Monday, November 16, 2009

Finally Finished...

Do you remember that blickity-blank-blank chair that I bought at a local flea market and started refinishing a few weeks ago? Yes, that one. You will remember that I repainted him two weekends ago, after a dastardly first attempt, and the only thing left to do was dress him in some new, more contemporary garb. At that time I mentioned that I was a little nervous about starting the reupholstering. Generally I'm fairly confident around fabric, but upholstering is something I've never done, so I was hoping it would go well. I am happy to say that little chair and I made up this weekend. Yes, we are once again on good terms. I might go so far as to say I've fallen in love with him all over again. If my husband was a jealous man, he'd be worried.

This is how it played out... This past weekend I committed my husband and I to reupholster said chair. Sometimes these projects are not marriage strengthening. Six years into our marriage we wallpapered and tiled all in one month, and it almost spelled the end of an otherwise beautiful relationship. We committed then and there, because of our love for our children and each other, never to tile or wallpaper together again. Old memories die hard. Because neither of us had any experience upholstering, I was afraid of the tension that might be generated from such a project. I'm here to say, those feelings were unfounded. We breezed through this project with nary a cross word spoken. Not only did the chair get a fashionable redo, but my husband and I remain very happily married. It was a successful weekend all around.

Here's the run-down. When I first bought the chair I realized I would need to add more "filler" on his seat because he sagged. It's nothing to get embarrassed about. Age does that to you. Don't ask me how I know that. I bought a 2" seat cushion from Hobby Lobby to add a little cushiony goodness to his seat.

Then I covered the cushion up with the filler that had been on the chair originally...


From there I used the fabric that had been on the chair originally as a pattern (adding additional fabric to the edges because I knew I would need more fabric to go around that added cushion) and cut out the seat fabric. I thought adjusting the fabric to the chair would be difficult, but because I have experience with fabric, I know that it is a "forgiving" medium so I could stretch it a little here and pull it a little there to make things work nicely.

I tacked the fabric down with a cheapo $7 upholstery stapler/tacker that I bought at Hancock's Fabric. It worked like a charm. Then I bought some carpet tacks at Home Depot, which are longer than upholstery tacks, and hammered those all around the bottom inside edges of the chair. The reason I used the carpet tacks was because, on the top of the chair especially, I was going through multiple layers of thick fabric so I needed the longer "nails."

I remember complaining as I was taking off the fabric on the original chair that I had to remove tens of thousands of upholstery tacks. I thought it was excessive. However, as I was tacking and hammering I realized I was putting in just as many staples and tacks as had been there originally. I kept imagining someone sitting down on the chair and having every seam bust apart, tacks pinging around the room, etc. Thinking of the generous frame of Great Aunt Hulda alone, made me add 103 more tacks... (just kidding -- I don't have an Aunt Hulda -- but you know what I mean...)

At this point I was singing the happy song, because upholstering the bottom part of the chair had gone swimmingly!

For the top part of the chair I again added little more substance to the back cushion and tacked it into place using a needle and embroidery floss...

Again, I used the old fabric as a pattern and cut the new fabric out, cutting generous seams, and tacking it into place with the stapler and then securing better with the tacks. I trimmed all around the edges.

Then I made a pattern out of paper for the back cover. I used the pattern to cut out a piece of fusible interfacing and ironed it to the upholstery fabric. Then I cut the upholstery fabric about 1 inch wider than the interfacing and turned the upholstery fabric over along the edge of the interfacing to make a nice finish on the edge of the back cover. I tacked the cover to the back of the chair and then applied some trim with a hot glue gun to cover the edges.

And now for the finished product...

Approximate Cost:
Just trying to keep it real...
Chair - $34
Fabric - $25
Trim - $3
Tacks, staples - $3
Extra cushioning - $10
Stain/paint remover - $5
Sandpaper - $3
Primer & paint - $10
Total: $93

I was hoping it wouldn't cost this much, but alas, it did. Next time I'll shop at Goodwill or a garage sale for the piece of furniture. Had it been an all wood chair it would have been much less expensive. Still, I'm very happy with the result...

Here's the before...

And, the after...

Check out the following DIY linky parties:
"Trash to Treasure Tuesday" at Reinvented
"Do It Yourself Day" at A Soft Place to Land
"Toot your Horn Tuesday" at A Silly Little Sparrow

27 comments:

Shannon said...

Wow! That looks fantastic! I love the fabric choice with the black chair. Beautiful job! Beautiful chair!

Tudy said...

I love the chair. You did a great job on it. Congrats.

Quilt Hollow said...

It's beautiful...I wasn't sure about the painting part but now that I see the whole finish...love it! $93 isn't too terribly bad.

Janean said...

it's a lovely chair!! too funny, because we just took one similar to Salvation Army. i had redone it twice and the arms were loose again, so we "blessed" someone else with it. i'll probably see it on a post and cry. LOL.

Maryam said...

I am impressed!
And give that wonderful husband of yours a hug for doing that with you!

Renee said...

Fantastic!!! Seriously, you're amazing.

Tolentreasures said...

That looks fantastic. I hear you on the tiling and wallpapering. We redid a kitchen a few years ago and the marriage barely survivied. We did tile last weekend though and it went well. I love the chair. I have four in the basement that need done. Hope to have one for Christmas for my daughter. I hope that it looks as good as yours!

Cathy

Annie of Blue Gables said...

Way to go. You did a great job
~a

Brenda said...

Very nice. I know it added up to more that what you expected but you would not have bought such a pretty chair new for that amount. Still a great deal!

Kristine said...

I love it! You did an amazing job! How comfy is it to sit in?

Kristen said...

You wouldn't even know it's the same chair. It looks so different. Simply gorgeous!

Julie said...

Oh, how wonderful it all worked out so well!!! You literally got the chair of your dreams for 99 dollars! YEAH!!!!!

Devri said...

Gorgeous... You are one talented little lady my friend.

MiaKatia said...

Be-utiful! I love how it turned out. And there is no way you could have bought something like that new for 100 bucks.

Chris said...

Absolutely beautiful! Love the fabric!! Glad it all worked out ...and you and your husband are still "husband and wife" ;) You all did a really nice job, thanks for the pictures of the finished project!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Wow. That was your first time upholstering? Fabulous job. Thanks for linking up!

Cindy said...

Loverly in the extreme....that fabric is to.die.for.
Good on ya!

Marla said...

I love love love your chair! Very nice job. Marla

Tara said...

Well that was a process! It really turned out great! I love it in black and the new fabric really makes it a wonderful piece.

Patti said...

your chair came out great!! I've never covered that style chair and you make it look so easy to do! Thanks for sharing

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

It turned out well! I saw your 1st post on this. I wanted to tell you if you use a *bonding* primer, you don't need to sand. (It will probably take a couple coats of primer.) I've used it on a couple of projects with good results. (one of them is on my blog)

Leah said...

What a beauty! Quite the talent you have! This is my first visit to your blog. Thanks for adding your link to Toot Your Horn Tuesday. Your readers might be interested in what others have accomplished also. You can grab the code from my side bar to add a button to direct them. Thanks!

Abbie said...

Very nice! I have an old rocking chair - that is similar in design to your chair - sitting in my garage waiting for new upholstery and paint. I have NO idea how to begin, but am glad to read another story of how someone without lots of experience did it! Oh, and I got the chair for $2.50 at an auction! Crazy, huh?

Mimi said...

Awesome! I ♥ the pattern you chose for the upholstery.

Jean said...

Your chair came out Beautiful! I love the fabric! Love it!!!

Carolynn said...

Wow! Nice job!

rosie's whimsy said...

What a fabulous job! I'm so glad I had time to go back and read some older posts today. I would have hated to miss this! Bravo!