I’ve been interested in trying my hand at re-upholstery for a while now. A few weeks ago I found a great little chair at the thrift store, with a solid wood frame, and a simple design I really liked. It was in rough shape, with water stains everywhere, and the vinyl seat was torn and worn. BUT it was only 3 bucks and it was quite solid. It seemed like it had a lot of potential and like the perfect begginer project. I have taken this chair from a funky vintage leftover that was ditched in the rain, to a Danish Modern beauty… for almost free.
Here’s my process. It really was very simple, and so satisfying!
I started by removing the seat. This required taking out 4 screws. Then I started sanding…
and sanding and sanding… this part definitely took the longest (and this type of sander is probably not ideal for this type of job).
I then returned to the seat and removed all the staples fastening the vinyl cover.
The foam pad was in fair shape, but if I’d had some wool batting on hand, I would definitely have replaced it.
Then I cut a new cover. I used hemp canvas. I traced the shape of the seat onto the fabric with a pencil, then included a couple extra inches for wrapping. Be sure to leave enough to fit around your cover and around the edge of the seat. More is better than less as you can cut any excess off when you are done.
Staple all the way around, making sure to pull the fabric tightly, for a smooth, taut finish.
The final step, which I have yet to complete, will be to refinish it. I am thinking Tung oil or perhaps making my own finish of a beeswax/walnut oil blend.
I would definitely do another of these projects, and knowing how easy it is has opened my eyes to furniture I might have otherwise overlooked. Things that need a little love and care, are usually priced in your favor, and in the end you have a unique piece of furniture done the way you like it.