I picked up this chair at an estate sale thinking my Mom would like it. I think at one time it must have been red or pink velvet - but had seen better days. The cushion on the seat was completely flat - as though the air had been let out of it!
Turns out it wasn't the right size and scale for what my Mom needed. So I kept it for myself!
When I finally pulled the 4,323,001th staple out of the bottom portion, I discovered what happened to the nonexistent padding. It was originally foam - that had disentregated! Dust and debris went everywhere- all over my lap, hands, hair, eyes - and I had to quickly grab my mask when I vacuumed up the mess. Definitely not one of my better days.
There was absolutely no structure or support to the seat part. The original canvas straps and burlap backing was shot and had disentegrated along with the foam. After I primed it, I called in my Dad for a "Fix It Monday" visit.
This is what my smart and handy Dad came up with. We made a circular template out of paper and adjusted the measurements to accomodate the cut outs for the back supports.
Using a jigsaw, my Dad cut out a perfect new seat out of scrap wood. You can see how he cut out the little portion on the back to make a really nice snug fit. And then he nailed it down. And reminded me again to not buy any more, and I quote: "junky furniture"! Ha Ha - like that's going to happen!
I painted the chair in Antique White by General Finishes Milk Paint and sealed it with clear wax.
I wish I could tell you that the rest of this project went smoothly and easily. But I really think for my first upholstery project, that this was a little out of my league. And my friend, Robin at RPK Interiors, would have to post a fantastic tutorial about refinishing a chair (see Learning to Upholster) after I gave up on this project in tears and despair. Look at how gorgeous Robin's makeover of her chair is!
|Photo Courtesy of RPK Interiors|
But I digress. Here is where I stopped and where the project sat unfinished for months.
I wasn't happy with how it was turning out because the upper portion turned out really lumpy (I used polyfill - but maybe not enough?). And don't even get me started about how to cut around the back supports without screwing up the fabric. Enter my new best friend, Rosario.
I took the chair, leftover fabric, gimp braiding, and my pride to Rosario, the professional upholsterer. He was so sweet when I picked it up. I knew he took everything apart and started anew but didn't want to hurt my feelings. He probably also thinks I'm a little crazy when I asked him if I could sit and watch him work one day!
But here it is in all it's glory!
And a little surprise on the back! I think I had great vision - just poor execution!
And the obligatory "before" and "after" shot:
But I am.not.giving.up on upholstery projects! I think my next candidate shouldn't be so complicated. What about you? Have you ever given up on a project and just said, "The heck with it" and taken it to a professional?
Have a great day! And, on a side note, I've made a few little tweaks to the blog and added a follow by email link. Would love it if you subscribed!
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