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Daily Archives: February 8, 2017

My Top Tips to Reupholster a Chair

 Top Tips to Reupholster a Chair

My Top Tips to Reupholster a Chair

As promised (on my Master Bedroom Redo) here’s a look at my first ever attempt to reupholster a chair.  It was a lot of work, but I think in the end it was worth it.  And much less expensive than buying something brand new.  That’s what DIY is all about, right?
Thrifted Chair for Reuphostery Project

I picked up this lovely chair on a shopping trip with a friend at a Habitat for Humanity Resale Store.  We completely filled the back of the SUV on that trip – hehe!
This chair in particular cost a whopping $5.  Yup.  FIVE DOLLARS!  I figured at that price even if I messed it up I wouldn’t feel too bad.  And it obviously needed a little TLC.

Thrifted Chair to Reupholster

Then I started pricing upholstery fabric – yikes!  I mean, the cost wasn’t exactly a surprise because back when I was doing  interior design it wasn’t unusual to order $125/yard fabrics for custom chairs.  But that doesn’t work for my budget.  I eventually found a small discount fabric place not far from my home, but after a couple trips I still hadn’t found anything I loved and most were still upwards of $12/yd.  Luckily I stumbled onto a link to fabrics.com and found some great deals.

Eventually the fabric arrived and it was finally time to tackle the chair.  I did a quick review of a blog tutorial for reupholstering a chair, then grabbed the pliers and dove in.

Step one:  Remove the fabric and trim

Reupholstering a chair step one

My trusty sidekick helpfully had her nose in on the fun most of the time.

Do you know how many thousands of staples they put in one chair?  Me either but it’s a LOT.  I gave my hand a break every hour or so of work in the hope that I wouldn’t get blisters (I didn’t!).  And eventually I had it all torn apart.
Chair Reupholster one the fabric is removed
At that point I happily took a trip to the craft store to get more batting, upholstery tacks, and cording to sew the piping.
It wasn’t that long (parts of two days’ work) before I had it all finished!  The husband was actually pretty impressed.  He didn’t think I would finish the project, let alone end up with a decent-looking chair.  After all these years the husband should know better than to doubt me, right? 😉
(He didn’t admit any of this until after the chair was all put together and he had sufficiently praised my efforts  – so I forgave him.)
DIY Reupholster a Wing Back Chair

Look!  It even looks good close up! And yes, I painted the base black before attaching the fabric.  I almost forgot to do that part LOL.

Black and White Wing Chair Detail

Some of my other tips?

-Take lots and lots of photos as you pull the old fabric off.  It really helps to be able to go back and see the process in reverse, or look at a few details on how to attach the tricky pieces.

-Carefully label (number it when removed, where it went, and which side is the top!) and set aside each piece of old fabric as you remove it.  Not only will you be able to use them as patterns to cut out the new fabric, but you can also refer back to them when you are assembling the chair.

CIY Chair Reupholster
-Take your time!   This is a labor-intensive process and it takes its toll on your hands and your patience.  When my hands were cramping up or I found myself annoyed or ready to rush through a step I would stop for a few hours or the rest of the day.  The last thing I wanted was to “mess it up” and then have to see my blunder every time I looked at the chair.  So take your time and do it right (or fix it right then) as you go.

-Best paint for quick and easy refinishing?  Buy something with primer in the paint and a semi-gloss or gloss finish.

Black and White Chair Redo

The chair happily took up residence in our master bedroom.  Looks pretty good there doesn’t it?

 

If bigger DIY projects aren’t quite your style check out some of my other tutorials for Home Decor like the Farmhouse Barnwood Sign, Quote Display Board, or Swimming Subway Art.

 

Linking to:  Home Matters Party, BFF Open House, Pretty Pintastic Party, Pin Me Party, What to Do Weekends, Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make, Saturday Sharefest, Creativity Unleashed,