IKEA GRANÅS chair hacks – breathe new life into old chairs

The IKEA GRANÅS chairs in metal are sturdy dining chairs that will probably last you a long long time. The only thing that fails is most likely the woven seat. The seats in straw lends to the rustic vibe but straw will fall apart in time.

What do you do then? An IKEA GRANÅS chair hack is the way to go. Replacing the seat is easy. Pick a durable material for the new seats, coupled with a simple dining chair hack, and the GRANÅS will last you for many more years.

1. Revisiting IKEA GRANÅS chairs in fine wood

I decided to change the straw seats of the GRANÅS to highlight the metal structure of the chair and give it a more essential and modern look.

This is how it looks before and after.

IKEA GRANÅS chair hack - before and after

IKEA items used: 

  • 4 GRANÅS chairs

Other materials and tools: 

  • 4x plywood panels size 35.5 x 36 cm  
  • Sandpaper
  • Water-based paint for wood 
  • Black paint for iron 
  • Brushes 
  • Straight plate x 16 (4 holes, 60mm) 
  • Screws for metal x 16 (M4x20) 
  • Nut x 16 
  • Screw for fastening seat x 16 (M4x10) 
  • Black plastic screw cover x 16 
  • Screwdriver

Buy plywood panels from a shop that provides a cutting service. Have the panels cut to size (35.5 x 36 cm).

Next, prepare the wooden seats. Sand the panels and paint them. I chose to stain the top in medium chestnut wood color and the bottom is painted in grey. (At the beginning I was not sure about the colour to choose so this was a good way to test both colors).

paint process and adding the hardware to the chair
1. Staining and painting the wooden chair seat panels 2. Fixing the straight metal plates to the chair frame 3. Back view of the metal plate on the frame

Paint the 16x straight plates with black paint for iron. Wait for all the paint to dry.

Fix the plates to the chair structure with the screws for metal and nuts. Place the seat over the plates and turn the chair upside down.

adding the new wooden seat to the IKEA GRANÅS chair
4. Place the seat over the plates 5. Fix the seat to the plates with short screws 6. Add screw covers to the screw heads on top

Fix the seat to the plates using the short screws for wood and a screwdriver.

An optional step but you can add a cushion to the seat. I made cushions with an old fabric I bought during a vacation in Zanzibar. It would work also as a back cover.

cushion and back cover

How long and how much did it cost?

16€ for plywood panels (free cut) + 5€ hardware + 40€ paints, sandpaper and brush.

2 hours preparing the panels + 30 minutes to paint the plates + 24 hours paints drying + 1 hour to fix the seats to the chairs.

What do you like most about the hack?

The result is clean and modern.

What was the hardest part about this hack?

I could not find black painted hardware, so I decided to paint it but it was not easy because the parts are small. Probably a spray paint would work better.

What to pay special attention to?

The screws for wood used to fix the panels must be shorter than the thickness of the seat. Otherwise they will go through it and you’ll have to sit on the tip of them!

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

I think that L brackets would work better than simple straight metal plates and would probably give a better structure to the seat. Thicker plywood would probably work better too and allow the seat to be flush with the metal frame structure.

~ by Princess Leia 

2. IKEA GRANÅS chair hack — Dining chair to hallway bench

Hi I’m Ashli from Mini Manor Blog. We needed a bench, it had to have a back, and I knew that I wanted something with an industrial look!

I love the combination of metal and wood. I was searching Craigslist for benches when I came across some IKEA GRANÅS Chairs, they had great clean lines, and the cross backs made me very happy.

IKEA item used:

  • 3 IKEA GRANÅS Chairs
IKEA GRANÅS chairs with woven seats

We found 3 chairs for $25!
We bought 3 1×6 boards. Each board was 6 feet long.
Then, we stained them a medium walnut color.

IKEA GRANÅS chair hack -- dining chairs into bench

On the GRANÅS, we removed the wicker seats from their metal frames, and were able to use the existing holes (for the screws to hold the wicker seats in place) to screw in and secure the boards to the chair.

And for the finishing touch we simply stenciled on a little instruction . . . SIT.

new wooden seat
IKEA GRANÅS chair hack -- dining chairs into bench

I think that an added shelf on the bottom would also be great if you were planning on using it as a hall bench, a quick place to stash your shoes or maybe a basket or two!

I hope you enjoyed our hack!

~ by Ashli, British Columbia, Canada

3. IKEA GRANÅS chair reupholster hack

Anna reupholstered the seat for a new look. The easiest way is to wrap a piece of fabric to the straw seat and pin it down with staples. Then simply reassemble the seat the way IKEA prescribed and you’re done!

If the seat is unsalvageable, this DIY tutorial may be helpful. You will need to cut a new wood panel. (Use the old woven seat as a template.) Then on the wood panel, stick on a layer of foam and wrap your fabric over the foam, pulling it taut and stapling the fabric into the wood panel. Then attach the foam seat to the metal frame using the original hardware. And you have a chair, like new.