Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Time Reupholstering

Would you look at this beauty? Don't you just wish you could have one, too?

Don't worry, I didn't think so. Hence the reason I needed to figure out how to reupholster her. (Disclaimer: don't have your time-out chair be the same one the cat likes to use as a scratch post. I can't tell you how many times I had to vacuum up little bits of foam!) Guess what! She even has a twin sister! But I'll be finishing that one out much later.
Here she is all stripped down. For those that don't know how to reupholster (since I know Oh! so much about it!), you start by turning a chair like this upside down and removing all the staples holding down the little black cover sheet. Try to not destroy that little black sheet! You'll use it again later to close everything off! The start removing the old fabric. Be careful with that fabric, too, since you'll use it as a pattern for your new fabric. Keep working on it until you get your chair down to this point. So you know, this took me probably 6 hours with a friend helping me. It's not a short project! (Hence the reason I haven't started her sister yet.)

Another view of her from the front. See that hole in the foam? I had to fold over a bunch of batting to try to patch it since I was too cheap to buy more foam. Now that I know you can buy camping foam for like $10 at Smith's Marketplace, I'll probably do that for the next chair instead of trying to patch it.
As you're trying to recover the chair, start with the bottom of the seat, then the inside back of the seat, then the arms, then the back and bottom.

Much improved, right?

Here's the detailing on the arms. I got kinda lazy when I was doing this and didn't remove some of the chording from the front of the arms (there's this little piece of cardboard with chording all around it that was just attached with staples), and so when I put in my tacks, they never made it all the way into the wood. Now, all the tacks keep popping off (either through natural means, or kids pulling them out because they're REALLY cool to play with!! -- Please note sarcasm). When I do the next chair, I'll be better and I know my tacks will stay better.
I am obviously not a professional at reupholstering furniture, hence the title of this post. As a first timer, I would NOT recommend doing a wingback as your first experience. Go for something a little bit easier -- like a kitchen chair, for example.
Here's a great website that helped me figure out how to do this!
Have fun and send pictures of what you're working on!

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