Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chalkboard Project: How to Reupholster a Chair

A few months ago, I wrote a post on how to paint furniture. The gray dresser featured there was part of a set that belonged to my Aunt Rose. There were 2 dressers, a desk and a desk chair. I wish I had a before photo of the desk chair. It was dark wood with a faded and beat-up orange seat. It definitely needed some love so I painted the frame gray to match the desk and dressers and decided to reupholster the seat myself.

These instructions from This Old House magazine made it look pretty simple, and you know what? It was.

First, I gathered all of my materials.

I unscrewed the seat and flipped it over. Looking at the way that the material was stapled was helpful so I knew how many staples I would need when I reupholstered. Using an awl, I pulled out all of the old staples.

Using the seat board as a guide, I cut out the shape from seat foam and batting. Next, I adhered the seat foam to the seat board with spray adhesive. On top of that went the batting and then on top of that went my selected fabric.

I chose this Marimekko fabric.

I had been drawn to it for quite a while and thought the section of white, black and yellow would work well in my bedroom. My original idea was to center the yellow flower on the seat but with the seat's tapered shape, I found that it looked much better (and more interesting and graphic) to crop the flower.

Next came the stapling. My first staple was along one of the sides in the middle. The next one was on the side opposite of that staple. Then I did the same thing on the other two sides and kept going, adding more staples and moving outwards towards the corners of the seat. Stapling on opposite sides as you go and pulling the fabric gently before each staple really helps the fabric stay taut and makes for a smooth surface.

After the patterned fabric was on, I worked on the bottom of the seat. It's not a necessary step but I wanted that part to look clean and finished, too. Using a thin black fabric, I cut out the shape of the seat and stapled that to the back of the seat, covering all of the folded/stapled fabric messiness.

The seat was screwed back on to the base and then it was done! A finished chair that is useful, sentimental and now pretty, too.


top and bottom photos by Sarah DiCicco
styling by Lily My Love and The Pink Chalkboard
all other images by The Pink Chalkboard

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