3 Aug 2011

My first upholstery project!

This spring I took an upholstery class, offered through the local school board. We were asked to bring in a chair we'd like to re-upholster. I scoured Craigslist and found this rough-looking, occasional chair with good bones.

To "get ahead", I sanded down and oiled the wooden arms/legs, ripped all the stuffing out and stripped the piece back to the bones. I learned this wasn't a great idea, because if the stuffing still looks good, it can often be reused. It helps preserve the integrity of the original piece. And, as I learned later it's tough to re-stuff a chair evenly without any lumps and bumps. I'll know better for next time.

So, the course was eight weeks long, but my chair took probably 12 weeks in total before it was actually ready for my living room. I'm not going to lie, it was a frustrating project. Our instructor didn't have the knack for teaching one might expect from a course offered through a school board, and I wasn't able to finish it within class hours. Luckily my boyfriend is a furniture-maker, so he stepped in at the end and re-attached the arms and back section.

So how am I enjoying the chair, you ask? Sadly, our cat's the only one who uses it. And, because she's such a furball, I ended up covering it with an old pillowcase. So you can't even admire how nice it looks.

Too bad I didn't choose to re-cover it in vinyl. I can now see vinyl's merits for cat-owners!

BEFORE: a tired old chair with an awkward "smile".

AFTER: A few too many lumps (the camera adds 10 pounds), but much better!
I sanded for hours to renove scrapes and sticky old varnish.

Ta daaa!

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