DIY: Chair Recovered, A Cinderella Story
April 15, 2009
This dusty old chair was sitting at the local thrift store with a $3 price tag. I gave her a makeover, and bibbity bobbity boo, now she’s Belle of the Ball. Or at least, the belle of my office.
Before and After:
If you don’t have a handy magic wand, then gather these supplies:
- Fabric of choice
- Nail head trim kit with rubber hammer/mallet
- Spray paint (I used Rustoleum’s American Accents Heirloom White)
- Baby wipes
- Tea light candle
- Polyurethane (I used Minwax Wipe-On Poly) and latex gloves
- Foam (if necessary to add cushion or reinforce seat)
- Bamboo batting (see photo below)
- Medium grade sandpaper
- Hot glue gun
- Stapler and Staple gun
To start, remove cushion and give chair a light sanding. This removes dust, any leftover finish, and helps adhere the paint to the wood. Wipe down chair to remove dust, let dry 5 minutes.
Rere’s a handy trick: rub tea light candle over edges of chair, wherever you want the wood to show through the paint. Lightly remove any wax crumbs with wipes. Apply spray paint to chair in a well ventilated area. Use moist wipes to wipe away the paint where you applied the candle wax. This allows the piece to have exposed wood edges and gives it that antiqued look. In my case, I had a nice bow detail on the top, and I wanted the wood detail to show through the white paint. If you’re doing more than one, note that it takes an entire can of spray paint to cover one chair.
Cover the entire chair with two coats of spray paint, and let dry for 24 hours.
Now it’s time to recover your seat cushion. Remove the old fabric, and consider reinforcing the old seat with a piece of foam. In my case, the chair only had a board with a small amount of cushioning and it was a bit uncomfortable. I purchased a piece of medium density foam from the local fabric store, and some eco-friendly bamboo batting to cover the foam. Trim your foam and your batting to fit your chair seat. Staple the batting tightly to the seat to secure the new foam.
Center your fabric on the newly cushioned seat, and attach with staple gun.
If you have a rattan back, you have the option of covering it with fabric. On the back, create a rear cushion by A) forming a cardboard skeleton, B) stapling the bamboo batting to the cardboard, C) hot glue the fabric to the cardboard, and D) thread the new cushion to the rear side of the rattan using a needle and thread, and secure the cushion to the rear with more hot glue to solidify the thread.
This is how the back will look when done:
Trim your batting and fabric to just beyond the edges of where you’ll apply your nail head trim to the front of the chair. In my case, I chose a French natural color nailhead trim kit. Fold under your fabric, and work the trim kit around the chair, using the rubber mallet, to secure the batting and the fabric to the chair. Note: You cannot use a regular hammer, since it would destroy the delicate nail head. You must use a rubber head hammer or mallet to pound the nail heads into your chair.
Needle nose pliers are a great tool for clipping back the edges when you make the turn.
Next, reattach seat cushion to chair.
Here is the final chair:
Isn’t she lovely? Now, imagine doing this for an entire dining set… fabulous !