Week 15: Reupholstered Chair

Finding the Gem within.

What I thought was going to be just a quick reupholster job turned into so much more when I started getting into the bones of this chair.  If you are lucky enough to find a beautiful chair under all of that fabric, then you want to take some extra time.  But the end result is beyond any expectations.

Intermediate  task

Time 7 hours – not including 2 days dry time for stain.  Most of your time is in the prep work, removing old material, pulling nails, filling holes, sanding.

Flat head screwdriver
Sand paper 120 grit and 220 grit
Dusting rag
Brass wire brush
Stain rag
Upholstery fabric
Upholstery nails
Stainable hole filler
Face mask
Safety goggles
Wood glue
Tack hammer for upholstery nails

Instructions-  Work in a well ventilated area.  This particular chair had 4 layers of upholstery fabric, a layer of burlap, a carpet folded in half under fabric and old batting.   When working with old, antique, vintage furniture, you will have dust coming out of places that you did not realize would have dust.

  1. Remove seat
  2. Remove nails from all upholstery.  Clean up as you go as this is a very dusty project
  3. Remove all batting or cushion from chair.
  4. Pull all additional nails found.
  5. Fill nail holes with putty.
  6. Check all joints for needed glue or repair
  7. Let dry.
  8. While chair is drying you can now work on the reupholster of the seat.  Check springs and tighten as needed with pliers.
  9. Measure out new foam seat cushion, leaving an extra ½ inch overage of cushion.
  10. Add a new layer burlap to cover springs and use finish nails to hold in place.
  11. Put cushion on burlap.  Lay out material on a flat surface that you are using as cover.
  12. Lay seat cushion, top side down on the material.  Making sure to leave enough extra fabric to wrap around cushion and base before cutting. Add an extra allowance of 2 inches for folding and nailing to bottom of cushion for clean seams
  13. There are multiple ways to fold corners when reupholstering.  Google and Pinterest are great for ideas.
  14. I chose to not put a back cushion on this chair when I found how beautiful it was on the inside.  If you choose to put a new back on it, I would create a paper template before any cutting .
  15. After cushion is complete, set aside and move on to sanding.
  16. Rough sand all areas of chair, making sure to get into the groves and taking off all residue material.
  17. Sand smooth all holes you have patched.
  18. Clean chair and dust off all areas.
  19. Use stain on sponge to stain and seal wood.  Work in a warm, well ventilated area.
  20. Allow to dry. This may take a couple of days.
  21. When dry, fit cushion and attach back to chair using original screws

Thank you for taking this journey with me!  I absolutely could not believe that someone would cover such a pretty chair.  And with 4 layers of upholstery!  But what a difference a little time makes to make it beautiful again.

Don’t be afraid to look for the beauty within.  I know the perfect place to find them!  At the Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Check out Habitat Facebook and our website for great Sip and Upcycle nights that are held once a month.  You can come down and be creative too!

Deana (541)779-1983 ext 101
Habitat for Humanity
Recycle Repurpose Manager

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