Saturday, January 24, 2009

NYR #2, Dining Room Chairs Part One

For far too many months, we have been dining on some ugly dining chairs. I bought them at a thrift store with plans to paint and reupholster them.
But that was many moons ago and yesterday my husband admitted that he really wanted me to get on with this project ASAP. Because of the fumes, I won't paint them inside and because of the temperature, I can't paint outside this season, but I figured I could at least tackle the upholstery work. So I ran to fabric store and picked out material.
One final look at the gross rust color. And if that wasn't enough to demand a recover, most of them were stained. Anyway, here's how I did it:
1. Unscrew the seat from the chair base.
2. Remove the staples holding on the old upholstery.
If you are as lucky as us, you may be shocked to discover that the ugly rust colored fabric is actually an IMPROVEMENT on what was originally on the chair.
Really people? Was this ever cute?! Although it's heinous, I decided to leave it on so that the foam would stay in place and the chairs would have a little extra support. Moving on...
3. Lay out your fabric underneath your chair seat. Make sure there is enough to cover the sides. This is actually a picture of the third chair I did so I had already cut out a piece of fabric that was the same size as a discarded rust-colored piece.
4. Wrap the fabric around and staple your first staple on the center front of the chair.
5. Alternating left to right, work your way out from the center. However, do not staple all the way to the corner.
Be sure and pull the fabric TIGHT before you do each staple.
Otherwise, you could end up with a lump like this. If that happens, take out the staple and do it over again.
See how flat this side is? That's what it should look like.
6. After you've stapled the front and back, move to the sides and repeat. Again, it's best to start in the middle and move out.
7. Once all the sides are stapled you can work on the corners. I think it's best to fold the side fabric down first.
Then fold the front/back fabric over the side fabric and staple it all in place. It will take some maneuvering to get it flat, but it's worth the effort to work with it. You want to make sure no extra folds or puckers are visible on the sides. If necessary use multiple staples to hold it in place.
8. Clip the fabric away from the screw holes.
Once everything is stapled down tightly and the screw holes are free of fabric, the seat is ready to go back on your chair.
9. Screw the seats back on.
And you're done! See? All that pulling tight paid off. It looks super smooth on the outside!
Voila! There are two more steps (painting and a surprise that I'm not going to reveal until I post 'after' pictures) to do before I will consider these chairs "done," but for now, I'm happy that they are looking MUCH better.


Susanna (aka Susi) said...

man, that is a VAST improvement, mrs. fix! and i'm loving that good old-fashioned nikon depth of field in that one photo (where you can see your out of focus but super cute, from what i can tell, shoes).

Nick, Annie, Aiden, Sophie and Clip said...

I can't wait to see what they look like when you're done with them! I hope you are able to do these fast! :) What color you are painting them? And my guess on the "extra" would be some sort of painted stencil/design to match the designs on your wall....but I know Design Fix will likely have something much more awesome for your "extra" -- I just wanted to take a guess! :)

Rachel said...

LOL! I didn't even notice your name was Rachel--the other similarities are great, too!
I like your New Years Resolutions--way to go! I made boring, over-ambitious ones this year that I probably won't fulfill. Maybe in 2010...

Anonymous said...

Its looking fine, you can find more Dining Room Chairs here…..

ChrisandMissy said...

I am impressed. This is a great tutorial, Rachel. Now I know how to should I ever re-cover our old dining room chairs.
Actually, I was thinking about it last night- I could re-cover and paint one of them to match a bedroom and just have a pretty chair in a room. If only I had space to put a chair in one of these rooms...
Anyway, I'm excited to see your final product. Good work. =)

Rachel said...

I am doing this also right now! I am thinking your surpriase is a stencil on the fabric? Can't wait to see more!