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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

From Drab to Fab

How I upholstered a chair and gave a piece of well loved furniture a new life.


Here's a chair that I found by the side of the road, awaiting rubbish collection while I was out and about on my travels. I asked the owner if they wouldn't mind me taking it, rather than it going to the tip (refuse station). The previous owner was all for the idea when I told them that I planned to redo the chair and give it a whole new life. So the chair came home with me...


This is what the chair looked like when I found it....



As you can see from the photos my new chair isn't that glam... she's covered in drips of paint, bits of plaster, the vinyl seat is torn and the foam of the seat is all 'manky' and old.

First things first, I check that the chair is sturdy, give it a gentle tap with a hammer and some nails in one of two spots.
Next I give the chair a gentle brush down with some sand paper and dust off the residue. I was worried about doing too much sanding, as this is an antique chair from what the owner told me. Also it looked like the chair had suffered all the sanding that she could stand over the years.
Then a coat or two of paint over the next two days and she's starting to look a little more chic. I used standard white indoor non gloss paint (which I had about the house and it was still good... so why not?).
I took the removable padded section of the seat to Clark Rubber to get some new foam measured up. Total cost of new, high density foam, cut exactly to size and shape $6.70.
The next task was removing the old rusted nails holding the old vinyl in place. I gave it a go with the hammer, a screw driver, a paint stripper, an old knife and a nail file before I knew that I needed help. So a drive to a mate's house and a request to use his fancy tools resulted in him taking over. He managed to get every nail out for me and striped back my chair seat. Nice!
The chair seat was given a quick sand down to just neaten up the edges from the nail removal. Then a lick of paint, while I decided upon the fabric I wanted to use to recover the chair...
The fabric that I decided upon is an off cut of old curtain material that I have had in my fabric stash for about three years. Originally I purchased it from an op shop in a bag of fabric off cuts for about $2. I check that my fabric will fit my seat with the foam and then cut fabric (not too short, as it still needs to be fixed to the seat of the chair with the foam).
I purchase some Scotch guard spray from the supermarket for around $12 and spray my fabric as per the instructions, then hang it on the clothesline to dry.
Once fabric is dry and I'm happy with the paint on the removable seat, I get a staple gun and fix fabric over the foam unto the seat of the chair.
Then hey presto! I place the completed chair seat in the chair and take a seat.


The finished chair looks like this....






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