Monday, October 10, 2011

DIY: How to Reupholster a Dining Room Chair (Part 1)

Howdy Everyone!  Happy Columbus Day!  Sorry for the later than normal post, but my mom came up and took Evelyn first day of school shopping for clothes (she starts her new school tomorrow!). 

Today's topic is a DIY-er; How to Reupholster a Dining Room Chair.  I'm working on mine right now; and I'm going to break this into three parts.  In Part 1 you do not need to have fabric, so if you get inspired and want to start dismantling things - you have MY permission, ignore your husbands/partners/significant others.  (Disclaimer:  I don't expect anyone to be able to do Part 1 in a matter of hours.  It took me a week to get Part 1 and 2 complete.  You could do it in a few hours, but I suggest some wine as your assistant to help drown out the mundaneness and suprising use of elbow grease.).  This post will also give you a sneak peek of my dining room.  I know how excited you must all be ;). 

In case you get inspired and want to catch up for Part 2 tomorrow......Let's talk about fabric.  Rule:  If you are putting a rug in a room, choose that before you pick ANYTHING else for a room.  In the case of this dining room, I'm not doing a rug because I love my wood floors and don't want to cover them up; so I get to pick my fabric first.  Fabric First, then paint.  I've had a particular fabric in mind for about a year now and originally wanted it for the living room.  I honestly was so pee-in-my-pants excited about it that I just had to use it in the dining room:

Isn't it awesome?!  The fabric is called Crazy Ol' Bird and is from Swavelle/Mill Creek.  Like I said, I'd admired it for about a year - first saw it in Dallas - and purchased it in Arkansas.  Point I'm trying to make is that many major upholstery fabric stores should have it in stock as I've seen it multiple places.  If you don't have a great fabric store near you, I recommend visiting as they have it ready for purchase there. (Interior Mall is located in Barling, AR right outside of Fort Smith, so if you are in that area you can visit it yourself and avoid shipping costs).  This fabric actually comes in four different color schemes as seen below (in case you are interested). 

Autumn                                  Midnight
 Topaz                                     Sunrise
All 4 fabric photos are courtesy of

So that's the fabric.  Here is the chairs we are doing in their current state:

The current fabric is pretty, but it's the fabric that originally came with the chair and I wanted to take these chairs and make them a focal point.  Ok, prework is on to the main event!!

These first few steps can be done while you are waiting on your ordered fabric to arrive, or if you are trying to narrow it down between some fabrics.  Let's get started!

Step 1 - Let's get those seats off the chair frame.  I first flipped the chair over and saw lots of nuts and bolts and screws, after the anxiety attack subsided, I decided that the recessed holes were the ones that attached the seat to the chair frame. 

If you look REALLLLL hard you can see the screw and you know to use a Phillips head screwdriver.  I used a flashlight to help look in the holes. 

Alright friends, this is what we are about to wage war on.

Seat removed?  Moving on.  First thing we are going to do is remove the dust shield AKA the black stuff. My intentions are also to remove the cording and the striped fabric (I'm not sure if they are sewn to each other or not since the dust shield is still on).  Tools needed for black stuff removal is a flat head screwdriver (to wedge under the staples and help get them out), some needle nose pliers (in case we break a staple) and a cup (pic below).  The cup is to put all the removed staples in.  

Now it's time to get those staples outta there!  Take the flat head screwdriver and wedge it underneath a staple.  I then rock the screwdriver back and forth to get the staple evenly pulled out on both sides (or else they usually break or get stuck on one side) and then pull up with a little force to get the staple completely out.  The larger the handle of the screwdriver, the easier it is to pull the staples and is also more comfortable in your hand.  If the flathead tip is too big though, it's hard to wedge under the staples. 

These staples were spaced about 3 to 4 inches apart (note to self for putting the dust guard back on), so after I removed 4 or so I took a sneak peek at what I was dealing with underneath.

&$%#!  That's a motherload of staples.  Not what I wanted to see.  Executive decision:  We are only
removing the cording and will put our fabric over the existing fabric. The bird fabric is a tapestry weight and will lay smooth over the already stapled fabric.

So keep plugging away and removing staples.  Once I got the dust guard off I started on the cording (which was not sewn to the fabric, thank goodness).  I got a little frustrated and just started to yank the cording off and had the below result.

But, it's all okay because it's a perfect example of getting to use the needle nose pliers to get the staples the rest of the way out!  Just take the pliers and get a good hold of the staple and pull straight up.  Voila! Problem solved.

After all that cording is removed, Congratulations!  You have finished step 1!  Gold stars for everyone, I couldn't be prouder.  Finished product is below.  Tomorrow we are going to going over how to get the new fabric attached to the seats (Part 2).  See everybody then!

Come back tomorrow and find out how to
 solve this seat's problem  (He's naked).

Click here to proceed to Part 2.
Jump to Part 3.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...