I have the habit of deciding to do a project - but only doing it partially. It isn't that I leave projects unfinished, it is though I don't believe I have the skills to complete the entire task. But halfway through the venture I get the confidence to do the project completely (see the bathroom ceiling post - originally I was just going to touch up the paint on the walls. Ha!).
However, I digress. I have never reupholstered a chair. I think I helped my mother when I was younger cover seat cushions - but that is the extent of my experience. I don't know how to sew, other than buttons, and I'm not very confident in this area.
My mother gave me a chair she purchased at an estate auction (above). Originally it had a poorly refinished wood frame with the fabric you see above. Gah! But the "bones" are great! The scrolling woodwork and curving legs are stunning. Such a great shape. But the fabric made me violently ill... So I decided to paint the wood (since the original finish had already been destroyed) to try to make the fabric more, well, digestible. Any real value the chair may have once had was lost when that original finish was destroyed (thank you, Antiques Roadshow.) So now, I'm just focused on having a beautiful piece of furniture as opposed to a valuable antique. I knew I could reupholster the seat cushion easily as they are removable but the back would be more difficult since it went all the way through the chair (without the cushion there would be a hole).
But I decided after carefully taping off the fabric (hence the blue tape above) and beginning the priming and painting with a hue named Oatland Subtle Taupe... I decided that nothing could save this fabric. My mother-in-law had given me some wisdom over the weekend when it came to upholstered furniture: as you take a piece apart, it tells you the story of how it was put together. So, I made a decision. Either I was going to revive this beautiful chair or end up with something to cleverly convert into a flower pot.
...discovering exactly how the cushion was being supported in the chair back. A stretched piece of stiff burlap provides the form. Though I replaced all batting and foam, I did not replace this burlap as it was still holding strong.
Added 'tucked' buttons (front side only) and kept the back smooth. To do this I sewed on the buttons to the front side before I finished the back side, hiding the button "backs" on the inside of the chair. I used silk thread for strength.
|Chair corner with single brass tack|
I used close-out heavy fabric from a salvage shop that is silk with chenille swirls (Regularly $60/yard, closeout $17.50/yard) and silk trim ($1.79/yard). A button maker, quilter's batting & thick foam forms from the local department store. The tools employed were a hot glue gun, a staple gun, upholster tacks and tack hammer. Satin paint and primer.
Thank you, Poetic Home for your inspiration & help.