My first attempt at upholstering a chair

My husband has a red vinyl covered chair which is practically the only piece of furniture left from his bachelor days…I made sure everything else disappeared over time…he he. It has travelled across the country and back again and was originally purchased by his mother. I like the chair design and it has a good sturdy frame, but the red vinyl definitely has to go! We keep it as an occasional chair in our bedroom, but red vinyl does not look good in a duck egg blue bedroom.

What's wrong with this picture?
What’s wrong with this picture?
This is my first attempt at upholstering a chair, though I have covered a bedhead before. The most daunting thing about recovering a chair is that you never know what is waiting for you underneath the outer exterior. It might be mouldy, full of insects, dusty and falling apart and you may need to replace stuffing, webbing or foam, but until you prise off the exterior, you have no idea how much work you may need to do.

I gathered together my tools of the trade, pliers and a flat screw driver, and started removing tacks and staples.

Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade

Removing staples
Removing staples

A lot of staples to remove
There were a lot of staples
Thankfully as the chair isn’t too old and was well constructed (they don’t make them like they used to), the internal materials were in good condition which made my job a lot easier.

Bottom of chair
Bottom of chair
Once the red vinyl was off, I gave the chair a light sand, wiping off the dust with a damp cloth afterwards. I used a water based furniture oil to give the wood some shine. I didn’t want to use a lacquer as the chair won’t be used regularly.

A light sand
A light sand

Coat of furniture oil
Coat of furniture oil
I kept the vinyl pieces to use as a template with my replacement material. I also wrote on the back of the vinyl what part of the chair they belonged to so that I knew what needed to go where. I chose a good quality upholstery material which reminded me of a Laura Ashley design. I placed the material front side down and marked an outline with a ballpoint pen and cut out the pieces.

Use old covers as a template
Use old covers as a template

Cut out panels
Cut out panels
Time to assemble. I used a spray adhesive to position the material on the chair. Spray adhesive is ideal because when you upturn the chair to staple, the material doesn’t move. It also nicely smooths out the material so that no kinks or creases appear. Staple gun time. I have a very cheap version, but it does its job.

Stapling base cover
Stapling base cover
I did the chair base first as it was the easiest to do. From the base I stretched the fabric taunt in the centre and stapled down. I then moved from the centre in increments of an inch or so. Once a panel side was stapled I added more staples in the spaces before moving to the next side. The base is done and looking fine!

The back was really fiddly, as there was a back and front panel with lots of folds and tacking required. I tweeked the design slightly as I wanted to hide all the staples (unlike the original). I did the front panel first, then the back.

Covering back of chair
Covering back of chair

Tacks on back of chair
Tacks on back of chair
Thankfully the back of the chair will be facing the wall, as it wasn’t the neatest finish, but it’s done and I must say a marked improvement from the red vinyl.

Completed chair
Chair completed

My lovely new chair
My lovely new chair

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Kentucky Angel says:

    What a wonderful job you did. My Aunt did this for her kids when they married, and I’ve always been so in awe of the process. I don’t have enough strength in my hands though, because of the MS, so I just crochet in short spurts until I get it done.

    Like

    1. aseparovic says:

      Thank you Angie! Yes, brute force was required to get those staples out. I’m a complete failure when it comes to crocheting and knitting though, so it’s good to embrace your strengths. πŸ˜‹

      Like

      1. Kentucky Angel says:

        Very true. It would be a sad world if we all did the same thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. its lovely, clever old you,you should be really pleased with yourself .I’m feeling inspired πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. aseparovic says:

      Thank you Tabitha! Yes, I’m really pleased with the chair and how it turned out and I won’t be scared in the future to try something new. Thank you for your support and inspiration. Amy

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s