A while back I found a pair of side chairs on Craigslist. They were sound structurally, but the finish was in pretty rough condition.
I really liked the pattern of the wood backs, but the needlepoint seats were uncomfortable and were starting to show wear, especially on the corners.
I decided to take a pretty simple approach to redoing these chairs, no major stripping or repainting involved. I removed the seats and replaced them with cushions, batting, and new fabric with self-welt. Then I lightly sanded the wood frames, touched up the scuffs with a furniture stain pen, and polished the wood.
I didn't remove all the signs of wear on the chair frames because I like the fact that they don't look new. If I ever wanted to, I could just pop the seats off and paint the frames, but right now I like the look of the natural wood.
I really like having this little pair of chairs. They are very lightweight and easy to move all around the house for extra seating for guests, a place to remove shoes in the foyer, or even desk or dining chairs.