Monday, November 4, 2013

How To Reupholster Dining Chairs With A Comfy Cushy Seat

OK Kampers.....
Let's get back to Miriam and Ross's home.
As you know, I've been working on their living room.
Behind the pair of chairs that I slipcovered is the area by the porch door that is used as an auxiliary entry hall. 
I designed the space to have a pair of chairs flanking the table in front of the back window.
This way.....there is someplace to sit when putting on or pulling off their outdoor shoes.
The pair of green armchairs are the same chairs we used in the dining room.
We snagged 8 of them at auction.
I did 4 in green with white accents first.....
Now I've done the other 4 in white with green accents.
I want to mix them up in the dining room.

So, 2 green ones will be used in the living room, and 2 white ones will be used in the kitchen.
This way, when they have a large dinner party, they can pull the chairs into the dinning room, and have seating for 10, including the host and hostess chairs at the ends of the table.....
.....that I haven't gotten around to slip-covering yet......
Currently, the living room chairs still have the dining room fabric on them.

It's a simple step to switch the seats, I just pop off the seat on the green chair and put it on the white chair, putting the newly covered seat on the green chairs.
In this post, I will show you the new fabric and how to recover old chairs with a plump comfy seat.
This is what they looked like before I got my paws on them.
For someone with no padding on her @$$, they didn't work.

The first thing you want to do is to strip the old fabric and padding off the wood planks that make up the base of the seat.
In this case, the previous upholsterer had just covered over the original fabric and padding.
I do not approve!!!!!
If I can make more work for myself I will!!!!!
Once you have the board all naked and exposed.....
you will want to cut a piece of 2" thick medium density foam to the size of the seat.
Lay the board on the foam.....and draw an outline around the shape.
I use a sharpie marker....
 Then I get out my super duper foam cutting knife....
the cheapest electric knife I could find at Bed Bath and Beyond.
 And I cut the foam using the drawn lines as my guide.
Don't worry if you gouge the sides a little, it doesn't matter.
Then I applied spray adhesive to the back of the foam, and pressed it onto the wooden plank seat.
Now, it was time to wrap the Dacron.....
  only I noticed that the foam had been cut too large.
Obviously, my assistant (Betsy) didn't do a very good job.
This was when I found out that I could cut the foam while glued to the wood!
The wood worked as an excellent guide. 
OK, NOW it was time to wrap the Dacron.
I cut a piece to fit, allowing a lot of extra around the sides for grabbing.
You don't need this much extra Dacron, but the roll was this wide, and there was no point in ending up with scraps because I already have a garbage bag full of them.
Start by placing a staple in the middle of each side, pulling the Dacron taught as you go, using your hand to smooth it across the foam to help pull it tight.
Check it, to see it it's the way you want it placed.....
Then, working form the centers out, staple along the edges, pulling it taught as you go.
Make sure you are creating an even edge, you don't want there to be indentations along the sides.
If you see that there are some places tighter than others, simply pull out those staples and redo that part for an even pull.
 Once you've stapled all the way around, trim the excess Dacron.
once again check it that it's even.

Next, center your fabric over the seat and tack it with staples in the four middles.
Turn it over to check that the fabric is placed the way you want it.
This is when you still have time to fix your @#$ ups!!!!!
Staple it the same way you did the Dacron, starting from the center and working out from the middle of each side, using your hands to smooth the front as you go.
When you come to the corners, there are several ways you can do them.
In this case, I tried to create as uncreased and unfolded a look as possible.
I stood the seat on end, and pulled the fabric over the corner.
Pulled it tight....
 Stapled it in place.....
 Checked it.....
and trimmed the excess fabric.
A nice tight corner. 
Pulling it down like that creates a lush curved crown for the seat, much gooder than the flat one that it had had!!!!! 
For a nice finish, add a cambric dust cover for the bottom.
I reused the ones that were already on the chair.
 All together now.....
tack them in the middle first, then work your way out from the center to the corners!!!!!
 They create a finished look and cover the raw edges of the fabric.
 Ready for the chairs!!!!!
Since I haven't been back to Miriam and Ross's to put the new seats on the green chairs, and I had the white ones in my basement workshop.....
I put them on the white chairs for the photo shoot!!!!!

 The green chairs had numbers painted on the back that I did freehand.
These I used a stencil from Maison de Stencil.
That's much easier than designing the font and transferring the letters to the chair!!!!!

Just a little distressing in the logical places.....
the two fabrics will be swapped.
As you can see the patterns are similar in color, this way the two rooms can merge and flow.
On the left is the stencil, on the right are my letters.....the number is a font I got from the Graphic's Fairy.
So, here's the before an after from the auction.
That's it fellow kampers.

Latah, Gatah


Divine Theatre said...

I have nothing smarmy to say. Bummer.
However, not every day has to be filled with pithy comments. Today is one of those days.
I like your chairs. I like your poofiness. I like your numbers and your letters.
The OCD in me hopes to death that they don't put those chairs around the table out of sequence.



Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design said...

Your chairs are gorgeous! I love the lettering on them.
Patty at Home and Lifestyle Design

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

the young couple are so lucky to have such a talented (and generous) aunt.

the misfit said...

I have no idea how this happened (the internet is mysterious), but my comment on this post wandered over to the post on Connie's sun porch. So you can read there how helpful I think this is :). And I will add my question where it makes more sense: how do you re-attach the seats to the chairs? Thanks!!

Betsy Speert said...

There are four screws that attach the seat to the corner blocks of the chairs frame.
Just make sure that you use the same seat from the original frame, and not swap them out.
Otherwise the screw holes won't exactly line up, and you'll need to use more elbow grease.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great tutorial.It’s all in the details, right Betsy? Your chairs look so much more inviting and comfortable than those the plain pancake seats one usually finds..
Why didn’t I think to do that???
I feel bad for all the poor butts that had to sit on my old, flat and hard seats for soo many years! They were even too uncomfortable for me.. so I went on ebay and found beautiful Chinese chippendale arm chairs with great big fat deep cushions..and now nobody ever wants to leave!

Vikki said...

One of a kind chairs from a one of a kind decorator. I love the uniqueness of the chairs and how they have your signature. Vikki in VA

Nutbird said...

I like the way you take a basic classic chair that might be a little boring and turn it into something SpecTacular! Well done. How are the turkeys? Ann

Unknown said...

chairs look gorgeous, thanks for company UK

Anonymous said...

side note* i used your formula for cleaning silver last week on my husband's grandmother's silverware. his mom recently passed away and i wanted to use the flatware in her memory for the luncheon that followed the funeral. it looked as though she had not polished it in many years, it was made in the 1940s. but easy peasy with that recipe! thanks so much. suzi

Di said...

These look wonderful and such a good idea to do the two different colors and mix them up a bit. Genius Betsy!

Mary said...

My comment disappeared. How weird... AS I WAS SAYING, your writing makes me laugh and you have the wonderful ability to make the mundane and hard jobs look and sound so fun!

Love everything about Miriam and Ross' home. They are so lucky to have you!

From Virginia

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a beautiful post! Love, love, love the chairs. Your skills are certainly appreciated, I intend to follow your instructions. Thank you for staying true to your decorating ideas instead of following other blogs with the NEW looks of the times. Makes me like who I am and my likes. Bobbie

Nicole said...

You picked a very beautiful fabric for the dining chair upholstery

Mudslide88 said...

Been viewing vids and reading blogs about how to do this since I am about to give it a try for the first time ever. Not a artsy fartsy crafty person in the least, by the way. Your post is the most helpful one I can find. Exactly the poofiness I want out of my chairs. Thank you, thank you! Wish me luck but, using this post as guide, pretty sure I got this s#%t in the bag! 👍😉

London Serviced Apartment Lady said...

So pretty, it's very Cath Kidston!

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