Monday, September 29, 2008

Before & After: My Kitchen Chairs (Finally...)

While I knew that my blog would be mainly focused on food, I wanted to also have some house-focused posts. I bought my house over two years ago. It's 80 years old and had already been renovated. Now I only have to worry about making it pretty... It's been two years and I've done a few things but there are still a lot of projects out there.

If you're wondering whether I only ate while I was visiting my mom in Montréal, the answer is no. I also got to work on upholstering two of my kitchen chairs. Well, when I say "I", I mean we, as in my mother and I. Not only is my mom a good cook, she does other stuff very well too, like sewing. She's actually sewing my drapes (I can't wait for them to be done!). Supposedly, she knows a bit about reupholstering chairs too.

I suffer from great plans and indecision. I asked my mother's friend if I could have the four chairs she was going to throw out, oh, about 5 years ago. I was planning on refinishing and reupholstering them. I tried to refinish the frame 3 years ago, but it was hard work. So I gave up and forgot them in the rain. A couple of chairs kind of got mouldy. I also have never been able to find a fabric that I was happy with. So the chairs sat there because of my indecision.

Finally, I found a nice brown and white material I liked in Vietnam. I hauled back two metres. After shopping at a Montréal fabric store with my mom for backing for my drapes, I found another material I liked better for my chairs. My mom thought it was sturdier too for seating. So I decided to buy it and I (my mom) will make cushions out of the fabric from Vietnam (my sister also has her eyes on it!).

I really enjoy the Before & After entries on Design*Sponge, so here is mine. Mine is a much simpler makeover but it's a good start.

Before & After. You can imagine the old chair was not very comfortable either.

Reupholstering Chairs
I meant to take pictures while upholstering but the job requires lots of focus and hands, so I did not take any pictures in the process. This is something that is more easily done by two people - one holding the fabric taut, the other stapling. It's all about keeping the fabric TAUT (I like that word: TAUT! TAUT!). Casa Sugar has better reupholstering instructions and even directs to a Ready Made video, if you need.

Chairs with removable seating
Foam to cover your chairs
Staple gun with short staples (1/4")
Fabric to cover seating

Remove the seating from chairs - usually requires unscrewing a few screws.
Cut out a piece of foam in the shape of your seat.
Staple the foam in place on one edge and the opposite edge - just to keep the foam in place when you staple your fabric.
If you have a patterned fabric, make sure you know which way you'd like to have it and cut out each piece in the same direction.
Cut out a piece of fabric in the shape of your seat with an extra 2" around the perimeter.
Fold the fabric in at the edge before stapling - to prevent from fraying.
Staple the fabric on one edge in the middle on the back side.
While pulilng the material taut, staple on the opposite edge in the middle also.
Do the same with the other two edges.
From each of the centre, staple toward each of the corners.
The corners are the hardest. Gather the material, pull, keep the fabric taut and staple.

The old seat and a piece of foam over it.

Make sure you don't cover the screw holes - we did that once...!

Newly upholstered seat.


Gastronomer said...

I love the fabric you chose. Cute-city!

Unknown said...

Wow, your mom is a Vietnamese Martha Stewart. Love your blog!

Miss.Adventure said...

Thanks C!

My mom would be happy to hear that. Thanks!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Ah, I picked up a wooden armchair off the street and stripped it. I just have big pillows as cushions. I kind of like it that way and haven't decided what to do with it yet.

Miss.Adventure said...

WC: I like picking things off the street. I had to stop myself from bringing home another chair the other day... You should have a post if you do decide to do anything!