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Upholstering an old chair

September 9, 2009

I hope you all had an exciting Labor Day and a great weekend. I disappeared for a few days because I got myself busy with this awesome chair I found across the street. This is embarrassing to admit but as of right now I have seating for 14 (!) people in my living room, which is the size of an oversized closet. We should seriously just get a huge plasma TV and start charging admission. Yet, I could not resist this one. I am finding new homes for all the other chairs by pushing them upon friends.

The first thing I needed to do was to stain it in walnut. You can never go wrong with walnut. I left the old fabric on to soak up all my spills. Because the stain takes about 3 weeks to dry, it seems, I like to speed up the process by applying lacquer about 24 hours afterwards. The lacquer dries in about an hour forcing the stain to dry as well. The only thing that may happen is that the chemicals in the lacquer dissolves the chemicals in the stain and “moves” the stain around. It still usually works out fine.
After the lacquer was dry I started tearing off the old fabric. This is a great exercise for anyone who is the least bit passive aggressive.
Mario always says to wear a mask when I do this “tearing off old dusty fabric”. It is probably a good idea – I just never get to it as it is too much fun to just rip away.
I make sure to save all of the pieces so I can later on use them as templates to trace on the new fabric.
After all the pieces have been cut out I bring out my trusty staple gun and then staple away adding the new fabric. I recommend stapling one staple in each corner first and then pulling the fabric tight as you go along.
This is the finished product – sort of. I was so eager to finish I just wrapped the last piece of fabric around the cushion without ironing it – I’ll have to get to that. I may also get some piping or ribbons to glue along the sides but over all pretty good for a freebie on my street, if I may say so myself.

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