Thank. The. Lord.
My DIY chair redo is COMPLETE!!! Here's how it's looking now and what it looked like then....
It seems like forever long ago when I picked up the chair at an estate sale for just $2.00. I was excited to take on a full-on reupholstery project at the time, who knew it would be so difficult and take so much time to complete, yuck! But thank goodness it is DONE, DONE, DONE... and I still have all my fingers, LOL!
I tried to document the steps I took to refinish the chair but since I was learning along the way it ending up being a lot of trial and error- which isn't easy to capture in photos, let alone write it out step by step. So, this really isn't a full tutorial, but I can walk through the
torturous memories general steps that took the chair from before to after. Here we go!
After scraping off the old paint, I sanded the legs some more so they had a smooth even finish.
Next it was time to start the reupholstery part (aka the really crap-tacular time consuming part).
Before covering the chair with any fabric I added a fresh layer of polyester batting in places where the chair needed some extra fill. Once it came time to start the fabric I decided to tackle it in 4 parts....
- Chair Back
- Left Arm
- Right Arm
I started with the chair arms. I figured it would be easiest to start there since essentially all I had to do was wrap the fabric over each arm and secure it with nail head and staples.
When I discovered the carved wood arms hiding under the old upholstery, I knew I wanted to keep them uncovered. It's a feature too nice to hide! To keep them out, I laid the fabric over each arm and cut it following the curved shape of each arm. Then I folded the cut edge inward so all you can see is the clean folded edge.
Once the fabric was in place over each arm I secured the inside fabric (by the seat cushion) using a staple gun and stapling the fabric to the wood frame underneath. It required a lot of muscle squishing the seat down and pushing the staple gun in enough to reach the wood frame... totally annoying and not fun. For the outside edge I used A LOT of nail head trim to secure the fabric, but used the same idea of folding the fabric inward (shown below).
For the seat, I took a rectangular piece of fabric cut to fit over the seat cushion and pieced it together with a separate section of fabric to attach on the front edge. I thought the double stitch detail would be a nice feature so the fabric didn't look as though it were just wrapped over the seat edge. Then, I stapled the fabric to the inside wood frame and used nail head trim along the folded bottom edge (shown above).
For the chair back part, I wanted to make it one piece that slipped over the top and fit the chair perfectly. So I guess this step was kind of like making a slipcover/ chair cover. I laid the fabric over the top, cut it where needed, and pinned it in place. Then, I hopped on my sewing machine and stitched away. The top two corners were really tricky, I had to sort of pleat them so they gathered.
Once I got the chair back cover to fit, I secured it in place similarly to the arms & seat by stapling it where it wasn't visible and using nail head where it was visible.
Here's a look from the back that illustrates how each piece came together...
I know it isn't 100% perfect but I am pretty happy with how it turned out and really I did learn a lot from the experience. Knowing what I know now, I probably would have done a few things differently... maybe next time, if there ever is a next time??? I am not eager to start a reupholstery project anytime soon :)
Now all we have to do is figure out where to put it in our house, hmmmm....
Well, how do you think the chair turned out?