint mixture, following the same instructions as step 3.
  6. If you feel like it needs another coat, go ahead. It’s a good idea to sand between coats as it breaks down the fibres and helps the next coat to stick.

Once you’re happy with both the chair and cushions, and everything is dry, simply put the cushions back and enjoy your revamped bamboo furniture!

Terms and conditions:
House of Paint & Décor are “South Africa’s Favourite Paint Specialists”. We endeavour to always provide excellent service and expert advice. However some of our members may not carry the full range of products mentioned on this project. House of Paint & Décor tries to ensure that we have sufficient stocks of advertised products to satisfy anticipated customer demands. However, in the event that House of Paint & Décor runs out of stock, or if you can’t find the product you desire please contact us on our customer care line and House of Paint & Décor will assist in sourcing it! Click here for our Customer Care page or contact our customer care line on 086 112 2114.