Saturday, August 13, 2011

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Chair Remodel How To

I recently finished a chair remodel and thought I'd share my step-by-step with you.

This particular chair was for a friend. So I had to stay within her liking. I picked the color and fabric based on her existing decor. Not what I would put in my house. I like wild. And color! The good news is - she absolutely loves it!

Here's what I started with. Not pretty, but lots of character. Note the completely crooked back. This chair has been redone before. At least once.

Before Front


The first thing to do is remove the material. Try and keep it as intact as possible. You can use it later to help you measure your new fabric. I started by removing the decorative trim to reveal the staples.

Now - remove the staples. Lots and lots of staples. Lots.

Because someone else had redone this chair in the past, there was a ton of excess glue left behind. So I removed the embellishments (those things on the side), cleaned them up, and re-glued them.

Next - Sanding. Do you have to sand? No. But this chair needed it. Badly. I didn't take all the stain off. I wanted to leave some of the natural wood color underneath. That way, when I distress the new paint, the wood color will show through.

Once it was all sanded, I wiped it down with tack cloth and I painted. Sorry, no pictures. I used spray paint. Rust-Oleum Painters Touch, 2x, in Heirloom White. Apply several light coats. Don't try to cover it all at once. You'll just cause runs in the paint. Once the heirloom white was dry, I used sandpaper to distress. This technique just gives your piece a more aged look. Wipe it down again with your tack cloth to remove any dust.

Next, I started applying layers of Clear Coat, in matte. I didn't want any shine on this one. I sanded between layers of clear. Just a real light sanding to make it smooth. I applied 4 coats, about 1 can. You can brush on a thicker top coat if you want.

Time for fabric. I used the old pieces. I placed the old pieces on top of the new material to give me an idea of how large and what shape to cut my material. Always cut a little extra just in case. You can cut off extra, but you cannot add if you cut it too small. I also added some batting to the top of the old foam - to make it a little more butt comfy. The only way to learn how to apply the material - is to do it. Once you have your fabric cut, and placed, start stapling. Just keep pulling the material taught and work your way around. 

To hide the staples, I used this decorative trim. I'm sure it has a name? I even asked for the name when I bought it. She told me it was decorative trim. Yep. I used Tacky Glue to stick the trim over the staples. I like it because it's easy to clean up, and it dries clear. 

With the cushion out of the way, it was time for the top. This was a bit of a challenge. I can see how the last person that did this chair wound up with such a goofy fitting back. Measuring was the hard part. So, here's what I did. I taped paper to the outside of the opening. Then, I slowly ran my fingers around the edge - for what felt like 20 minutes - until I had a nice patter the size of the opening. I placed the paper on the back of my fabric and used a crayon to outline it. Then I cut out the pattern a bit larger than the opening. Remember, measure twice - or 10 times - cut once. All that was left was to repeat the "pull - staple - glue" procedure.


So, what do you think? Are you ready to tackle your own?

Update: I've linked this post to:

The DIY Show Off


House Revivals said... [Reply]

This chair turned out great! I'm sure your friend was so happy with the result. The trim you used is called gimp.

Kathy W said... [Reply]

Awesome job on the chair and the step by step instructions. You're just a regular DIYer. Kathy WItty

Jake said... [Reply]

I know we just met, but I want to kiss you! Okay, a handshake. Gimp. Thank you so much! And thanks for the kind words.

Jake said... [Reply]

Kathy! So glad to "see" you here! Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said... [Reply]

Completely love-it.. Thanks for the great tips Jake.

3krazychics said... [Reply]

OMG! I love it! Turned out completely fabulous!

Jake said... [Reply]

@3krazychics Thanks for the comment and stopping by. I LOVE what you do on your blog!

Susan Rindner said... [Reply]

Beautiful!!! You did such a great job on this chair!! And I love the pattern of this fabric!! Just GORGEOUS!!

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