You already saw our table project, so naturally a chair would be next, right? I’ve been wanting to try to reupholster a chair for a while, and when I saw this little guy at Goodwill (where else??) a few weeks ago for $4.99, I had to have him:
See the pretty lines!? LOVE. If it wasn’t for that heinous greenish-brown velvet that someone clothed this chair in, it would actually be pretty cool looking. Unfortunately, this project is a post for another day because I quickly realized I was totally in over my head with a full-on reupholstery like this. But don’t you worry – it will get finished and it will be amazing, and when that day comes I’m sure I’ll share all the juicy details right here.
But for now, I decided to start off small with this little lady I found in my parents’ basement (by the way, I do realize how weird it is that I keep personifying objects on this blog…that’s just how I roll):
As you can tell, she was a little rough around the edges (kind of like our lawn after a month straight of 90+ degree temps and no rain):
But doesn’t she have nice curves?
Alright, so this was pretty easy. First, I unattached the old chair cushion by removing the 3 screws that were holding it on underneath (yes, only 3…one was already missing):
Then I simply removed the cushion part from the chair frame:
Next, I gave the frame a good sanding all over, to smooth out all the rough patches
In a few of the really bad spots, I smooshed (yes, that is the technical term) some wood filler in where needed, let it dry for a moment, and then sanded it down so it was smooth:
(This picture was taken pre-sanding, obviously). After sanding, I wiped everything down with a damp cloth, and got to painting. I’m sure this will come as a COMPLETE SHOCK to anyone who has been reading these posts, but I decided to paint it…
White of course! I don’t have any pictures of the process, but I basically used the above spray paint to give it 2-3 even coats. I ended up sanding a little bit between each coat because it was still a little rough in those really chewed up areas.
Next, I had to decide what fabric to use to replace the yucky blue that had been on there before this project. After stopping by a local store (Mill End Drapery in Indianapolis) and picking up a ton of different remnants (for CHEAP), I had this selection to choose from:
All good choices, but I quickly eliminated all the patterned options because I didn’t want it to be competing with the detail in the chair back. In the end, I chose the gold-ish fabric in the upper left-hand corner of the array above (which I purchased for ONE DOLLAR…what????), and got started on the second part of this project – recovering the seat cushion.
This part ended up being pretty simple. First, I used a flat head screw driver and a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the staples that were holding the old cover in place.
Doing that all the way around will allow you to remove the old fabric and uncover the wood seat, the foam cushion (the yellow part below), and the batting (the white part below).
I used the old fabric as a template to cut the new, so I would be sure I had enough to go around all the layers of the cushion and still have extra to staple to the wood seat.
(By the way, I still had a TON of my $1 fabric leftover, making this an extremely inexpensive project). I quickly went over the new fabric with an iron (my mom will be so proud!) before placing it on the floor and lining the cushion up on top of it. It’s hard to tell from the photos, the but fabric has very subtle lines running through it, so I wanted to make sure they were straight before attaching anything.
From this point, I used my new staple gun to go around and attach the fabric, starting with one staple in the center of a side, and then doing one in the center of the opposite side to make sure everything stayed tight and centered.
Then I just progressed around the cushion, placing a staple about every 2-3 inches.
The hardest thing about this part was avoiding the tendency to pull the fabric TOO tight, resulting in a final product that looks bulgy and not very pretty (see Version 1, below):
Yuck Yuck Yuck. Obviously I didn’t do a very good job of following my own advice, but the beauty of this project is that if you don’t like how it looks, you can remove the staples and try again until you get it right, which I did.
Next, it’s CHRISTMAS TIME! What, you mean it’s only August? Ok, well actually, it’s just time to use those present-wrapping skills you’ve acquired over the years to do the corners of the cushion. There’s really no good way to explain this, except through pictures:
1. Pull the fabric in the corner out
2. Fold one side down flat
3. Staple that sucker in place…BOOM!
4. Fold the other side back over (like a present!)
5. Staple him down too, and admire the beautiful corner you just created
Last, I chopped off the extra fabric.
A few screws to lock the cushion back in place…
And this chair was finished! (Big thanks to Giada and the rest of the Food Network team for giving me some entertainment during this afternoon project).
I have no idea where to keep this thing, so for now she’s in the dining room:
(PS: Going back to the title of this post, we might have something to fill the “violin” requirement in a few days, so check back!)