This was not my average project, most times I rescue antiques or find a new use for something kicked to the curb… But, not this time, this time I took something perfectly acceptable and tore it apart on purpose… WHOA!
You see, I have a pair of sinfully boring Queen Anne style chairs that I bought about 8 years ago. I’m sure at the time I loved them, and they have served our family well, easy to clean, easy to move from room to room for guests or pull up to the table, but lately I’ve been just looking at them and wanting to scream. They are constructed of tan suede Microfiber material with an Early American stain, they sit up against a tan wall next to a dark stained upright piano and when moved to the living room they rest on chocolate hard wood floors. Blah, that’s just too much brown.
So, this past weekend it was time for a change. I made a trip to our local Hobby Lobby to purchase some fun prints (a faded Chevron and something Paris inspired) and to stock up on hot glue. That was the easy part, disassembling the chair and pulling what had to be 500 staples was the hard part. I first pulled off the piping around the back piece, then I pulled off the fabric from the top; saving every piece to use as a pattern for the re-installation. Next, I took out the foam padding and set it aside and removed the back fabric from the top. A few screws from the base allowed the bottom to just pop off, finally something easy. Not to quick… I spent at least another hour removing staples that had pulled through the fabric and often times needed a small flathead screwdriver to pull the staple up enough to grab with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Step one down, I took the chair minus all the fabric to the garage and sanded down all the shiny parts (this removes the coating and helps the paint adhere better), a damp cloth removed all the dust and then I painted the chair turquoise (my current fave). While the chair air dried I used the old fabric pieces and cut up the new fabric. To the frame, once the chair was dry, I sanded it down quiet a bit to give it an aged look, wiped with a damp cloth and applied a thin layer of new stain, wiping off the excess as I went (oddly enough, also Early American, lol) and let dry again, preferably outside for proper ventilation.
Back to the fabric, once I positioned my fabric on the seat, I flipped the seat over and stapled 2 to 3 times and then pulled tight, straight across and stapled 2 to 3 times, went to the other two sides and did the same. Once I had all 4 sides tacked down, I continued this crisscross stapling pattern till all the sides met (this keeps the material from bunching and keeps it pulled tight all the way around). When the frame was ready, I repeated the same steps for the upper back of the chair, placed the foam insert back into place and repeated the steps for the front cover. With the front cover done I hot glued matching fabric around some piping and then hot glued the piping around the edge of the fabric insert and around the bottom of the seat before attaching it back to the chair. I found it best to just sit on the floor surrounded by all my tools.
It’s important to mention no antiques were ruined in this project, lol. These chairs were purchased new at a furniture shop in OKC. That being said, if you ever want to destroy something in good condition, make sure you can live with the outcome good or bad, there is no going back, and also remember once you paint your wood the process to get it back to stain grade is extremely tedious and sometimes impossible.
Overall, I LOVE the way it turned out; my old chairs, all though in good condition needed a makeover, but it was a little tasking, nothing too hard, just a little repetitive and time consuming.
2 yrds. of fabric ($7.99 a yd., to which I added my 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon, so uhm… $5.50 ish a yd.)
Small Flathead Screwdriver
Hammer (For those pesky staples that need and extra tap)
5/16″ Staples (Lots of them)
Hot Glue Gun & Glue