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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Arm Chair Refresh

I'm so excited to finally be posting this! It's always nice to finish something that's been on the back burner and this project was no exception. Over a year ago, I came across some vintage chairs on Craigslist. I loved their shape but they were a funky avocado green color. I mean, it wasn't awful but it definitely wasn't what I wanted for the long haul. I thought since I could buy the chairs for a pretty good price, I would reupholster them to my liking and be done with it, NBD!

Once I got the chairs home and started inspecting them, I lost my enthusiasm. See, I've never reupholstered anything and when I started googling how-tos I got real intimidated, real quick.

Since I was nervous to pull off the cording to see how the chairs were assembled and then be forced to reupholster them, I was stuck. I ended up doing nothing with the chairs until a few weeks ago. I knew that I wanted the wood black so I was just going to tape off the fabric and paint. I got one chair about halfway taped and got a burst of confidence (probably because my mother in law was visiting and she's an expert seamstress who could guide me along).

I started by pulling off the bottom covering and unscrewing the base.

Then I took some needlenose pliers and started pulling staples. Whoever upholstered these chairs was REALLY trying to make sure that fabric stayed put. There must have been a 100 staples on the base alone!!!

Look at all those staple holes!

After we removed all of the fabric, being careful to keep it as intact as possible, we used it for a pattern for the new upholstery. I saved the buttons and the cording to use with the new fabric.

While my MIL cut out the pattern for me, I sanded and painted the chairs black.

After the chairs were painted and the new fabric was cut, I stitched some of the padding to the chair base. This was thankfully the only sewing that had to be done!

Then we took the fabric and laid it on the foam back, pushing it down into the pre-cut tufts.

Using the original buttons (they were on metal brads), we made slits in the fabric pushed them through.

Next, I secured the back fabric to the chair with a staple gun and laid the backing on top of that.

Then I placed the cushion over the back

and pulling the fabric taut, used a hot glue gun to secure it into the groove.

Like so.

Once I finished gluing down the fabric, I glued the cording in place over it. Word to the wise, try to NOT get glue all over your chair as it is a royal pain to get off later.

Then I secured the base on the chair.

I used a razor to remove excess glue and touched up the paint where needed.

I kept the original cushion, mostly because I didn't feel like sewing a new cover but also because I like the contrast.

That's it! It didn't take long to totally transform these chairs and if I hadn't been trying to get it done during toddler naps, I'd say I could have finished them in a day, day and a half tops.

The chairs were a daunting project at first but they were actually relatively simple to reupholster! No joke, I think the hardest part was pulling all the staples.

If you're wanting to try your hand at it, find a chair on Craigslist or in a thrift store that you don't have to spend a lot on and experiment! These chairs turned out so cute and they were actually really fun to take on!!!


Mrs. B

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